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New report explores ways to maximise existing resources in Welsh planning system

The Building Capacity through Collaboration and Change report explores how existing resources in the planning system in Wales can be used as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The report comes as a response to RTPI Cymru’s Big Conversation report, released earlier this year, which highlighted the significant pressures insufficient resourcing is placing on the planning system in Wales. Most respondents reported an increase in their workload and remit in the past two years.

Working within these conditions is taking its toll on the profession, which is struggling to recruit and retain staff.

The report identifies the key areas that Local Planning Authorities can improve to make their resources go further:

  • Communication: Planners should share expertise in informal networks, helping each other stay connected and develop their skills. This includes making it easier to find key information, managing planning enquiries efficiently, and making the planning system more accessible for the public.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration across local planning authorities can lead to efficiencies, especially in producing information for the public, create opportunities for career progression and team building, and address skills deficiencies.
  • Improved quality proposals and planning applications: More needs to be done to work with smaller consultancies and local developers to bring better quality proposals and planning applications. Support can be provided to help landowners and developers bring suitable sites for inclusion in Local Development Plans, and to encourage good quality information when submitting planning applications.

Roisin Willmott, Director of RTPI Wales, said: “With fewer resources, growing expectations, and reduced capacity, local planning authorities alone cannot respond to the demand placed on them.

“We found that, while there were measures that they could take that wouldn’t take from existing resources, these were limited, and most would require further investment into the planning system. We will continue to work with a range of stakeholders to address this.”

RTPI Cymru is asking for ideas of how to make more effective and efficient use of current resources in the planning system in Wales and deliver an efficient and effective planning system. Go to the following link and have your say by 21 December 2023.

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