3. Summary of Findings
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Average decision times tended to be longer in 2021/22 than before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic continued to cause difficulties for Planning Authorities during the year. Restrictions on travel and site access, staff absence and resource issues affected the processing of applications.
Local Development Applications: More local development applications were decided in 2021/22 (28,596) than before the pandemic (26,585 in 2019/20). However, the percentage decided in two months fell to 62 per cent. (74 per cent in the pre-pandemic year 2019/20.) Some authorities made more use of agreements of timescales to process local applications. The number of processing agreements rose to 3,284 in 2021/22. (1,981 in the pre-pandemic year 2019/20.)
Major Development Applications: In 2021/22 applications for major developments (285) were slightly lower than before the pandemic (307 in 2019/20). This was slightly higher than in the previous year (272 in 2020/21). The average decision time for applications without processing agreement was 44.6 weeks. (33.5 weeks in the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20.) The average decision time for major business and industry applications was slightly shorter in 2021/22 than in 2019/20.
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