Scotland speeds up application rulings

Scotland's new planning performance statistics have received a mixed response from the sector.

Figures show that 67.1 per cent of local applications were decided within two months in the period from April to June, a rise from 62.7 per cent between August 2009 and March this year.

RTPI Scotland described the figures as encouraging. Scottish planning policy officer Charles Strang pointed out that the proportion of applications for large-scale business developments determined within four months increased from 38 to 47.4 per cent.

"The speed of determining major applications improved by five per cent between the two periods of measurement, which is encouraging," Strang said.

"Speed of determination is only one aspect of measuring planning performance.

Quality is also a factor and it is a little churlish of the CBI not to welcome these improvements," he added.

However, CBI Scotland declared that it is disappointed with the figures. "Our members report that the cycle of frustration, uncertainty and delay in the system has yet to be broken," maintained assistant director David Lonsdale.

Planning performance statistics started to be collected quarterly in April when changes were implemented to modernise the system. Previously, figures were collected annually. In the three-month period from April to June, a total of 11,217 applications were decided by Scottish planning authorities.

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