British Planning Policy in Transition: Planning in the Major Years

British Planning Policy in Transition: Planning in the Major Years

British Planning Policy in Transition: Planning in the Major Years

British Planning Policy in Transition: Planning in the Major Years

Excerpt

In compiling any set of essays on current policy matters related to the statutory land-use planning system in Britain, one is immediately handicapped by the extent to which public policy alters significantly over relatively short timescales. Any attempt to consider in some depth the current statutory planning policy process at work often fails to recognize the degree to which land-use planning as policy formulation and policy implementation is never stationary. The only picture that can emerge, therefore, is one of a snap-shot, a glimpse of a process currently operating which could, and will, change over time.

This book aims to consider the statutory planning policy system in Britain at the present time (1995) and predominantly takes as a starting point the development of the current processes in the period since 1989-90. The choice of time period for the study is deliberate and has been governed by two main issues. First, it coincides with the publication in 1989 of a government White Paper on the future of development plans. This paper had immense implications for the statutory planning system and effectively precipitated a new era for the future framework of planning policy. Secondly, 1990 marks the end of Margaret Thatcher's period as Prime Minister and, since we are discussing British planning policy within the context of changing political climates, it is appropriate to assess the statutory planning process under John Major's administration. The resultant essays which have been assembled therefore take the planning policy changes of the last five years as the focus of study and provide a context within which an in-depth analysis of intergovernmental planning relations may occur.

Aside from these principal parameters, the period since 1989-90 has witnessed a number of other changes to the role and status of central and local government planning policies in Britain. These changes, which are detailed in the chapters that follow, include: the publication of proposals to abolish structure plans; the introduction of new legislation to speed up development plan preparation; the increased weight afforded to development plans in local authority decision-making; the increase of central government planning policy guidance to local government; the emergence of the environmental agenda and its direct effect on land-use planning; the increase in influence of the European Union and EC directives, and the proposed local government reorganisation for all parts of Britain. These issues have affected the statutory planning framework and are continuing to give

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