Information

Planning performance statistics: fourth quarter 2017-2018 and annual

Latest summary statistics on planning decision-making and timescales for the year April 2017 to March 2018, as well as historic data going back to 2013-2014.

This document is part of a collection


3. Annual average decision times by Development Type

3.1 Local Developments

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) and other developments.

This section presents annual information on application numbers and average timescales across all local developments, along with separate figures for individual categories.

Chart 13: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Local Developments, 2017/18: Number of decisions

Chart 13: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Local Developments, 2017/18: Number of decisions

Chart 14: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Local Developments, 2017/18: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 14: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Local Developments, 2017/18: Average decision time (weeks)

The average decision time for the 26,220 (post 3rd August 2009) local applications in 2017/18 was 9.0 weeks, quicker by an average of just over a day per application compared with 2016/17 (9.2 weeks) and the quickest annual average since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Chart 14 shows that average decision times vary between types of development. The largest share of local developments is for householder developments (almost 50%) and these have the shortest decision time of on average 7.3 weeks. Minerals applications (0.1% of all local decisions) have the longest average decision time equal to 27.1 weeks.

During the year 2017/18 there was a total of 1,139 local development decisions where the clock had been stopped at some point within the application process (4.3% of all local development decisions). On average almost 19 weeks has been removed for these applications, and this will have had an effect on overall average decision times. For the previous year, there were 944 local development decisions where the clock had been stopped at some point (3.5% of all local application decisions). See Annex 15.1 for further details.

Some local developments are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments ( EIAs). Results for these developments are not included here and instead are reported separately in the detailed tables ( Annual, 2017/18: Tables 23 & 28).

In addition, there were 1,671 local developments decided in 2017/18 that had processing agreements in place, with almost 80% of these meeting agreed timescales. Developments with processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

The overall decision time for local developments in 2017/18 was the quickest over the last five years (Table 1). In 2017/18 the average decision times for householder (7.3 weeks), other developments (9.9 weeks), housing (12.2 weeks) and electricity generation (13.3 weeks) were all the quickest since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Between 2016/17 and 2017/18 electricity generation developments had the biggest improvement in average decision time from 19.2 weeks to 13.3 weeks. For business and industry, telecommunications, fish farming, waste management and minerals developments there were increases in average decision times compared to 2016/17. The increase in the average decision time for waste management can partly be explained by two applications with decision times of almost one year. The increase for mineral decisions was strongly influenced by a single application that took over three years for a decision.

Table 2 shows the figures for all applications including legacy applications up to 2016/17.

Table 1: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Local Developments: Annual average decision times by Development Type

Post - 3rd August Local Developments 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14 2012/13
Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks)
Householder 12,861 7.3 13,400 7.3 13,641 7.4 14,115 7.5 13,904 7.7 13,446 8.0
Other Developments 5,981 9.9 5,919 10.0 6,126 10.3 6,099 10.4 6,258 10.5 5,822 11.3
Housing 4,768 12.2 4,899 12.7 5,590 13.7 5,807 14.5 5,762 15.2 5,563 17.2
Business & Industry 1,609 9.5 1,738 9.3 1,941 10.4 2,257 10.7 2,370 11.1 2,531 11.8
Telecommunications 504 8.7 457 8.1 441 7.9 416 7.6 404 8.5 301 8.5
AMSCs 284 13.9 294 14.5 319 13.0 318 14.8 302 17.4 255 16.3
Electricity Generation 123 13.3 178 19.2 561 17.4 626 22.4 861 23.1 1,247 21.2
Fish Farming 56 9.3 44 8.5 84 9.4 53 13.3 63 12.5 43 10.6
Minerals 17 27.1 28 19.9 39 35.0 25 17.7 47 15.8 35 26.9
Waste Management 17 16.6 29 11.6 22 10.8 23 17.8 55 19.4 89 16.3
TOTAL 26,220 9.0 26,986 9.2 28,764 9.7 29,739 10.1 30,026 10.6 29,332 11.4

Table 2: All Applications: Local Developments: Annual average decision times by Development Type

All Applications Local Developments 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14 2012/13
Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks)
Householder   13,400 7.3 13,644 7.5 14,116 7.5 13,904 7.7 13,450 8.1
Other Developments 5,920 10.0 6,131 10.5 6,102 10.5 6,264 10.8 5,833 11.7
Housing 4,901 12.8 5,616 14.4 5,836 15.3 5,831 17.5 5,671 20.9
Business & Industry 1,738 9.3 1,944 11.2 2,259 10.9 2,385 12.9 2,548 13.0
Telecommunications 457 8.1 441 7.9 416 7.6 404 8.5 301 8.5
AMSCs 294 14.5 319 13.0 319 15.1 303 18.0 255 16.3
Electricity Generation 178 19.2 561 17.4 626 22.4 863 23.5 1,251 21.7
Fish Farming 44 8.5 84 9.4 53 13.3 63 12.5 43 10.6
Minerals 28 19.9 40 35.1 25 17.7 49 22.3 36 31.6
Waste Management 30 15.5 22 10.8 23 17.8 57 26.8 95 28.7
TOTAL 26,990 9.2 28,802 10.0 29,775 10.3 30,123 11.3 29,483 12.4

3.2 Major Developments

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.

Details for the classification of all development types can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/278390/0083657.pdf .

This section presents annual information on application numbers and average timescales across all major developments, along with separate figures for individual categories.

Chart 15: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Major Developments, 2017/18: Number of decisions

Chart 15: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Major Developments, 2017/18: Number of decisions

Chart 16: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Major Developments, 2017/18: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 16: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Major Developments, 2017/18: Average decision time (weeks)

The average decision time for the 238 (post 3rd August 2009) major applications in 2017/18 was 33.6 weeks, quicker by almost three weeks per application compared with 2016/17 (36.4 weeks).

Charts 15 and 16 show that a large share (almost 49%) of major developments are for housing developments that have an average decision time of 38.2 weeks.

During the year 2017/18 69 applications, 29% of all major development decisions had involved a clock stop at some point within the application process. The average time stopped was 46.2 weeks for these applications. This will have had an effect on overall average decision times. See Annex 15.1 for further details.

In addition there were a further 93 major development applications concluded in 2017/18 that were subject to separate processing agreements. Over 73% of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. Applications subject to processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

Tables 3 and 4 give figures over five years. Due to the small number of applications for some types of major developments, average decision times may be volatile between types and years and can be skewed by a few lengthy decisions. See Annex 15.2 for further details.

In 2017/18 the average decision times for major housing and waste management applications were the quickest annual average since the start of this data collection in 2012/13. The average decision times for minerals and business and industry developments improved in 2017/18 compared to the previous year while electricity generation and other developments showed increases in average decision times since the previous year.

In 2017/18 there were 42 major applications that took longer than a year for a decision. Nine of these took more than two years; seven taking between two and three years, one just over three years and the longest application taking over seven years. The lengthiest decision was for planning permission in principle for development of a Community Growth Area, comprising housing, neighbourhood centre, community facilities, access roads, open space and landscaping. The application was approved.

Table 3: Post 3rd August 2009 Applications: Major Developments: Annual average decision times by Development Type

Post - 3rd August Major Developments 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14 2012/13
Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks)
Housing 116 38.2 108 43.4 95 40.6 113 41.3 117 41.9 76 40.1
Other Developments 83 30.6 94 30.4 108 25.1 101 28.7 105 25.9 66 34.3
Business & Industry 17 25.5 26 33.2 23 19.9 39 33.1 41 26.6 45 22.8
Electricity Generation 9 36.5 10 32.6 16 31.7 19 53.6 27 58.4 24 50.7
Minerals 8 23.9 5 30.0 16 33.6 16 52.1 13 20.6 21 46.6
Waste Management 5 14.0 3 18.6 9 22.4 9 18.4 7 23.7 5 22.3
Fish Farming 0 - 0 - 1 18.0 1 31.6 0 - 1 4.4
TOTAL 238 33.6 246 36.4 268 31.0 298 36.6 310 34.6 238 36.3

Table 4: All Applications: Major Developments: Annual average decision times by Development Type

All Applications Major Developments 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14 2012/13
Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks) Number of decisions Average decision time (weeks)
Housing   108 43.4 105 52.1 125 54.1 147 69.9 104 74.8
Other Developments 96 30.3 111 26.3 103 32.9 115 38.7 73 46.2
Business & Industry 26 33.2 23 19.9 41 41.3 45 39.8 51 56.2
Electricity Generation 10 32.6 17 53.7 21 69.1 27 58.4 28 64.4
Minerals 6 39.0 18 41.8 17 70.0 15 59.0 23 47.4
Waste Management 3 18.6 9 22.4 10 24.8 7 23.7 7 87.4
Fish Farming 0 - 1 18.0 1 31.6 0 - 1 4.4
TOTAL 249 36.4 284 37.8 318 46.4 356 53.8 287 61.1

Contact

Back to top