Planning plays a crucial role in delivering a wide range of valuable outcomes – addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies, economic development and supporting communities across Wales. However, it is widely recognised that Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), along with the wider public sector, are struggling to meet expectations and unlock the value planning has to offer with the current investment. RTPI Cymru recognises that addressing the shortfall in investment at the current time is not straightforward and there is a need to consider wider additional solutions.
Responding to a request by the Minister for Climate Change to understand the well-being of planners in Wales operating under challenging circumstances, in 2022 RTPI Cymru explored the issues, impacts, causes and potential solutions to support the profession deliver the planning system.
The Big Conversation set out to better understand the pressures being faced and undertake a health check of the profession in Wales. It is widely known that LPAs in Wales have had significant reductions in the budgets to support their work, along with reduced resources to other public services. Through a survey and roundtables, we drilled down beneath this to understand better where the pressures are, and how this is affecting those working in the system. We wanted to learn about good practice which is being used to address issues and possible action which could assist in relieving pressures.
The RTPI is now considering the findings and will respond, as well as encourage others to respond to address the issues raised. RTPI Cymru's initial response can be read here.