However, despite these findings the report also paints an optimistic picture as 44 major applications were successfully granted in the last financial year across Glasgow and Edinburgh and planning professionals in both the public and private sector highlight the successes of the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy at driving increased development activity.
Local Planning Authority professionals appeared ‘buoyed’ that the potential housing crisis can be tackled effectively with 37% stating that the Government’s approach to planning is making housing delivery better. However, applicants are not convinced with nearly half believing it’s getting worse,
“Some of the causes of lengthy decisions are due to the complex nature of applications, especially in Edinburgh and Glasgow. However, there are also other factors at play. At a time of reducing public sector financing there is no doubt that planning authorities are becoming more stretched” notes Steve McGavin, planning and development director, GL Hearn.
“The industry must therefore look to itself for the answers to solve the challenges of modern-day planning and development. We must all take responsibility for driving progress and maximising the productivity of the resources at our disposal.
“Some measures which may speed up decision making include changing the requirements for major development decisions by Planning Committee to enable delegated decisions where applications aren’t called in by Members. An allocation of a site in a Local Development Plan for a particular land use could also give in-principle approval of that use.”