Figures released by DCLG on 29th August show that net current expenditure on planning and development fell from £1,652 billion to £1,434 billion between 2011/12 and 2012/13. Other big losers were highways and transport with expenditure dropping from £5,380 billion to £4,868 billion, a fall of 9.5 per cent.
John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, told Planning magazine in response to the DCLG figures, "The Society supports the principle of giving more power and autonomy over planning to local government and is trying to make localism work without delaying much needed investment, economic growth and housing delivery. However, in order to do so planning must have the right skills and resources. Reductions in revenue expenditure in local authorities is understandable in the prevailing economic climate, nonetheless, we need to watch out for the loss of essential expertise built up over many years which is hard to reintroduce, such as in strategic planning."
Silvester added "These cutbacks in expenditure only exacerbate the stress planning officers already work under."