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Planning Application Decision Times Published

29th July 2018

Local Development decisions were quicker in 2017/18. The average decision time for Local Developments (26,220 applications) in 2017/18 was 9.0 weeks, over one day quicker than the average of 9.2 weeks in the previous year and the quickest annual figure since the start of this data collection in 2012/13. Local housing applications were decided in an average of 12.2 weeks, three and a half days quicker than the previous year (12.7 weeks).

Major Development decisions were quicker in 2017/18. The average decision time for Major Developments (238 applications) in 2017/18 was 33.6 weeks, almost three weeks quicker than the average of 36.4 weeks in the previous year. Major housing applications were decided in an average of 38.2 weeks, more than five weeks quicker than the previous year (43.4 weeks) and the quickest annual figure since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

For the year 2017/18 the overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 93.7%. The delegation rate was 95.7%, the highest rate over the past eight years.

Key Findings for the year 2017/18 (figures exclude pre-3rd August 2009 legacy cases and applications subject to processing agreements)

Reduction in number of planning applications decided in 2017/18 compared with previous five years.

The number of Local Development decisions in 2017/18 totalled 26,220, a decrease of 3% (766 applications) from the previous year. This drop was largely due to fewer decisions for householder applications (539 fewer).

The number of Major Development decisions in 2017/18 totalled 238, a decrease of 3% (8 applications) from 2016/17. There were decreases in other developments, business and industry and electricity generation while decided applications for housing, minerals and waste management increased.

In contrast, the number of applications that were subject to processing agreements increased by 40% from 1,503 in 2016/17 to 2,106 in 2017/18. There were 1,671 local applications (6% of all local applications) and 93 major applications (28% of all major applications) that were subject to processing agreements in 2017/18.

The overall average decision time for Local Developments is the quickest annual figure since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Local Development decisions were quicker by an average of just over a day compared with 2016/17 (9.0 weeks compared with 9.2 weeks in 2016/17) and were the quickest since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Improvements were seen in average decision times for housing, electricity generation, other developments and AMSCs. In particular, the average decision time for electricity generation was 13.9 weeks for 2017/18, more than 5 weeks quicker than the previous year (19.2 weeks).

A total of 19 out of 34 planning authorities have reported improvements in their average decision times for Local Developments in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17.

Decrease in average decision time for major developments compared to previous year.

Major Development decisions were quicker by an average of almost 3 weeks compared with 2016/17 (33.6 weeks compared with 36.4 weeks in 2016/17).

Decisions were quicker for applications for business and industry (7.7 weeks quicker), minerals (6.1 weeks quicker), housing (5.2 weeks quicker) and waste management (4.6 weeks quicker).

A total of 17 out of 26 planning authorities with major application decisions in both 2017/18 and 2016/17 have reported improvements in their average decision times for Major Developments since the previous year.

Average figures based on a relatively small number of Major Development applications can be skewed by a few lengthy decisions. Just over 66% of Major applications in 2017/18 were decided in a time quicker than the average of 33.6 weeks.The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Quarterly trends are reported in the full statistical publication.

See it at https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Planning/Publications/

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