Planning performance stats reveal decision time delays

PLANNING decisions involving so-called ‘major developments’ took broadly longer to be made during the first half of the financial year, 2020/21, compared to the same six-month period during the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being cited for the average decision time for 80 ‘major developments’ being 55 weeks, 16 weeks slower than the 39 weeks for the same, April – September period in 2020/21.

Says the Scottish Government’s chief statistician, there were 126 decisions on ‘major developments’ during the first two quarters of 2021/22.

A ‘major development’ is defined as “applications for 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, and other types of major developments”.

Says a Scottish Government announcement, here: “The average decision time of 64 weeks for quarter one has been strongly influenced by a small number of lengthy decision times, including four of longer than three years. Three taking longer than five years (5.7, 6.1 and 6.9 years).

“Excluding the three applications that took over five years gives an average decision time for the remaining 36 in quarter one of 42.2 weeks, almost 22 weeks quicker.

“In quarter one, there were 30 major development applications with processing agreements, 63.3 per cent (19) met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. In quarter two, there were 16, 56.3 per cent (nine) meeting the agreed timescales.”

Pictured: Haymarket, Edinburgh, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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