Planning & Environment

Labour MSP Neil Bibby asked the Scottish Parliament last week how many planning appeals in the (a) energy, (b) retail, (c) commercial property, (d) environmental waste management and (e) hotel, leisure and recreation sectors Ministers had considered since February 2013 and with what outcome. In response, Derek Mackay outlined that in the period 14 February 2013 to 13 March 2014:

  • of 103 energy appeals determined, 41 were consented
  • of 11 retail appeals determined, 8 were consented
  • of 20 commercial property appeals determined, 11 were consented
  • of 19 hotel, leisure and recreation sector appeals determined, 10 were consented and
  • of 2 environmental waste management appeals determined, 1 was consented

An observant noted that in all areas except energy, the level of successful appeals is over 50 per cent. They questioned whether that was because those making appeals from the energy sector are making a poor job of it, or whether it was because the SNP Government is not actually as driven about energy as they would have us believe. Answers on postcard, they prompted. The same question was asked by Neil Bibby in 2011. In response, Derek Mackay provided that in the period 1 May 2011 to 13 February 2013 (you’ll note a longer period):

  • of 92 energy appeals determined, 27 were consented
  • of 19 retail appeals determined, 11 were consented
  • of 17 commercial property appeals determined, 12 were consented
  • of 13 hotel, leisure and recreation sector appeals determined, 6 were consented and
  • of 5 environmental waste management appeals determined, 3 was consented

The 50 per cent success rate appears to be just about consistent with the more recent figures. The figures are arguably slightly misleading though, because they cover different periods of time. Notably, the number and success rate for energy appeals has increased markedly considering the periods that the figures cover – a 29 per cent rate in the period May 2011 to February 2013 (21.5 months) compared with a 40 per cent success rate in the more recent period February 2013 to March 2014 (13 months). So has the energy sector in fact become a bit savvier in their appeals or is the SNP actually just as driven on energy as they lead us to believe? Answers on a postcard…

Planning & Environment