A Planning Processing Agreement (PPA) is a project management tool and an agreed way of working for developers, the Council and relevant stakeholders. It aims to identify the key milestones in the planning application process and sets out the information required to process major applications and developments which are more significant or contentious in nature. It comes from The Scottish Governments drive for modernising the planning system which focused on the need to achieve greater efficiency in the handling of planning applications by promoting the use of PPA to facilitate the handling of national and major planning applications.
It involves setting out the key stages involved in determining a planning application, identifying what information is required and from whom and setting timescales for the successful completion of various stages of the process.
The main purpose of the agreement is to provide clarity to all parties involved in the determination of the application of their responsibilities and to establish realistic timescales for processing the application.
The use of such an agreement can deliver a number of benefits including:
- Transparency in decision making
- Greater predictability and certainty over key stages in process, including committee dates and Legal Agreement timescales
- Faster and more efficient decision making
- Clearer lines of communication between Planning service and applicant
- More effective and earlier engagement of key stakeholders
The Scottish Government has prepared a processing agreement template which Argyll and Bute Council use as the basis for any agreement. It is not intended to be a lengthy document and will clearly set out the key stages in the process and realistic timescales for meeting these.
As such, the processing agreement template will cover the following:
- Key contacts in the process
- Pre-application stage
- Information required to determine the application
- Application processing timetable
- Consultees and other stakeholders
- Legal agreements and financial contributions (where required)
- Issue of decision
- Discharge of conditions
Argyll and Bute Council is keen to enter into Processing Agreements for all ‘Major’ and ‘Significant Local Applications’. Please contact your area Planning Officer for further information or to set one up.