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01/10/14 09:30

Improvement in planning decision times

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The average decision time for a major development in quarter 1 of 2014/15 was 28.9 weeks, which is the quickest average decision time since average time reporting started in 2012.

The average decision time for a local development in quarter 1 of 2014/15 was 10.1 weeks, again the quickest average decision time since average time reporting started.

Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. This includes a new format quarterly performance publication to present trend information in a more user friendly way, as well as the standard quarterly Excel web tables that provide a range of information on average decision times for planning applications.

The average decision time for the 86 major developments decided in the first quarter from April to June 2014 was 28.9 weeks, down by more than 6 weeks from the previous quarter (35.2 weeks) and also down by almost 4 weeks on the same quarter in the previous year (32.8 weeks). When compared to the first quarter in 2012/13 (38.5 weeks), the improvement is almost 10 weeks.

Major Developments Graph

The average decision time for the 7,855 local developments decided in the first quarter 2014/15 was 10.1 weeks, down by over 2 days from the previous quarter (10.5 weeks). There is a similar improvement compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.5 weeks) and when compared to the first quarter in 2012/13 (11.2 weeks) the improvement is over 1 week.

Local Developments Graph

For quarter 1, 2014/15 the percentage of decisions made in less than two months for local developments increased to 71.7% from 70.4% in the previous quarter. Equivalent quarter 1 figures for previous years were 74.2% in 2013/14 and 70.6% in 2012/13.

There were 3,895 local householder applications decided during quarter one of 2014/15, up 21% on the previous quarter (3,217). The average decision time for a householder application was 7.5 weeks, similar to the previous quarter (7.7 weeks) and the corresponding quarter in 2013/14 (7.6 weeks), but more than 2 days quicker than quarter 1 in 2012/13 (7.9 weeks).

The number of local housing applications decided decreased by 7 applications (0.5%) to 1,402 compared with the previous quarter. The average decision time for these applications was 15.4 weeks, higher than the previous quarter (15.0 weeks) but similar to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (15.3 weeks). Compared to the first quarter of 2012/13 (18.3 weeks) the average decision time is almost 3 weeks quicker.

There were 611 local business and industry applications decided during quarter one of 2014/15, up by 6% on the previous quarter (579). The average decision time for a local business and industry application was 10.3 weeks, an improvement from the previous quarter (11.5 weeks) and the equivalent quarter 1 figures in 2013/14 (11.1 weeks) and 2012/13 (10.8 weeks).

The number of major housing applications decided decreased by 2 applications (6%) to 34 in quarter 1 of 2014/15. The average decision time for these applications was 35.3 weeks, the same as the previous quarter but an improvement from comparable quarters in 2013/14 (44.4 weeks) and 2012/13 (46.6 weeks).

The 10 major business and industry developments in quarter 1 of 2014/15 had an average decision time of 29.4 weeks, higher than the 5 developments in the previous quarter (16.0 weeks). Corresponding quarter 1 figures for previous years were 37.4 weeks in 2013/14 and 15.5 weeks in 2012/13.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.4% in the period April to June 2014, an increase from the previous quarter (93.9%) but similar to the comparable quarter in 2013/14 (94.3%).

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

Background

The figures presented in this Statistical News Release exclude a small number of pre-3rd August 2009 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 quarterly trend information on average decision times by development types 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 planstats@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