DLUHC and RTPI work to tackle shortage of planning enforcement officers in councils

logoThe Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has supported the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to address the critical shortage of Planning Enforcement Officers across councils nationwide.

… a staggering 80% of planners expressed concerns…

RTPI writes:

Enforcement officers serve as the cornerstone of the planning system, safeguarding the public and the environment from infringements of planning control, violations of planning laws, and poorly conceived developments. However, the sector is grappling with a substantial crisis in resourcing, skills, and performance.

According to research conducted by the RTPI in 2022, commissioned by DLUHC, a staggering 80% of planners expressed concerns about the insufficient number of enforcement officers to manage the workload. Additionally, 70% of councils reported difficulties in recruiting enforcement officers over the past five years.

Councils across the UK are facing challenges in both recruitment and retention. Recent reports highlighted the departure of Mid-Devon’s sole planning enforcement officer, leaving a temporary staff member to handle the department’s extensive caseload of nearly 300 cases.

In response, the RTPI, in collaboration with DLUHC, is embarking on a proactive initiative to engage school and college students, showcasing the vital, dynamic, and diverse role of a planning enforcement officer and the positive impact enforcement has on communities.

The Institute aims to illustrate the various pathways into planning enforcement, ranging from traditional university degrees to apprenticeships, emphasising the inclusive nature of the profession.

Join the esteemed realm of planning enforcement today and become a catalyst for positive change in your community. Explore your path to a qualification in Planning Enforcement.

Joanna Averley, Chief Planner at DLUHC said: “Planning enforcement plays a crucial role in maintaining the trust of the public in the planning system. A career in enforcement is highly rewarding, providing opportunities to get out of the office and make a genuine difference in the community you work.

“The interventions you make will result in real improvements to the built environment in which we all live our lives. Enforcement officers are in high demand and I encourage those interested to pursue this exciting career opportunity.”

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive at the RTPI, said: “Enforcement Officers are the backbone of the planning system, driving tangible improvements for their local communities and safeguarding both people and the natural environment.

“Planning enforcement officers have diverse backgrounds and different educational and career paths, and we warmly welcome candidates into the profession at an exciting time for planning enforcement. With the support of DLUHC, we aim to demonstrate the unique and interesting aspects of this profession, regardless of whether you are a recent graduate, a student or someone seeking a new career.”

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