Publication - Statistics

Planning Performance Statistics 2020/21: Annual

Published: 20 Jul 2021

Summary statistics on planning application decision-making timescales for 2020/21 with historic data going back to 2012/13. It is based on data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework (introduced in 2012).

Planning Performance Statistics 2020/21: Annual
12. Stopping the Clock

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.

Table 9: Clock stops by planning authority 1,2
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)
Aberdeen City 616 44 7.1% 21.5
Aberdeenshire 1,434 18 1.3% 13.4
Angus 514 0 0.0% -
Argyll and Bute 1,041 122 11.7% 18.0
Cairngorms National Park 1 0 0.0% -
Clackmannanshire 213 22 10.3% 8.5
Dumfries and Galloway 1,026 15 1.5% 5.4
Dundee City 536 23 4.3% 23.8
East Ayrshire 382 28 7.3% 13.7
East Dunbartonshire 762 203 26.6% 5.1
East Lothian 1,142 84 7.4% 23.0
East Renfrewshire 651 0 0.0% -
City of Edinburgh 2,926 27 0.9% 40.0
Falkirk 393 10 2.5% 9.5
Fife 1,516 2 0.1% 47.8
Glasgow City 2,010 391 19.5% 11.5
Highland 2,530 41 1.6% 24.9
Inverclyde 334 29 8.7% 22.3
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs NP 204 41 20.1% 20.0
Midlothian 364 26 7.1% 14.1
Moray 623 222 35.6% 8.9
Na h-Eileanan Siar 398 23 5.8% 19.1
North Ayrshire 525 28 5.3% 9.6
North Lanarkshire 710 26 3.7% 15.9
Orkney Islands 391 81 20.7% 18.6
Perth and Kinross 1,297 41 3.2% 17.8
Renfrewshire 578 115 19.9% 11.0
Scottish Borders 631 6 1.0% 28.6
Shetland Islands 238 22 9.2% 11.2
South Ayrshire 672 1 0.1% 10.0
South Lanarkshire 1,412 26 1.8% 30.8
Stirling 758 30 4.0% 7.9
West Dunbartonshire2 230 84 36.5% 10.1
West Lothian2 854 45 5.3% 15.9
Scotland1 27,912 1,876 6.7% 13.8

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.

Table 10: Clock stops by development type
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)
Local developments        
Householder 12,159 560 4.6% 6.5
Other developments 4,454 338 7.6% 15.5
Housing 3,476 426 12.3% 17.7
Business and industry 1,239 151 12.2% 14.3
AMSCs (under 2 months) 239 37 15.5% 23.0
Telecommunications 148 10 6.8% 9.8
Electricity generation 108 8 7.4% 31.6
Marine finfish farming 25 2 8.0% 14.6
Minerals 18 5 27.8% 28.4
Marine shellfish farming 14 2 14.3% 11.4
Waste management 14 3 21.4% 30.7
Freshwater fish farming 3 0 0.0% -
Total 21,897 1,542 7.0% 13.0
Major developments        
Housing 77 31 40.3% 52.9
Other developments 53 16 30.2% 38.1
Business and industry 15 5 33.3% 12.0
Electricity generation 13 1 7.7% 23.0
Minerals 7 2 28.6% 37.1
Waste management 6 1 16.7% 40.4
Total 171 56 32.7% 43.7
Other Consents        
Listed building and conservation area consent 2,555 156 6.1% 14.3
Other consents and certificates 2,156 42 1.9% 6.4
Advertisements 1,109 75 6.8% 9.5
Hazardous substances 5 2 40.0% 45.4
Total 5,825 275 4.7% 12.0
Applications with EIA        
Local applications with EIA 9 2 22.2% 15.1
AMSCs (under 4 months) 4 1 25.0% 44.7
Total 13 3 23.1% 25.0

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.


Contact

Email: planning_stats@gov.scot