Planning performance statistics: Uses of the information

The planning performance statistics provide information on the number of planning applications received, types of decision and the time taken, local review bodies, and enforcement activity.

This document is part of a collection

Introduction and Context

This document accompanies the Planning Performance Statistics publications.  It provides information on how the statistics are used. 


Set out below is a list of how the statistics are used.

Scottish Government Planning and Architecture Division

It is important that planning applications are handled and determined efficiently to support certainty and confidence in the planning system. The planning application statistics provide information on the number of planning applications determined by planning authorities (includes: types of application; the average time taken to determine applications; number of applications approved; and enforcement activity) and for Local Review Bodies and Scottish Ministers. The statutory 2 month target for deciding local applications are also reported.

The key objective of the planning statistics is to allow Scottish Government and planning authorities to monitor the performance of planning system with regards to the volume of applications submitted and timeliness of deciding those applications.

These statistics form part of the wider planning performance framework (Go to Planning Performance Framework – Heads Of Planning Scotland web page). Planning application statistics are not the sole indicator of how the planning system or authorities are performing. Planning applications can be complex and require specialist input, therefore timescales can be affected by a number of factors and it is important to note that delays are not just the responsibility of the authority.  Authorities are also encouraged to work with applicants in order to make applications acceptable in planning terms rather than just refusing them at the outset, which can sometimes extend determination timescales.

Everyone involved in planning has a role to play in the effective delivery of the planning service. The Planning Performance Framework offers a balanced measurement of the overall quality of each planning service and is used to promote continuous improvement. The Framework captures key elements of a high-performing planning service and comprises a mix of qualitative and quantitative performance measures which show the variety of work that takes place in authorities, their cross-cutting role and the places that are created through planning and decision-making. 

Specific data on mineral applications are used to inform discussion with mineral operators or respond to mineral-related queries.

Scottish Government Digital Planning

Planning application data is used to inform decision-making of the current eDevelopment service.

Planning Authorities

Planning Authorities use the statistics in Planning Performance Framework reports which they submit to Scottish Government Planning and Architecture Division (as detailed above.   Authorities can also use the statistics to benchmark their performance against the Scotland totals and other authorities.

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