Publication - Statistics

Planning performance statistics 2019/2020: annual

Published: 21 Jul 2020

Summary statistics on planning decision-making and timescales for April 2019 to March 2020 with historic data going back to 2012/13. It is based on data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework (introduced in 2012).

Contents
Planning performance statistics 2019/2020: annual
3. Annual Trends – Major Developments (excludes legacy cases)

3. Annual Trends – Major Developments (excludes legacy cases)

Major developments include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, as well as other applications covering areas of development such as minerals, housing, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, freshwater fish farming, marine finfish farming, marine shellfish farming and other developments.

Classification between local and major developments depends on the particular development type. For example, housing developments are classed as major when the application is for 50 or more dwellings or for a site that exceeds two hectares, whereas electricity generation is classed as major when the capacity of the generating station is or exceeds 20 megawatts.

This section presents annual information on numbers of applications and average timescales across all major developments along with separate figures for key categories. Figures for all categories of development are available in detailed excel tables which can be found in the supporting files for this publication on the Planning Authority Performance Statistics Section on the Planning Publications web page.

Decision times for major applications may vary greatly between applications so average figures based on a small number of applications can be volatile.

Some local authorities use processing agreements where the developer and the local authority agree on timescales for decisions. When an application is subject to a processing agreement it is not included in average decision time calculations.

Legacy cases validated before 3rd August 2009 are not included in the figures but are reported separately in Section 11. Figures for all applications including legacy cases were reported up to and including 2016/17 and are available in previous publications.

During 2019/20 68 applications, a third of all major development decisions not subject to a processing agreement, involved a clock stop at some point within the application process. The average time stopped was 32.4 weeks for these applications. This will have had an effect on overall average decision times. See Section 12 for further details on clock stops.

3.1. All Major Developments

There were 307 major development applications determined in 2019/20, 17 fewer than in the previous year. The 204 not subject to processing agreements had an average decision time of 33.5 weeks, just under a week slower than the 32.6 weeks for the previous year.

A number of applications were concluded that were subject to processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In 2019/20 there were 103 major development applications with processing agreements, 66.0% (68) of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities.

There was also one Major pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case concluded. Further details about legacy cases are in Section 11.

Chart 15: All Major Developments
Chart showing annual trends since 2012/13 in number of applications determined and average decision times for all major developments

3.2. Major Housing Developments

Major Housing developments are those with 50 or more dwellings or with a site area that is or exceeds 2 hectares where the predominant use is for housing.

There were 175 major housing development applications determined in 2019/20, 16 more than in the previous year. The 116 not subject to processing agreements had an average decision time of 37.5 weeks, more than two weeks slower than the previous year.

There were 59 Major Housing development applications with processing agreements, 64.4% (38) of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities.

There was also one Major Housing pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case concluded. Further details about legacy cases are in Section 11.

Chart 16: Major Housing Developments
Chart showing annual trends since 2012/13 in number of applications determined and average decision times for major housing applications

3.3. Major Business and Industry Developments

These include construction of a building or structure for any of the following: use as an office, for research and development of products or processes, for any industrial process or for use for storage or as a distribution centre.

To be classed as major the gross floor space as a result of the development must exceed 10,000 square metres or the site must exceed 2 hectares.

There were 13 Major Business and Industry development applications determined in 2019/20, 15 fewer than in the previous year. None were subject to processing agreements and they had an average decision time of 22.8 weeks, just under two weeks quicker than the previous year.

The number of major business and industry applications is very small and so average decision times may be significantly influenced by the decision time for a single application.

Chart 17: Major Business and Industry Developments
Chart showing annual trends since 2012/13 in number of applications determined and average decision times for major business and industry applications

3.4. Major Electricity Generation Developments

This includes all types of electricity generating stations.

Major Electricity Generation developments are those where the capacity is or exceeds 20 megawatts.

There were 20 Major Electricity Generation development applications determined in 2019/20, two more than in the previous year. The 12 not subject to processing agreements had an average decision time of 29.1 weeks, more than three weeks slower than the previous year.

There were eight Major Electricity Generation development applications with processing agreements, 87.5% (7) of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities.

The number of Major Electricity Generation applications is very small and so average decision times may be significantly influenced by the decision time for a single application.

Chart 18: Major Electricity Generation Developments
Chart showing annual trends since 2012/13 in number of applications determined and average decision times for major electricity generation applications

3.5. Major Other Developments

Other developments are developments not falling wholly within any other single class. They include but are not limited to retail, leisure and entertainment, education, healthcare, community facilities, transport interchanges, water and drainage developments and projects. This class also covers mixed use projects.

Major Other Developments are where the gross floor space of any building, structure or erection as a result of such development is or exceeds 5,000 square metres or the area of the site is or exceeds 2 hectares.

There were 79 Major Other Developments applications determined in 2019/20, 19 fewer than in the previous year. The 53 not subject to processing agreements had an average decision time of 27.3 weeks, almost four weeks quicker than the previous year.

There were 26 Major Other Developments applications with processing agreements, 61.5% (16) of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities.

Chart 19: Major Other Developments
Chart showing annual trends since 2012/13 in number of applications determined and average decision times for major other development applications

Contact

Email: planstats@gov.scot