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RTPI Scotland report highlights challenges in resourcing local planning authorities

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland’s ‘Resourcing the Planning Service’ report, released today, provides a stark outline of the current resourcing issues facing Local Planning Authorities in Scotland.

Planning plays a vital role in achieving a zero-carbon economy, increasing resilience to risk, and creating fair, healthy, and prosperous communities. However limited resources and ambition can lead to low-quality development and delays in the system, reducing confidence in the planning system and local authorities.

RTPI Scotland’s ‘Resourcing the Planning Service’ report reveals:

  • Planning is the most reduced and lowest funding Local Authority department across Scotland, with expenditure cut by 28.6% since 2010-11.
  • The number of public sector planners currently working within the profession is at its lowest level in five years.
  • When adjusted for inflation, the April 2022 increase in planning fees may not have had a significant impact on increasing cost recovery.
  • Planners over 50 continue to dominate the workforce.
  • There are not enough graduating planners at Scottish planning schools to meet the requirements for maintaining the workforce.

Dr. Caroline Brown, Director of Scotland, Ireland and English Regions at the RTPI, said: “The Scottish Government must resource the nation’s planning authorities to ensure that services are operating with an optimum level of staff with the required skill set, providing appropriate funds so that planning teams can undertake the additional duties introduced by NPF4.”

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