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17/12/14 11:03

More and faster decisions for local housing developments

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There were 1,528 decisions made on local housing developments during July to September of 2014/15, the highest quarterly figure over the past two and a half years. The average decision time for these local housing developments was 14.3 weeks, over one week quicker than the previous quarter (15.4 weeks) and also the quickest average decision time over the past two and a half years.

Local Housing Developments

Conversely, for the smaller number of major housing developments, there was a fall of 13 decisions, down to a total of 21 for July to September of 2014/15. The average decision time for these 21 applications was 41.2 weeks, slower by almost 6 weeks from the previous quarter (35.3 weeks) but an improvement of over a week from quarter two in 2013/14 (42.8 weeks).

Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. This includes a quarterly performance publication to present commentary, tables and charts on the high level trends, as well as quarterly 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 7,977 local developments decided in quarter two of 2014/15, the highest quarterly figure over the past two and a half years. The average decision time for these 7,977 local developments was 10.1 weeks, the same as the previous quarter. The average decision time for these two most recent quarters (10.1 weeks) is the quickest average time figure over the past two and a half years. There is an improvement of almost four days when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.7 weeks) and when compared to the same quarter in 2012/13 (11.2 weeks) the improvement is over one week.

Local Developments

For quarter two of 2014/15 the percentage of decisions made in less than two months for local developments increased to 72.3% from 71.7% in the previous quarter. Equivalent quarter two figures for previous years were 72.2% in 2013/14 and 68.8% in 2012/13.

A further 27 local developments decided in the second quarter of 2014/15 had processing agreements in place, with 70.4% of these meeting agreed timescales. Developments with processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

There were 3,842 local householder applications decided during quarter two of 2014/15, down over 1% on the previous quarter (3,895). The average decision time for a householder application was 7.6 weeks, similar to the previous quarter (7.5 weeks), almost 2 days quicker than the corresponding quarter in 2013/14 (7.9 weeks), and more than 3 days quicker than quarter two in 2012/13 (8.0 weeks).

The number of local housing applications decided increased by 126 applications (9%) to 1,528 compared with the previous quarter. The average decision time for these applications was 14.3 weeks, the quickest average decision time over the past two and a half years and over a week quicker than the previous quarter and the equivalent quarter in 2013/14. Compared to the equivalent quarter of 2012/13 (16.9 weeks) the average decision time is more than two and a half weeks quicker.

There were 626 local business and industry applications decided during quarter two of 2014/15, up by 2% on the previous quarter (611). The average decision time for a local business and industry application was 11.3 weeks, a week slower than the previous quarter (10.3 weeks), also more than 4 days slower than the equivalent quarter two figures in 2013/14 (10.7 weeks). However there is an improvement of one week compared to quarter two in 2012/13 (12.3 weeks).

There were 61 major developments decided in July to September (quarter two) of 2014/15, 25 (29%) fewer applications than the 86 decisions in the previous quarter, and 10 (14%) fewer applications that the 71 decisions in the equivalent quarter of 2013/14. The average decision time for these 61 major developments was 33.5 weeks, over four and half weeks slower than the previous quarter (28.9 weeks), but an improvement of almost four days when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (34.1 weeks) and an improvement of almost 12 days when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2012/13 (35.2 weeks).

Major Developments

A further 7 major developments that were decided in the second quarter of 2014/15 had processing agreements in place, with 100% of these meeting agreed timescales. Developments with processing agreements are not included in average time calculations.

The number of major housing applications decided decreased by 13 applications (38%) to 21 in quarter two of 2014/15. The average decision time for these applications was 41.2 weeks, slower by almost 6 weeks from the previous quarter (35.3 weeks) but an improvement of over a week from quarter two in 2013/14 (42.8 weeks). For quarter two in 2012/13 the average decision time was 34.8 weeks. Much of the increase in decision time for the most recent quarter was due to three applications that had a decision time of over two years.

The six major business and industry developments in quarter two of 2014/15 had an average decision time of 17.9 weeks, more than eleven and a half weeks quicker than the 10 developments in the previous quarter (29.4 weeks). Corresponding quarter two figures for previous years were 22.5 weeks in 2013/14 and 36.1 weeks in 2012/13.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.2% in the period July to September 2014, a slight decrease from the previous quarter (94.4%) but the same as the equivalent quarter two in 2013/14 (94.2%).

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