Urban Planning and Real Estate Development

By John Ratcliffe; Michael Stubbs | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER NINE

European planning
An examination of the domestic town planning system in any European nation will reveal a variety of different practices and procedures reflecting the distinct historical, geographical, political and economic factors that have shaped those countries. However, it is possible to identify specific features that help to distinguish or group the planning systems of European nations. This chapter examines the town planning systems of Germany, France, Spain, and the Netherlands (Table 9.1). Key characteristics will be identified and comparisons made with the British system. This is followed by an examination of the impact of the European Community on town planning within its member-states and the emerging planning systems in the former communist nations of central and eastern Europe. It is important to recall that the principal characteristics of the British system are a lack of regional government and a system based upon a strong element of national (central) government, with control at the top of the hierarchy. National government is responsible for creating the planning system by the introduction of both town planning and local government legislation, and through the function of government departments that have responsibility for planning matters: the Departments of the Environment and National Heritage. The local government system is responsible for local decision-making on planning applications at the lowest and most local level of government. Decisions are based upon a flexible combination of policy and other relevant planning matters (material considerations). Policy is adopted following a process that allows public/developers to object. A right of appeal against the refusal of permission and determination of the appeal by an independent government Inspector, with discretion to allow or dismiss the appeal based on the town planning merits of the proposal. The chapter is organized as follows:
examination of German, French, Dutch and Spanish systems
role of the European Community
European regional policy
central and eastern Europe.

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