Skip to main content


June 9, 2023

Key challenges facing the planning profession have been highlighted in a new report by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Issues identified in its Interim State of the Profession 2023 study include recruitment, staff retention and an exodus from planning teams at local authorities.

The RTPI is due to publish its full report later this year but has just launched a hub on its website to detail some of the key issues for the profession.

Its finding include:

  • There are 22,000 planners in the UK
  • Three out of four planners in the UK are RTPI members
  • 50% of RTPI members under 40 are women
  • 82% of local authorities have faced difficulties hiring planners in the last year
  • One quarter of planners left the public sector between 2013 and 2020
  • 8% of RTPI members under 40 are from an Asian, Black or minority ethnic background

The RTPI report also warns that planning is facing ‘unprecedented challenges’ to its public image with political narratives on both left and the right framing it as a barrier to the solution of the unfolding housing crisis, which is leading to calls for planning reform at a national level.

There is plenty of interesting content contained in the new hub and we look forward to reading the full report in due course.

However, it must be noted that bold and meaningful reform of the planning system is required. This should, in turn, improve efficiency and ease the strain on planning officers feeling under siege at local authority level as well as enable valuable development, economic growth and much-needed new homes and facilities for communities.

RTPI is proud to be a member of the RTPI and support the industry however it can.