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01/04/15 09:30

Mixed trends for housing development decisions

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

In quarter three (October to December) of 2014/15 there were 1,539 decisions made on local housing developments. The overall average decision time of 13.9 weeks was the quickest average decision time over the past eleven quarters.

Conversely for the 20 decisions made on major housing developments the average decision time of 49.7 weeks was the slowest yet. Four of the 20 applications had a timescale of over two years.

In addition there were a further nine major housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements. Of these nine applications, eight met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority. There were also a further 18 local housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements. Of these 18 applications, seven met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority.

Mixed trends for housing development decisions 1

Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. This includes a quarterly publication to present commentary, tables and charts on the high level trends, as well as Excel web tables that provide a range of further detailed information on average decision times for planning applications.

Main Findings are as follows:

There were 7,329 local developments decided in quarter three of 2014/15. The average decision time for these 7,329 local developments was 10.2 weeks, similar to the previous quarter (10.1 weeks). There is an improvement of half a week when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.7 weeks) and when compared to the same quarter in 2012/13 (11.5 weeks) the improvement is over one week.

Mixed trends for housing development decisions 2

For quarter three of 2014/15 the percentage of decisions made in less than two months for local developments decreased to 70.3% from 72.3% in the previous quarter. Equivalent quarter two figures for previous years were 73.9% in 2013/14 and 69.5% in 2012/13.

A further 46 local developments decided in the second quarter of 2014/15 had processing agreements in place, with 67.4% of these meeting agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. Developments with processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

There were 3,313 householder applications decided during the third quarter of 2014/15, with an overall average decision time of 7.6 weeks, similar to the previous quarter (7.6 weeks), slower than the corresponding quarter in 2013/14 (7.4 weeks), but more than 2 days quicker than quarter three in 2012/13 (8.0 weeks).

The number of local housing applications decided increased by eleven applications to 1,539 compared with the previous quarter (1,528). The average decision time for these applications was 13.9 weeks, the quickest average decision time over the past eleven quarters and almost a week quicker the equivalent quarter in 2013/14. Compared to the equivalent quarter of 2012/13 (16.0 weeks) the average decision time is more than two weeks quicker.

There were 556 local business and industry applications decided during quarter three of 2014/15, down by 11% on the previous quarter (626). The average decision time for a local business and industry application was 10.5 weeks, more than five days faster than both the previous quarter (11.3 weeks) and the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (11.3 weeks).

There were 75 major developments decided in October to December (quarter three) of 2014/15, 14 (23%) more applications than the 61 decisions in the previous quarter, but six (7%) fewer applications that the 81 decisions in the equivalent quarter of 2013/14. The average decision time for these 75 major developments was 44.5 weeks, almost 12 weeks slower than the previous quarter (32.6 weeks), and over eight weeks slower than the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (36.2 weeks). It should be noted that the average time figure of 44.5 weeks has been skewed by ten lengthy applications that had a decision time of over two years. Over 60% of the 75 major development applications were decided within 6 months (26 weeks).

Mixed trends for housing development decisions 3

A further 25 major developments that were decided in the third quarter of 2014/15 had processing agreements in place, with 76% of these meeting agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. Developments with processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

There were 20 decisions made on major housing developments during quarter three (October to December) of 2014/15, the lowest figure over the last seven quarters. The average decision time for these 20 applications was 49.7 weeks, over 11 weeks slower than the previous quarter (38.5 weeks) and over three weeks slower than the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (46.4 weeks). Four of the 20 applications had a timescale of over two years.

The 16 major business and industry developments in quarter three of 2014/15 had an average decision time of 44.6 weeks, more than 26 and a half weeks slower than the six developments in the previous quarter (17.9 weeks). Corresponding quarter three figures for previous years were 21.9 weeks in 2013/14 and 26.2 weeks in 2012/13.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 93.1% in the period October to December 2014, a decrease both from the previous quarter (94.2%) and the equivalent quarter two in 2013/14 (94.0%).

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 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