Mixed results for annual planning performance
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.
The average decision time for a local development in 2014/15 was 10.1 weeks, 3 days quicker than the average of 10.6 weeks in the previous year.
The average decision time for a major development in 2014/15 was 36.6 weeks, 2 weeks slower than the average of 34.6 weeks in the previous year.
Statistics on annual and quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
Local developments include applications for household extensions and loft conversions etc, smaller housing and retail developments, as well as various other types of local developments.
Major developments include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, and other types of major developments.
Small reduction in planning applications processed in 2014/15 compared with 2013/14.
The number of Local Development decisions in 2014/15 totalled 29,738, a decrease of 1% (288 applications) from the previous year. This drop has been largely due to fewer electricity, business & industry and ‘other local’ applications.
The number of Major Development decisions in 2014/15 totalled 298, a drop of 4% (12 applications) from 2013/14. This decrease has been mostly due to fewer electricity generation applications.
The overall average decision time for Local Developments has improved compared to 2013/14.
Local development decisions have been quicker by an average of 3 days per application compared with 2013/14 (10.1 weeks in 2014/15 compared with 10.6 weeks in 2013/14). Improvements have been seen across all categories of local developments, except for minerals and fish farming developments. Local housing developments have seen average times improve by 5 days to 14.5 weeks. A total of 22 out of 34 planning authorities have reported year-on-year improvements in their Local Development average decision times.
The overall average decision time for Major Developments has slowed compared to 2013/14.
Major development decisions have been slower by an average of 2 weeks per application compared with 2013/14 (36.6 weeks in 2014/15 compared with 34.6 weeks in 2013/14). This has been driven by increases in average decision times for business & industry, minerals and ‘other’ developments. In contrast, Major housing developments have seen average times improve by 4 days to 41.3 weeks. There have also been improvements for electricity generation and waste management developments.
Average figures based on a relatively small number of Major Development applications can be skewed by a few lengthy decisions. More than 70% of Major Applications in 2014/15 were decided in a time quicker than the average of 36.6 weeks.
Key Findings for Quarter 4 of 2014/15:
The overall average decision time for Local Developments remained stable in quarter 4 of 2014/15 when compared with the previous quarter, and is quicker than equivalent quarters in previous years.
For quarter 4 of 2014/15, the average decision time for Local Developments was 10.1 weeks. This is similar to the previous quarter (10.2 weeks), an improvement of over 2 days when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.5 weeks), and an improvement of over 12 days when compared to quarter 4 of 2012/13 (11.9 weeks).
The overall average decision time for Major Developments improved in quarter 4 of 2014/15 when compared with the previous quarter, but was slower than the equivalent quarter in the previous year.
For quarter 4 of 2014/15, the average decision time for Major Developments was 40.7 weeks. This is almost 4 weeks quicker than the previous quarter (44.5 weeks), but is slower than the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (35.2 weeks) and the equivalent quarter in 2012/13 (36.6 weeks).
These figures exclude pre 3rd August 2009 legacy cases.
The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 93.9% for the year 2014/15. This is similar to the previous year (94.1%), which was 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.
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:
The publication contains a range of annual and quarterly trend information on average decision times by development types across 2012/13 , 2013/14 and 2014/15, 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.
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More information on the Planning Performance Framework is available at:
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: