4. Processing Agreements
Some local authorities use processing agreements where the developer and the local authority agree on timescales for decisions. Some agreements are made at the outset of an application whereas others have been activated at a later stage.
Applications subject to a processing agreement are not included in average decision time calculations.
There has been a marked increase in the percentage of applications subject to processing agreements since last year. A number of authorities reported increased use of processing agreements as part of measures to manage the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and delays.
For 2020/21 there were 3,102 applications subject to a processing agreement, 10.0% of all applications. 74.0% of these were processed within agreed timescales.
In 2019/20 7.1% of applications were subject to processing agreements.
25 out of 34 planning authorities used processing agreements in 2020/21.
Three authorities had just over half of the Total number of applications subject to processing agreements - Aberdeenshire, City of Edinburgh and Fife with 604, 494, and 474 processing agreements respectively.
2,551 applications subject to a processing agreement were for local developments with 74.4% processed within agreed timescales. This represents 10.4% of all local development applications concluded in 2020/21. 7.5% of local applications were subject to a processing agreement in 2019/20.
The 101 major applications concluded by the use of a processing agreement, 57.4% of which were processed within agreed timescales, represents 37.1% of all major development applications determined in 2020/21. This compares to 33.6% of major applications subject to a processing agreement in the previous year.