Mixed results for housing development decisions
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.
In quarter one (April to June) of 2015/16 there were 1,498 decisions made on local housing developments. The overall average decision time of 13.6 weeks was the quickest average decision time over the past thirteen quarters.
Conversely for the 20 decisions made on major housing developments the average decision time of 64.4 weeks was the slowest yet. Four of the 20 applications had a timescale of over two years. Three quarters of major housing applications were decided in a time quicker than the average of 64.4 weeks.
In addition there were a further nine major housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements. Of these nine applications, five met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority. There were also a further seven local housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements. Of these seven applications, three met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority.
The overall average decision time for Local Developments was the quickest over the past thirteen quarters.
- For the first quarter from April to June 2015 the overall average decision time for local developments was 9.5 weeks, quicker by over 4 days compared to the previous quarter (10.2 weeks), and one week quicker when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.5 weeks). This is the quickest average decision time since quarter one of 2012/13.
- For quarter one in 2015/16 the percentage of local development decisions made in less than two months was 76.0%, four per cent higher than 72.0% in the previous quarter. Equivalent quarter one figures for previous years were 71.7% in 2014/15, 74.2 % in 2013/14 and 70.6% in 2012/13.
The average decision time for local housing developments was also at its quickest since quarter 1 of 2012/13.
- There were 1,498 decisions made on local housing developments decided during quarter one of 2015/16. The average decision time for these local housing developments was 13.6 weeks, more than six days quicker than the previous quarter (14.5 weeks) and also the quickest average decision time since quarter 1 of 2012/13.
The overall decision time for Major Developments was six and a half weeks quicker than the previous quarter but over 5 weeks slower than the equivalent quarter in the previous year.
- There were a total of 69 major applications decided during the first quarter of 2015/16 and the average decision time was 34.2 weeks, quicker by 6 and a half weeks compared to the previous quarter (40.7 weeks) but slower than the equivalent quarters in 2014/15 (28.9 weeks) and 2013/14 (32.8 weeks).
The average decision time for major housing developments was at its slowest since quarter 1 of 2012/13.
- There were 20 decisions made on major housing developments decided during quarter one of 2015/16. The average decision time for these major housing developments was 64.4 weeks, almost 21 weeks slower than the previous quarter (43.8 weeks) and also the slowest average decision time since quarter 1 of 2012/13. This average has been skewed by a few lengthy applications and as a consequence three quarters of major housing applications were decided in a time quicker than the average of 64.4 weeks. The median decision time for major housing applications is 37.6 weeks. In addition, there were nine major housing applications (not included in average time calculations) that were subject to processing agreements with five of these meeting agreed timescales.
These figures exclude pre 3rd August 2009 cases.
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.
The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 93.7% in the period April to June 2015, similar the previous quarter (93.5%) but down from the equivalent quarter one in 2014/15 (94.6%).
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 pre 3rd August 2009 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 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.
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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: