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24/07/14 09:30

Improvement in planning decision times

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The average decision time for a local development in 2013/14 was 10.6 weeks, almost 6 days quicker than for the previous year.

The average decision time for a major development was 34.6 weeks, more than 12 days quicker than for the previous year.

Statistics on annual and quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. This includes a new format annual performance publication to present information in a more user friendly way, as well as the standard Excel web tables that provide a range of information on average decision times for planning applications decided for the year 2013/14 as well as for the latest quarter (January to March 2014).

For the year 2013/14, the average decision time for a local development planning application was 10.6 weeks, a decrease from 11.4 weeks in the previous year. For the fourth quarter from January to March 2014 the average decision time was 10.5 weeks, down from the previous quarter (10.7 weeks) and also down by 10 days on the same quarter in the previous year (11.9 weeks).

Number of decisions on local developments

For the year 2013/14, the percentage of local development decisions made in under two months increased to 72.7%, up on the previous year (69.4%). For quarter 4 the percentage of local development decisions made in under two months decreased to 70.4% from 73.9% in the previous quarter but was up on the equivalent quarter in 2012/13 (68.5%).

The average decision time for a major development for the year 2013/14 was 34.6 weeks, down from the previous year (36.3 weeks). For quarter 4 the average decision time was 35.2 weeks down from the previous quarter (36.2 weeks) and also down by 9 days on the same quarter in the previous year (36.6 weeks).

Number of decisions on major developments

There were 13,904 local householder applications decided during 2013/14, up 3.4% on the previous year (13,446). The average decision time for a householder application was 7.7 weeks, an improvement of 2 days from 8.0 weeks in 2012/13.

The number of local housing applications decided increased by 3.6% to 5,762 in 2013/14, (compared with 5,563 in the previous year). The average decision time for these applications was 15.2 weeks, an improvement of 2 weeks from 17.2 weeks in 2012/13.

There were 2,370 local business and industry applications decided during 2013/14, down 6.4% on the previous year (2,531). The average decision time for a local business and industry application was 11.1 weeks, an improvement of 5 days from 11.8 weeks in 2012/13.

The number of major housing applications decided increased by over 50%, from 76 in 2012/13 to 116 in 2013/14. The average decision time for these applications in 2013/14 was 42.0 weeks, over 2 weeks longer than the previous year (40.1 weeks).

There were 105 ‘other’ major development applications (including retail, tourism and hospitals etc.) decided during 2013/14, up almost 60% on the previous year (66). The average decision time for these applications was 25.9 weeks, over 8 weeks shorter than the average of 34.3 weeks in 2012/13.

The number of major business and industry applications decided dropped by 9%, from 45 in 2012/13 to 41 in 2013/14. The average decision time for these applications in 2013/14 was 26.6 weeks, almost 4 weeks longer than the previous year (22.8 weeks).

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.1% for the year 2013/14. This is the highest approval rate since 2010/11 when the rate was 92.9%

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The figures presented in this Statistical News Release exclude legacy cases and applications subject to separate processing agreements. Also, some applications exclude time periods in which particular delays have been outwith the control of planning authorities. Further information on these types of applications is available in the full statistical publication.

The full statistical publication along with Excel web tables can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Planning/Publications

The publication contains a range of annual and quarterly trend information on average decision times by development types across 2012/13 and 2013/14, longer term annual trends for local developments decided within two months, and information on delegation and approval rates, appeals and local reviews, and enforcement activity.

It is based on quarterly data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework, which came into effect from April 2012.

We would be grateful for your views on the format and content of this publication, or if you have any suggestions for improvements that we could build into future versions. Please provide us with feedback by emailing us at Planning_Stats@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

More information on the Planning Performance Framework is available at:

http:/www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/modernising/cc/ImprovementPlans

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About