In response to the claim by some of the UK's largest architectural companies that a shortage of planning officers was one of the main factors holding back projects John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, told the Architects Journal "With regard to the perceived shortfall in planners it is fair to say that there was a 'generation gap' in the planning profession caused by various factors during the late 80s/early 90s recession; at this time many planning schools closed. However, mechanisms were put in place to tackle this and the sector was recovering. Now the current cuts in government spending have had a severe impact and many planning departments have seen staff cut by up to 40%."
Mike Kiely, President of the Society, commented "We are seeing planning schools under pressure again with many only surviving on a healthy foreign student intake. And for LPAs with fee income not fully funding development management services councils remain under pressure to balance their books. The complexity of processing major applications does mean that it takes some time for officers to be fully trained and those areas that experience a sudden rise in large developments can be under pressure as a result."