Planning consultants foresee rise in charge rates, survey finds

The proportion of planning consultancies expecting to raise charging rates for their services is on the increase, the latest Planning Consultancy Survey shows.

Fees: consultants expect service rates to rise (pic Shanti via Flickr)
Fees: consultants expect service rates to rise (pic Shanti via Flickr)

According to the survey, almost two-thirds of consultancies anticipate that their charges will rise during the year to September 2016, compared to only half that have upped their rates during the year to this September.

Fifteen per cent of consultancies expect their charges to increase by at least ten per cent in the year to September 2016, the survey found.

Figures supplied by survey respondents indicate that consultancies’ current charging rates start from less than £300 per day, rising to more than £2,000 per day for senior personnel at three leading planning firms.

The survey also identifies seven companies whose average takings per planning fee-earner topped £160,000 in 2015/16, against a sector average of about £90,000 per fee-earner.

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 include key information on the current make-up of more than 100 consultancies’ planning teams, a map showing locations of the UK's main planning consultancy offices, sector-by-sector growth forecasts and the highest earning consultancies.

Full results from the Planning Consultancy Survey 2015 will be published in Planning on Friday 20 November.

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