Information

Planning performance statistics 2021/2022: Quarterly (April 2021 to September 2021)

This report presents summary statistics on planning application decision-making timescales for April to September 2021, as well as historic data back to 2017/18. It is based on data collected from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework (introduced in 2012).

This document is part of a collection


2. Local Developments

Local developments include applications for changes to individual houses and smaller developments for new housing as well as applications covering areas such as minerals, business and industry, waste management, electricity generation, fish farming, telecommunications, Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions (AMSCs) and other developments.

This section presents quarterly information on average timescales across all local developments, along with separate figures for the key categories of householder, housing, business and industry and other developments. Information on other local development categories is reported on an annual rather than quarterly basis.

Some local authorities use processing agreements where the developer and the local authority agree on timescales for decisions. When an application is subject to a processing agreement it is not included in average decision time calculations.

Legacy cases validated before 3rd August 2009 are not included in the figures but are reported separately in Section 11. Figures including legacy cases were reported up to and including 2016/17 and are available in previous publications.

The number of applications and average decision times have been impacted on by restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Further information about the impacts is available in Section 1.2.

2.1. All Local Developments

There were 13,403 local development applications not subject to processing agreements determined in the first two quarters of 2021/22. A marked increase of 3,785 (39%) more than in the same period in 2020/21. The average decision time was 10.2 weeks, just over a day slower than the 10.0 weeks for the same period in 2020/21. The percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 64.6%, a drop of one and a half percentage points compared to the first two quarters of 2020/21.

In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to processing agreements, these applications are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one there were 772 local development applications with processing agreements, 75.4% (582) of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 856, 77.7% (665) meeting the agreed timescales.

In quarter one local applications with processing agreements accounted for 10.0% of all the decisions made for local developments, in quarter two this increased to 11.7%. A number of authorities reported an increased use of processing agreements for local applications since the first quarter of 2020/21 in response to managing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018/19 and 2019/20, prior to the pandemic just over 7% of local developments in the first two quarters of the year were subject to processing agreements.

City of Edinburgh made the most decisions on local developments in both quarter one (745 applications, 73 subject to processing agreements) and quarter two (652 applications, 84 subject to processing agreements).

There was also one Local Development pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case determined. Further details about legacy cases can be seen in Section 11.

Chart 3: All Local Developments

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show an increase in the number of local applications decided in quarters one and two compared to the previous four years with a marked increase since last year which had showed a substantial impact from Covid-19 restrictions. Numbers for the last two quarters match and slightly exceed what may have been expected from the general trend shown prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with 10.7 weeks for quarter two being the slowest quarter in the last five years.

Chart 4: All Local Developments: Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

2.2. Local (Non Householder) Developments

This can include applications for smaller developments for new housing as well as applications covering areas of development such as minerals, business and industry, waste management, electricity generation, freshwater fish farming, marine finfish and shellfish farming, telecommunications, Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions (AMSCs) and other developments.

There were 5,602 local non-householder developments not subject to processing agreements decided in the first two quarters of 2021/22, 998 (22%) more than the same period in the previous year. The average decision was 12.8 weeks, almost five days slower than the 12.1 weeks for the same period in the previous year. The percentage of decisions made in less than two months over the first two quarters of 2021/22 was 50.7%, down six percentage points from 56.7% for the corresponding six month period in the previous year.

A number of applications subject to processing agreements were also determined, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one of 2021/22 there were 474 local non householder development applications with processing agreements, 69.4% of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 464, 73.5% meeting the agreed timescales.

Chart 5: Local Developments (Non Householder)

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show a marked increase in the number of applications decided in quarters one and two compared to the previous year but not quite matching the levels shown prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with 13.2 weeks for 2021/22 quarter two being the slowest quarter in the last five years.

Chart 6: Local Developments (Non Householder): Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

2.3. Householder Developments

These include all applications for development in the curtilage of a residential property which are not change of use, for example: extensions, alterations to garages, swimming pools, walls, fences, driveways or porches.

There were 7,801 householder developments not subject to processing agreements decided during the first two quarters of 2021/22. This is a 55.6% increase (2,787) in applications determined compared to the equivalent period in the previous year which had showed a substantial impact from Covid-19 restrictions. The average decision time was 8.3 weeks, just over a day slower than the 8.1 weeks for the same period in 2020/21. The percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 74.6%, down slightly from 74.8% for the corresponding six month period in the previous year. The 70% completed in less than two months in quarter two was the lowest percentage for any quarter since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one there were 298 householder applications with processing agreements, 84.9% met agreed timescales set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 392, 82.7% meeting agreed timescales.

4,374 householder applications were determined in quarter one, more than in any quarter since the start of this data collection in 2012.

31 out of the 32 local authorities reported more householder applications determined in the first two quarters of 2021/22 than in the previous year.

The number of applications determined in both quarter one and quarter two is larger than would have been expected from the general trend shown prior to the pandemic.

Chart 7: Householder Developments

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show an increase in the number of applications decided in quarters one and two compared to the previous four years with a marked increase since last year which showed a substantial impact from Covid-19 restrictions. Numbers for the last two quarters are larger than would have been expected from the general trend shown prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with 8.8 weeks for quarter two being the slowest quarter in the last five years.

Chart 8: Householder Developments: Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

2.4. Local Housing Developments

Local housing developments are those that have less than 50 dwellings and a site area that is less than 2 hectares.

There were 1,946 local housing developments not subject to processing agreements decided during the first two quarters of 2021/22, 296 (18%) more than the same period in the previous year. The average decision time was 14.8 weeks, just over a week slower than the 13.5 weeks for the same period in the previous year.

Chart 9: Local Housing Developments

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show an increase in the number of applications decided in quarters one and two compared to the previous year but not yet matching the levels shown prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts with the times for the last two quarters the highest for five years.

The percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 42.3%, down from 51.0% for the first two quarters of 2020/21. The 43.6% and 40.9% for quarters one and two were the two lowest percentages completed within two months in any quarter since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Chart 10: Local Housing Developments: Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one there were 205 local housing applications with processing agreements, 67.8% of these met agreed timescales set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 160, 68.8% meeting the agreed timescales.

There was also one Local Housing pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case determined. Further details about legacy cases can be seen in Section 11.

2.5. Local Business and Industry Developments

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 local gross floor space as a result of the development must not exceed 10,000 square metres and the site area must be 2 hectares or less.

There were 735 local business and industry developments not subject to processing agreements decided during the first two quarters of 2021/22, 152 (26%) more than the same period in the previous year. The average decision time was 11.6 weeks, slightly slower than the 11.1 weeks for the for the first quarters of 2020/21.

The percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 53.9%, down just over 8 percentage points from 62.1% for the corresponding six month period in the previous year.

In addition a number of applications were concluded that were subject to processing agreements, these are not included in average time calculations. In quarter one there were 47 local business and industry applications with processing agreements, 74.5% of these met agreed timescales set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 50, 74.0% meeting agreed timescales.

Chart 11: Local Business and Industry Developments

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show an increase in the number of applications decided in quarters one and two compared to the previous year with levels similar to those prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts but reduced in the last quarter.

Chart 12: Local Business and Industry Developments: Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

2.6. Local Other Developments

Other developments are developments not falling wholly within any other single class. They include but are not limited to retail, leisure, entertainment, education, healthcare, community facilities, transport interchanges, water and drainage developments. This class also covers mixed use projects.

Local other developments are those where the gross floor space of any building, structure or erection as a result of such development is less than 5,000 square metres and the area of the site is less than 2 hectares.

There were 2,628 local other developments not subject to processing agreements decided during the first quarters of 2021/22, 549 (26%) more than in the same period in the previous year. The average decision time was 11.5 weeks, just under a week slower than the 10.7 weeks for the first two quarters of 2021/22. The percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 56.1% down from 60.5% for the same period last year.

A number of applications subject to processing agreements were also determined.These are not included in average decision time calculations. In quarter one there were 188 local other developments applications with processing agreements, 68.6% of these met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two there were 228, 75.4% meeting agreed timescales.

Chart 13: Local Other Developments

Combined line and bar chart showing quarterly trends since 2017/18.
Trends show the number of applications decided continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 but shows a marked increase since quarters one and two last year. Average decision times continue to be higher than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 but with the slowest time in 2021/22 quarter two.

Chart 14: Local Other Developments: Percentage of decisions within two months

Line chart showing quarterly trend since 2017/18.
Trends show the percentage of applications decided within two months continues to be lower than for quarters prior to the start of Covid-19 impacts in 2020/21 with the lowest percentage in 2021/22 quarter two.

Contact

Email: planstats@gov.scot

Back to top