The timescale for processing your regulatory application will depend on which parameters it falls into. Also if the croft is not registered with Registers of Scotland (RoS) it can add a considerable timescale to the application process.
We apologise that there are currently delays in processing applications in addition to the usual timescales for cases. Although will do everything we can to process all applications as quickly as possible, these delays could extend to several weeks depending on the type and complexity of the application, objections, and other factors out with Commission control.
More information on our typical timescales can be found below. The outlines the different timescales involved in applications and in particular the longer timescales involved in cases that are escalated for decision by senior staff or commissioners. In order for applications to be processed as quickly as possible, please refer to the relevant decision making parameters for the application type. Applications that meet these parameters will generally be decided considerably quicker.
We operate a model of Delegated Decision Making, with officers able to approve straightforward cases that meet all the legislative, policy and parameter requirements. Parameters are set by the Commission for each regulatory function so that they can be considered under the delegated decision making process.
When you have identified the parameters for your application type it will give you an indication of how long the process will take. These timescales cannot be guaranteed as every application is considered on its own merits taking into account the individual circumstances of the case.
These are straightforward cases that meet all the necessary parameters for that regulatory function and allow approval to be made by a Casework officer.
These are cases slightly outwith the parameters set for Tier 1 cases and are considered by a Senior Casework Officer. Applications can be approved, refused, modified or conditioned at Tier 2.
These are cases where Senior Casework Officers at Tier 2 cannot take a decision, typically because it is well outwith parameters and/or there have been objections. Tier 3 cases are considered by a casework group of 3 Commissioners.
Application Validity Checks
All information provided within the application form and maps are checked - there may be correspondence at this point to clarify certain points.
Once checks are complete, an acknowledgement is issued to say the application is valid.
Approx timescale up to 6 weeks depending on whether further information is needed and how quickly it is received, however there may be an additional delay at this stage as the Commission is currently dealing with a high volume of cases.
Most application types need to be advertised and have a 28 day public consultation period to allow for comments, and nothing happens to the application during this time.
Approx timescale up to 8 weeks depending on how quickly the applicant places the advert.
Each application type has a set of parameters defined by the Commission.
If an application is within all parameters, it can proceed to a Tier 1 decision stage.
NOTE - The case cannot move to the decision phase until the croft registration takes place.
Tier 1 Approval
A Casework Officer considers and can approve the case.
A decision letter is issued.
Total time for case assuming no significant hold ups and that croft is already registered before reaching the decision stage aims to be within 16 weeks, however currently it may take significantly longer depending on the type of application. Currently a total time scale of up to 30 weeks is possible.
This may involve one or more of the following processes in addition to that of a straightforward case.
If an objection is received during the 28 day public consultation period, this will immediately mean a decision cannot be taken at Tier 1.
Objections are considered to make sure they are valid (i.e. submitted by someone with a right to do so, and within the 28 day time period) they must then be served on the applicant.
It may be necessary depending on the details and type of application to request SGRPID to do a report on our behalf about agricultural aspect of the application.
There are various factors that can affect how quickly this report is done, such as the location of the croft, the time of year and SGRPID's other obligations.
Typically, we allow a minimum of 6 weeks for this to be completed, however for apportionment applications we allow a minimum of 12 weeks.
Tier 2 Decision
Tier 2 can decide to either: approve the application, refuse the application (where it is clearly contrary to the Commission Policy as agreed by Commissioners, and there is no compelling evidence as to why the policy should not be applied), escalate it to Tier 3, or request more information.
If more information is requested from the applicant they are given 3 weeks to provide it (plus a reminder if required). Additionally a SGRPID report could be requested at this stage.
If the case is to be escalated to Tier 3, then the information is compiled into a case paper to inform Commissioners' decision.
Total time for case assuming no registration issues can be up to 44 weeks. Where there are registration issues this timescale can be significantly extended.
Tier 3 Decision
Tier 3 consists of a 3 Commissioner casework group who meet every 4-6 weeks.
They may request more information before making a decision, in which case this will be requested and may need to be served on other interested parties for comment before returning to be considered at the next casework group meeting. Additionally more information from SGRPID could be requested at this stage.
In total, this stage could add up to 30 weeks to the overall process.
Total time for case assuming no registration issues can be up to 71 weeks. Where there are registration issues this timescale can be significantly extended.