"The search for what is wrong with planning and its future need go no further than the snap survey reported in The Planner October 2015. In the answer to “What do you hope to achieve as a planner?” only 32% hoped to ‘encourage social, environmental, and economic wellbeing’ (ie sustainable development), and only 10% hoped to ‘create a sustainable world’. These could be taken as measures of realism about the limitations on the role of planners, or it could be that, at a very early stage of their careers, a large majority of planners have abandoned even the hope of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development (ie a duty under s39(2) of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act), and enabling development that would benefit from the presumption in the NPPF."
I don't know the size of the sample or other details that skew the results of a survey but I have to assume that the RTPI/The Planner expected the readers to give weight to the results. The most shocking aspect of this result is that the presumption in favour of sustainable development is the only presumption in planning policy and even the 2010/2015 coalition government described this a golden thread running through decision-taking and plan-making. For young planners to have abandoned hope of doing what is a principal if not the paramount part of their job specification in either public or private sectors suggests that employers and clients must be exerting undue influence over these young professionals who should be free and able to carry out their job to enable sustainable development to take place.