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2017 Planning in Review

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Jason Moore

A BRIEF REVIEW OF 2017 AND WHAT LIES AHEAD ...

To say 2017 has been interesting would be an understatement! Still recovering from the economic uncertainty of Brexit, the year before, we all experienced one of the more unusual and unpredictable general elections in recent history. Theresa May is seemingly clinging on to the keys of 10 Downing Street and economic uncertainty still dominates the daily headlines, however, 2017 was far from being all doom and gloom!

The Planning sector has continued to grow with Housing featured heavily in the recent budget, with stamp duty being removed for first-time buyers, the government promised that more homes will be built and incentives would be offered to Local Authorities to encourage an increase in housing stock. The pessimists will (rightly) question how much of these policy changes we will actually see, but one thing is for certain, the planning sector will continue to prosper and offer opportunities!

Our consultancy clients are witnessing their workloads increase, particularly residential development, across the UK with many growing their teams in 2017 and planning for more hires this year. London continues to offer a wealth of opportunity for Planners at all levels with many clients hiring Graduate and Assistant Planners, as well as attracting experienced hires, to assist with their challenging workloads. Client-side opportunities have continued to increase in number, with residential developers and house builders particularly intent on growing their in-house planning capabilities.

Outside of London, I expect a very positive 2018 as elected Mayors settle into roles in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. We can expect both domestic and foreign investment in the regions to continue and create exciting projects for Planners to tackle. Notably, consultancies are opening new offices in such cities with Iceni growing quickly in Manchester, Indigo and Nexus moving to Birmingham and Pegasus Group setting the bar in Liverpool. Such moves have created new opportunities for Planners at all levels and are created on the back of an increase in work for our clients; such opportunities afford those in London a chance to move back to the regions, or those seeking a fresh challenge regionally to join growing teams!

I have high hopes for 2018 and this doesn't just mean more opportunities, we are also witnessing the growth of the Planning network. Women in Planning are reaching out from London with a presence now formed in the North West. Manchester hosted a very successful and well attended Young Planners Conference and I am confident the East Midlands will do us all proud in 2018 and last, but not least, we are seeing the success of Planners involved with groups such as the YEP. Be sure to make a resolution to attend an event with any of those mentioned or the other groups working hard to spread the positivity of planning and property!

At Kingsley we are looking forward to a busy 2018 and are working closely with our clients to continue their growth. If you are considering a move in 2018 or would like to get in touch about networking events then please do not hesitate to contact us.