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Local housing decision times down in Scotland – stats

Words: Laura Edgar
Statistics / iStock-507213599

The average decision time for local housing developments in Scotland decreased by just over a week in Q3 of 2017 when compared with the previous quarter, according to statistics released by the Scottish Government's chief statistician.

In total, there were 1,211 decisions made on local housing applications during the third quarter of 2017/18 (October to December 2017). The average time for deciding these applications was 11.7 weeks, compared with 12.8 weeks for Q2.

There were 6,544 decisions made locally overall. The average decision time was 9.1 weeks, slightly slower than the nine weeks recorded for the previous quarter, but quicker than the corresponding quarter a year earlier, which recorded an average time of 9.5 weeks.

In Q3, 71.1 per cent of local development decisions were made in less than two months, down from 74.3 per cent in quarter 2 and 73.1 per cent in Q2 in 2016/17.

According to the statistics, there were 63 major applications, for which the average decision time was 27.7 weeks. This is five weeks quicker that the previous quarter, which averaged 33 weeks, and quicker than the 33.9 weeks recorded for the same quarter in 2016/17. Nine decisions in Q3 took longer than a year to be made, while 41 took less time than the average.

In the third quarter 2017/18, 31 decisions were made on major housing developments. The average decision time was 33.8 weeks, compared with the 36.4 weeks recorded for Q2, and the 39.1 weeks for the same period in 2016.17.

For all applications, the rate of approvals was 93.7 per cent for Q3, compared with 94.2 per cent the previous year.

Craig McLaren, director at RTPI Scotland told The Planner the institute welcomes the fact that the planning decision times for major housing developments are five weeks quicker than last year.

“This result does bear out however what we often hear anecdotally, that variations in statistics on major applications in particular can occur because of the complexities of negotiations on certain applications. This highlights the need for performance assessment that takes into account more than just the speed of processing planning applications.”

The statistic report can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Image credit | iStock