Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)

Timeliness in dealing with applications is not the whole measure of a successful development management service.  

But untimely decisions are certainly an indicator of failure and local authorities will be considered to be poor performers where too many applications are dealt with too slowly. In some circumstances and where appropriate, an agreement can be reached with the applicant on what is a reasonable time in which a decision should be made. 

For most, it's expected that applications can be dealt with within the 8, 13 or 16 week statutory period, but for some applications a bespoke timetable is appropriate. The timetable for dealing with development applications can be extended beyond the statutory period so long as the council and the applicant agree.  Provided the council is then able to meet the new mutually agreed date, an application will be counted as satisfying the timeliness requirement for development applications.  This applies to both major and non-major planning applications. The Planning Practice Guidance on time limits for determining planning applications can be found on the MHCLG website
The applicant and the local authority can agree to an extended period for determination through two mechanisms:
  • A planning performance agreement, although these may seem disproportionate for less complex, non-major applications (the PAS Pre-applications Suite also contains detailed good practice advice and examples of PPAs.)


*this document contains a reference to Article 29 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 – the DMPO. The DMPO was updated in 2015 and the relevant reference is now Article 34 The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.