Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Planning Performance Framework Report 2019-20

Consider Planning Performance Framework Feedback 2019-20 from the Scottish Government (verbal report).



3.1       The Planning and Development Standards Manager gave a verbal summary on the feedback received from Scottish Government to the Annual Planning Framework which had been previously circulated to Members of the Committee.  This was the ninth Planning Performance Framework (PPF) prepared by Scottish Borders Council for its Planning Service and covered the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.  The PPF system was established in 2012 and was intended to provide a rounded approach to assessing the progress and improvement of planning service delivery across Scotland. It focussed on addressing some of the Scottish Government’s key performance markers and made reference to key statistics, using examples to illustrate good practice being used locally.   The format and headings of the report followed a template agreed by Scottish Government and highlighted both performance and good practice to demonstrate service direction, targets and outcomes in the context of both national indicators and local corporate initiatives.  It was highlighted that it was not simply about measuring speed of decision-making, although that was undoubtedly a factor, it was also a reflection and review of service improvements and driving up the quality of development generally. 


3.2     The report submitted to Scottish Government set out the work and activities of the wider Planning, Housing & Related Services division in delivering the Council’s corporate priorities. It also highlighted continuing improvement in performance in the challenging budgetary environment and adapting the service to meet the needs of the Borders. The period of the review was just coming to an end as the pandemic began, so while there was a slight overlap, the full effect of the pandemic upon service delivery would be more fully reported in the next PPF.  The Performance Markers RAG (Red/Amber/Green) report issued by Scottish Government in respect of the previous year’s PPF awarded 13 Green, 1 Amber and 1 Red RAG ratings, an increase of one Green marker rating from the previous year, and it was reported that there had been further improvement since that last review.  The elimination of that last red reflected the continuation of the positive improvement journey the Planning Service had been on in recent years.  The one Red marker received in 2019 related to the time taken to process applications that had an accompanying legal agreement, which was slower than the previous year and the Scottish average. The service, in partnership with legal service, had made a concerted effort to reduce the timescales and had managed the processing of these critical contributions to essential infrastructure using planning processing agreements. As a result, that marker had now moved from red to green.


3.3       The table at the end of the letter circulated indicated the position for each of the review periods since the system began in 2013 and despite some challenging circumstances, had resulted in the best outcome since the system was introduced, with greens virtually across the board.  Mr Hayward acknowledged the continued hard work and commitment of staff to the delivery of not just a high quality service but also of high quality outcomes.







Scottish Borders Council

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