News

Planning application decision times published

Published: 29 Jan 2019 10:00

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. These detail the number of planning applications decided across Scotland and average decision times for most types of application including housing.

The overall average decision time for all local applications concluded in the first six months of 2018/19 (8.9 weeks for 13,391 applications) was the same as for the equivalent period in the previous year. In addition, there were 1,051 local developments decided that had processing agreements in place, with 786 (75%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

The overall average decision time for all major developments concluded in the first six months of 2018/19 (34.6 weeks for 112 applications) was 1.6 weeks quicker than for the same period in the previous year (36.2 weeks). In addition, there were 61 major applications decided that were subject to processing agreements with 43 (70%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

Key Findings for Quarters 1 and 2 (April to September) of 2018/19:

The overall average decision time for all local applications decided in the first six months of 2018/19 matched the decision time for the equivalent period in 2017/18.

  • There were 13,391 local development applications subject to average time calculations in the first six months of 2018/19, 425 fewer than the equivalent period in the previous year. The average decision time for these local development applications was 8.9 weeks, the same as in the equivalent period in the previous year.
  • The average decision time for the 6,796 local development applications decided in quarter one was 8.9 weeks. In quarter two 6,595 applications had an average decision time of 8.8 weeks, matching the quickest time for any previous quarter.
  • In quarter one the percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 75.5%, down from the corresponding quarter one figure of 77.6% in the previous year. In quarter two the percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 75.7%, up from the corresponding quarter two figure of 74.3% in the previous year.
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  • In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one of 2018/19 there were 537 local development applications with processing agreements, 72.6% of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 514, 77.0% meeting the agreed timescales.

 

The average decision time for local housing developments decided in the first six months of 2018/19 was quicker by almost three days than the equivalent period in 2017/18.

  • There were 2,396 decisions made on local housing applications subject to average time calculations in the first six months of 2018/19. The average decision time was 12.1 weeks, quicker by almost three days than over the same period in 2017/18 (12.5 weeks).
    • The average decision time for the 1,221 local housing applications decided in quarter one was 12.0 weeks, slightly quicker than the 12.2 weeks for quarter one in the previous year. In quarter two 1,175 applications had an average decision time of 12.1 weeks, quicker by almost five days than the 12.8 weeks for quarter two in the previous year.
  • In addition, in quarter one of 2018/19 there were 150 local housing applications with processing agreements, 72.7% (109) of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 153, 85.6% (131) meeting the agreed timescales.
  • The overall average decision time for all major developments decided in the first six months of 2018/19 was over a week and a half quicker compared to the equivalent period in 2017/18.
  • There were 112 major development applications subject to average time calculations in the first six months of 2018/19, the same as in the equivalent period in the previous year. The average decision time for these major development applications was 34.6 weeks, 1.6 weeks quicker than the 36.2 weeks for the equivalent period in the previous year.
  • The average decision time for the 54 major development applications concluded in quarter one was 31.7 weeks. In quarter two 58 major development applications had an average decision time of 37.3 weeks.
  • In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one of 2018/19 there were 26 major development applications with processing agreements, 61.5% of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 35, 77.1% meeting the agreed timescales.

The average decision time for major housing developments decided in the first six months of 2018/19 was quicker by almost four weeks compared to the same period in 2017/18.

  • There were 52 major housing developments decided during the first six months of 2018/19, the same as in the equivalent period in the previous year. The average decision time for these 52 major housing applications was 37.0 weeks, quicker by almost four weeks than the 40.9 weeks for the equivalent period in the previous year.
  • The average decision time for the 24 major housing applications concluded in quarter one was 34.6 weeks, more than nine weeks quicker than the 44.2 weeks for quarter one in the previous year. In quarter two 28 major housing applications had an average decision time of 39.0 weeks, over two weeks slower than the 36.4 weeks for quarter two in the previous year.
  • In addition, in quarter one of 2018/19 there were 14 major housing applications with processing agreements, 71.4% (10) of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 18, 88.9% (16) meeting the agreed timescales.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application[1] (including legacy applications) was 93.7% in the first quarter of 2018/19 and 93.5% in quarter two. These were both slightly lower than the corresponding rates of 94.1% and 93.9% for the respective quarters in the previous year.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to Editors

The average decision time figures presented in this Statistical News Release exclude applications validated prior to 3rd August 2009 which are considered legacy cases, and applications concluded through the use of a processing agreement between the developer and the local authority, where an agreement on timescales for decisions can be made either at the beginning of the application process or at a later stage. Also, some applications exclude time periods in which particular delays have been outwith the control of planning authorities. Further information on these types of application is available in the full statistical publication.

Local developments include applications for changes to individual houses and smaller developments for new housing as well as applications covering areas of development such as minerals, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, freshwater fish farming, marine finfish farming, marine shellfish farming, telecommunications, Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions (AMSCs[2]) and other developments.

Major developments include applications for 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, 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.

An explanatory document providing background information on the Planning Performance Framework is also available.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

[1] Decisions on applications classified as N17 Other consents and certificates are not included in the calculation of approval rates.

[2] Applications for Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions (AMSCs) relate to conditions attached to planning permission in principle requiring the further approval, consent or agreement of the planning authority for any detailed aspect of the development.