Decision times for local planning applications in Scotland, but not those for major developments, improved in the first quarter of 2017-18, according to statistics on quarterly planning performance released today by the Chief Statistician.
Average decision time for all local applications (8.8 weeks for 6,967 applications) has decreased for the second consecutive quarter and is the quickest average time for any quarter since the start of this data collection in 2012-13. In addition, there were 379 local developments decided that had processing agreements in place, with 309 (82%) of these meeting agreed timescales.
The overall average decision time for major developments (39.8 weeks for 55 applications), however, was over seven weeks slower than the previous quarter, though only slower by four days than quarter 1 in 2016-17. Five applications that each took longer than two years affected the average: more than 72% of applications were decided in a time less than the average. In addition, there were 26 major applications decided that were subject to processing agreements, with 18 (69%) of these meeting agreed timescales.
For local housing developments, average decision time was the quickest for any quarter since the start of this data collection in 2012-13. at 12.2 weeks over the 1,218 decisions made, quicker by more than four days compared to the previous quarter. A further 156 local housing applications were subject to processing agreements, with 128 (82%) of these meeting agreed timescales. Decisions on major housing developments also took less time, at an average for 30 decisions of 44.2 weeks, quicker by more than a week compared to the previous quarter (45.6 weeks) and by more than four weeks than the quarter 1 figure for 2016-17. Five out of nine major housing applications that were subject to processing agreements met the agreed timescales.
The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.1%, comparable with previous quarters.