Market growth spell shows no sign of waning

Planning consultancies expect their fee income to rise by an average of almost 17 per cent this year, Planning's seventh annual survey of the sector reveals.

Analysis of returns from 118 consultancies published this week shows that most market sectors are predicted to grow by between nine and 16 per cent in 2003-04, although a drop is anticipated in the value of telecommunications planning work. In 2002-03, 44 firms derived seven-figure sums from planning work.

The market leader, RPS Planning, Transport and Environment, now offers the services of 111 chartered town planners out of 422 planning fee-earners.

Most top planning firms have recruited extra planners and other fee-earners to cope with rising workloads. But the shortage of experienced staff remains a block to further expansion.

- See Interview, page 13 and Consultants survey, pages 15-30.

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