This new report from Planning Futures finds that the majority of planning departments in England are in significant decline and struggling to provide an effective and robust planning service.
The report offers the first country-wide analysis of planning department resources and capacity. A survey sent to every Local Authority in England, found that planning departments had seen an average reduction in staff of 14.6% between 2006 and 2016. However, whilst this figure is significant, many planning departments are in severe decline, with 51% of planning departments experiencing a reduction in staff of greater than 15%.
In many areas, this has led to a much-diminished planning service, with Local Authorities becoming less proactive and more reactive in their approach to planning. In short, planning departments are losing their ability to drive new housing, commercial and infrastructure development in their areas.
The report concludes with a call to both National and Local Government to better support and recognise the planning service, and offers a series of recommendations on how best to address the challenges faced by planning departments across the country. Click here to download a copy of the report.
This introductory report by Planning Futures examines the trends that are currently driving change within Outer London town centres.
The findings suggest that in Outer London, local authorities have struggled to tackle the decline in traditional town centre uses such retail and office space provision.
It argues that, as traditional town centre uses recede, local authorities must take a more strategic approach to managing change and planning for the future. Their planning processes must become more innovative, proactive and participatory.
The report calls for a new settlement between National and Local Government on funding for planning.