The planners who like to say ‘yes’

Almost 96% of planning applications submitted to Argyll and Bute Council in the last year were approved.

The figure was revealed in the council’s Planning Performance Framework (PPF), which will now be submitted to the Scottish Government.

The document requires councils to reveal levels of performance, customer feedback, achievements, and ‘key challenges’.

A statement by the Lochgilphead-based authority said the high proportion of successful applications ‘indicated its ‘commitment to making development happen’.

Sandy Taylor, chair of the planning, protective services and licensing committee, said: “The publication of this PPF report shows how the service has met the challenges set out by the Scottish Government in promoting sustainable economic growth and delivering an improving, quality planning service in these challenging economic times.

“The PPF document will be critically important in convincing the Scottish Government of the need for the sustainable funding of the planning service in future years, in support of the Council’s commitment to the continuous improvement in the quality of this service.”

The report, available on the council’s website, shows there is housing supply identified for the next five years, equating to 4,130 homes.

Average times for decisions to be made are 94.3 weeks for major developments, 16.8 weeks for non-householder local developments and 9.1 weeks for householder developments.

Some 70% of local developments and 93% of householder developments were determined within the statutory timescale, an improvement from the previous year; the long period for major plans is blamed on a ‘cleansing’ of ‘old/relic applications’.

Across all of Scotland, the approval rate for applications from October to December 2011 was 91.6%.

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