Tuesday 16 May 2023

LA planners under pressure from staff shortages and subsequent unmanageable workloads

This Press Release from the  Royal Town Planning Institute may explain some issues in Brent.

A quarter of planners left the public sector between 2013 and 2020. Meanwhile, the private sector experienced an 80% increase in the number of employed planners, according to today's analysis from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Budget reductions are leading to unmanageable workloads and overstretched workers in Local Planning Authorities (LPAs). Working within these conditions is taking its toll on LPAs, which are struggling to recruit and retain staff.

Responding to a survey by the RTPI, 82% of local authority planners said their employer had difficulties hiring planners in the last 12 months. 68% see competitive salaries as a key difficulty for local authorities.

Sue Bridge, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: 

Budget reductions in local authorities and other public sector agencies are leading to unmanageable workloads, insufficient staff, and overstretched workers. Without a sufficient arsenal of qualified, well-resourced planners, Local Planning Authorities are unable to deliver the affordable homes, public services and critical infrastructure individuals, families, and communities need and which are so vital to our economy.

More must be done to provide adequate resourcing to the planning system. While increased planning fees would be an important first step, we do not see them as a silver bullet to meeting the capacity requirements.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute said: 

The planning profession faces challenges to its public image. Political narratives on both left and right frame it as a barrier to the solution to the unfolding housing crisis

There are calls for ‘planning reform’ on the national level and widespread abuse and mistreatment of planners at the local level. It comes at a detriment to the mental health and working conditions of planners.


David Walton said...

Private planners increased 80% in number......

If your neighbourhoods not at the table with these private planners (South Kilburn post neigbourhood regeneration board scenario) then your on their private menu instead as a 'Wrong Place' grey unmaking.

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporations Local Plan pretends a transport plan when in fact OPDC has no transport infrastructure powers. Public sector transport planners are thereby to date enabled to be let go/ total missing at the UK's biggest transport super-hub 3 boroughs link project. Disaster surely for Brent surrounding residents integrated transport access needs ever being OPDC actioned and met?

Anonymous said...

Maybe working in Brent and being told by the 'Chief Planner' (Mr. Butt) how to decide on applications is not such an attractive job?