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Chancellor’s budget boosts planning capacity and innovation

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) hopes that today’s budget will encourage more people into a career in planning.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI, said: “The RTPI is consistently striving to ensure a continuing pipeline of qualified planners is entering the profession. The government's decision to provide £3m match funding for an industry-backed scheme to train planning officers shows that the government recognises the recruitment challenges faced by the profession.

“Our planning systems can become more efficient, effective, and accessible by harnessing technological innovation. Today’s announcements included a pilot of AI solutions to cut the time it takes for planning officers to process applications by 30% could well be beneficial. However, as with the implementation of any new technology, this should not come at the expense of the real-world expertise that our members provide but should support them to continue focusing on meeting local needs.

"The government has also announced a consultation on the proposed design of a new accelerated planning service in England, along with new measures to limit the use of extension of time agreements. While we believe that decision-making speed and efficiency are important, they should not be prioritised over the quality of outcomes for communities. Measuring outcomes and impact on the ground is equally important.”

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