Planning Performance Statistics 2021/2022: Annual and Quarterly (October 2021 to March 2022)

Statistics on planning application decision-making timescales for 2021-2022. Data are collected as part of the Planning Performance Framework from local and planning authorities. Quarters 3 and 4 statistics are also published. Historic annual statistics back to 2017-2018 are presented.

This document is part of a collection

4. General Points to Note

Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. From mid-March 2020 the planning application processing was impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some applications have longer decision times due to COVID-19 delays. Impacts differed by authority. These impacts should be considered when making comparisons with earlier years and between authorities.

Uses of the Statistics. The statistics allow Scottish Government and the planning authorities to monitor the time taken to decide planning applications. More uses are listed on our web pages. View Scottish Government planning statistics web page.

Legacy Cases. On 3rd August 2009 changes were made to the statutory development management system and handling of planning applications. A few legacy cases from before then remain but they can have a large effect on average decision times. Therefore they are not included in the main analysis. They are reported separately in tables in the supporting spreadsheet file.

Categories of Planning Applications. For planning applications, developments are put into one of five categories: local, major, other, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and national. This publication covers the first four as national developments are dealt with by Scottish Government Ministers.

Local developments include applications for changes to individual houses, smaller developments of less than 50 homes, less than 2 hectares and less than 20 megawatts. Major developments include applications for 50 or more homes, greater than 2 hectares or more than 20 megawatts.

The full range of applications can include changes to properties, new builds, minerals, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, freshwater fish farming, marine finfish farming, marine shellfish farming, telecommunications, Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions, Prior Notifications and other developments. The classification of all development types can be found in the planning series circular Go to Hierarchy of Developments web page.

Small Numbers. Typically there are only a small number of decisions made for major developments each quarter and therefore average decision times are likely to vary greatly.

Calculation of Decision Times. The average decision time in weeks is calculated in days from the date of validation (the date when the final piece of information for an application is received) to the date the decision is issued. The average weeks are then calculated by dividing the number of days by seven. Some local authorities use processing agreements where the developer and the local authority agree on timescales for decisions. These are not included in average decision times.

Stopping the Clock. In some cases it is appropriate to remove a length of time from the total decision time. "Stopping the clock" is used where there has been a lengthy delay caused by the applicant or external consultees. This is not under the planning authority's control and the authority cannot progress with an application.

Revisions. The revisions policy for planning performance statistics has been developed in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority Code of practice for Official Statistics. It can be found on our web pages. View Scottish Government planning statistics web page.

Details for all categories of development are available in the tables in the supporting spreadsheet file for this publication. All files for the publication can be found on our web page. View Scottish Government planning statistics webpage.



Back to top