Asked whether they expected their planning consultancy team to grow over the next 12 months, 78 per cent of consultants responding agreed. This proportion has risen from 61 per cent in the 2014 survey and only 49 per cent in September 2013.
Twenty per cent of firms said they were unsure whether their teams would grow over the next year, but only three consultancies stated that they do not expect to increase planning staff levels during that period.
Of the 50 largest employers listed in the survey, 15 strongly agreed and 22 agreed that they expect their planning team to grow over the next 12 months. Apart from the three that were "unsure", ten companies offered no view.
The survey received usable responses from 160 practices operating across the UK. Collectively, these firms employed 2,059 chartered town planners, 383 student or licentiate members of the Royal Town Planning Institute, 5,198 planning fee-earners and 6,163 staff altogether in UK planning services on 1 September this year.
The published results will also include sector-by-sector growth forecasts for the current financial year, a mao showing locations of the UK's main planning consultancy teams, the highest earning consultancies last year, and data on consultants' daily fee rates and how these are changing.
Full results from the Planning Consultancy Survey 2015 will be published in Planning on Friday 20 November.