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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.

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5. Average decision times – Quarterly trends for 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 quarterly information on average timescales across all major developments, along with separate figures for the key categories of housing, business and industry and other developments. Information on decisions for other specific categories of developments is available within the detailed excel tables at: Planning Authority Performance Statistics 2017/18 Quarter 4.

Figures for all applications, which include legacy cases validated before 3 rd August 2009, are shown up to the end of 2016/17. From quarter one 2017/18, because of the limited number of legacy cases still being processed, figures are only shown for applications validated post 3 rd August 2009.

5.1 All Major Developments

There were 63 major development applications decided during the fourth quarter of 2017/18, with an overall average decision time of 34.8 weeks, slower by over seven weeks than the previous quarter (27.7 weeks) and by just over two weeks than the equilavent quarter four figure for the previous year (32.6 weeks). ( Quarter 4, 2017/18: Table 2).

There were 23 major development applications concluded in quarter four of 2017/18 that were subject to separate processing agreements. 16 (69.6 per cent) 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. For the most recent quarter, major applications with processing agreements accounted for just over a quarter of the decisions made for all major developments.

In quarter four of 2017/18 Glasgow City made the most decisions on major developments (10 in total); these had an average decision time of 18.6 weeks.

Chart 29: All Major Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 29: All Major Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 30: All Major Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 30: All Major Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

5.2 Major Housing

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 33 major housing applications decided during the fourth quarter of 2017/18, with an overall average decision time of 38.1 weeks, slower by over four weeks than the previous quarter (33.8 weeks) but quicker by seven and a half weeks than the equilavent quarter four figure for the previous year (45.6 weeks). ( Quarter 4, 2017/18: Table 7).

Average figures based on a small number of applications can be volatile. In this quarter there were nine Major Housing applications with a decision time of more than one year. 60.6 per cent (20 of the 33 major housing development applications) were decided in a time that was quicker than the average. For further detail on the distribution of decision times for major housing see Annex 15.2.

In addition, there were 11 major housing applications that were subject to processing agreements with 8 (72.7%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

Chart 31: Major Housing Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 31: Major Housing Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 32: Major Housing Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 32: Major Housing Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

5.3 Major Business and Industry

Business and Industry developments 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 area must exceed 2 hectares.

Due to the small numbers of applications for major business and industry developments, average decision times are very variable.

Chart 33: Major Business and Industry Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 33: Major Business and Industry Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 34: Major Business and Industry Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 34: Major Business and Industry Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

There were seven major business and industry developments in quarter four of 2017/18 subject to average decision time calculations. These had an average decision time of 21.5 weeks more than 12 weeks quicker than the previous quarter (34.0 weeks) but over four weeks slower than the equivalent quarter in 2016/17 (17.1 weeks) ( Quarter 4, 2017/18: Table 9).

In addition, there was one major business and industry application subject to a processing agreement and it met agreed timescales.

5.4 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 20 major other developments in quarter four of 2017/18. These had an average decision time of 34.4 weeks, more than 13 weeks slower than the previous quarter (20.8 weeks) and seven weeks slower than the equivalent quarter four figure for 2016/17 (27.3 weeks) ( Quarter 4, 2017/18 – Table 11).

14 of the 20 major other development applications (70 per cent) were decided in a time that was quicker than the average, while two applications had a decision time of over two years. For further detail on the distribution of decision times for major other developments see Annex 15.2.

In addition, there were seven major other developments applications that were subject to a processing agreement and all met agreed timescales.

Chart 35: Major Other Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 35: Major Other Developments: Number of decisions

Chart 36: Major Other Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

Chart 36: Major Other Developments: Average decision time (weeks)

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