Decline puts staff at risk

Scott Wilson has admitted that its Birmingham planning team is under review as a result of the downturn in the development market.

The firm has eight planners in the West Midlands team, based in its Birmingham office. A spokeswoman said: "We are finding that due to the decreased need for planning consent as a result of the economic downturn, Scott Wilson is having to review its planning resource in the West Midlands."

She added: "Our policy has always been to primarily redirect and redeploy staff wherever possible. Arrangements will always be in place to ensure that there will be no adverse effects on client contracts and relationships." No definite decisions have yet been made, she insisted.

Meanwhile, Barton Willmore has announced that it is making nearly 20 staff redundant as part of an overall 11 per cent cull over the past three months. The firm has seen numbers drop across the practice from 360 to around 320. Of the posts lost, 20 are described as natural wastage.

Two planners have been made redundant at the Reading and Kent offices, while two more have left the company and will not be replaced. The majority of the total job losses are in the architecture and administrative sectors.

Barton Willmore senior partner Ian Tant said: "We have taken the decision in the light of market conditions. These are undoubtedly serious times but we do not foresee the need for any further redundancies."

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