Planning officers see applications plummet

| January 20, 2009 | 0 Comments
Planning officers see applications plummet

The Planning Officers’ Society (POS) has reported that the number of planning application submitted to local authorities in England fell by up to 50% year-on-year, during 2008.

The society represents senior planning professionals and managers in English Local Authorities and the survey covers new housing developments, domestic planning applications and commercial buildings.

The research, which the POS describes as a snapshot of the impact of the economic downturn with regard to planning application numbers, outlines the leading reductions as follows: Kingston LBC -50%; New Forest District Council; -40%; Havant Borough Council -40%; Walsall -34%; Shepway District Council -32%; Richmondshire District Council -25%; Redbridge -25%; Welwyn Hatfield Council -25%.

POS president, Phil Kirby, is concerned that plummeting levels of applications could lead to councils getting rid of planning staff, especially as the downturn will be having an impact on fee income.

However, he urges local authorities to consider redeploying planners to work on planning policy, which will be essential in supporting economic recovery when the recession ends.

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