12. Stopping the Clock
Stopping the clock is used where there has been a lengthy delay caused by the applicant or external consultees, outwith the planning authority's control. This helps produce more accurate performance statistics that would otherwise have been skewed by extreme cases of delay outwith the planning authority's control. Clock stops were not used where there was a delay to authority processing as a result of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.
|Planning Authority||Applications without processing agreements decided in 2020/211||Number of applications with clock stopped||Percentage of applications with clock stopped||Average time clock stopped (weeks)|
|Argyll and Bute||1,041||122||11.7%||18.0|
|Cairngorms National Park||1||0||0.0%||-|
|Dumfries and Galloway||1,026||15||1.5%||5.4|
|City of Edinburgh||2,926||27||0.9%||40.0|
|Loch Lomond and The Trossachs NP||204||41||20.1%||20.0|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||398||23||5.8%||19.1|
|Perth and Kinross||1,297||41||3.2%||17.8|
1. Applications with Processing Agreements and Legacy Applications (applications validated prior to 3/8/2009) are not included in this analysis.
2. Excludes one Legacy Case.
For 2020/21 there were 1,876 applications where the clock was stopped for an average of 13.8 weeks. This compares to 2,256 applications stopped for an average of 12.6 weeks in the previous year.
|Development Type||Total applications decided in 2020/21||Number of applications with clock stopped||Percentage of applications with clock stopped||Average length of time clock stopped (weeks)|
|Business and industry||1,239||151||12.2%||14.3|
|AMSCs (under 2 months)||239||37||15.5%||23.0|
|Marine finfish farming||25||2||8.0%||14.6|
|Marine shellfish farming||14||2||14.3%||11.4|
|Freshwater fish farming||3||0||0.0%||-|
|Business and industry||15||5||33.3%||12.0|
|Listed building and conservation area consent||2,555||156||6.1%||14.3|
|Other consents and certificates||2,156||42||1.9%||6.4|
|Applications with EIA|
|Local applications with EIA||9||2||22.2%||15.1|
|AMSCs (under 4 months)||4||1||25.0%||44.7|
For 2020/21, householder applications had the most clock stops (560), with 6.5 weeks on average removed from decision times. Major housing applications had the highest percentage of applications with clock stops with 40.3% (31 of 77) stopping the clock for an average of 52.9 weeks.
There are a variety of reasons why the clock is stopped but stops are often due to delays in concluding legal agreements and waiting for the applicant to sign a planning obligation. Other reasons include site surveys required in relation to European protected species that must await a particular season, external consultants delay or awaiting advert fees to be paid.