Planning in Britain: Understanding and Evaluating the Post-War System


Andrew W. Gilg

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Dedication

    This book is dedicated to the Scottish Rugby Union teams who beat England 19 points to 13 in April 2000 and South Africa 21 points to 6 in November 2002 and who gave me the inspiration to write this book after two setbacks to my self-confidence


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    List of Figures

    • 1.1 New administrative areas as at 1 April 1974 (Gilg, 1978) 13
    • 1.2 The process of Development Plan preparation in the 1980s and 1990s (Thomas, 1996) 16
    • 1.3 Typical arrangements at an Examination in Public (adapted from Murdoch and Abram, 2002) 17
    • 1.4 Changes in housing provision between Structure Plans (adapted from Coates, 1992) 18
    • 1.5 Negotiations in the Development Plan process (Claydon, 1996) 19
    • 1.6 Strategic planning frameworks in England, 1980–95 (adapted from Thomas and Roberts, 2000) 22
    • 1.7 Planning authorities in the United Kingdom (adapted from Cullingworth and Nadin, 2002) 25
    • 1.8 The hierarchy of planning policy guidance in Wales in the mid-1990s (Jarvis, 1996) 30
    • 1.9 Negotiations in the development control process (Claydon, 1996) 34
    • 2.1 Flow chart from objectives to evaluation 50
    • 2.2 The triangle of conflicting goals for planning (adapted from Campbell, 1996) 56
    • 2.3 An ideal planning system? (Gilg, 1996) 63
    • 2.4 Unintended policy outcomes (Schrader, 1994) 68
    • 2.5 The planning constraints coffin (Gilg, 1996) 69
    • 2.6 The planning process and those who may influence it (Lichfield, 1996) 71
    • 2.7 An adapted Toulmin–Dunn model for evaluating public policy (adapted from Gasper and George, 1998) 75
    • 2.8 A flow chart for evaluating the planning system (adapted from Department of the Environment, 1992) 77
    • 2.9 A framework for developing indicators for land use planning (adapted from Morrison and Pearce, 2000) 77
    • 2.10 A framework for evaluating the planning system and its individual components (author) 78
    • 2.11 The hybrid approach to evaluating land use planning (author) 82
    • 3.1 Agent interactions in the planning process (Short et al., 1987) 98
    • 3.2 Development Plan policies in Buckinghamshire (Murdoch and Marsden, 1994) 100
    • 3.3 Appeal rate, by type of local authority (adapted from Wood, 2000) 104
    • 3.4 Appeal pressure and support at appeal, by district (adapted from Wood, 2000) 105
    • 3.5 The cognitive continuum of decision making (adapted from Willis and Powe, 1995) 107
    • 4.1 Regional conversions of farmland to urban use, England and Wales, 1945–65 (Best and Champion, 1970) 113
    • 4.2 Total houses built in Britain (DETR statistics), 1920–2001 (adapted from The Times, 3 May 2002) 115
    • 4.3 Megalopolis: land use, showing degree of urbanisation c. 1960 (Hall, 1974) 118
    • 4.4 Population change, 1991–2001 (adapted from Office of National Statistics map 128
    • 4.5 Conceptualisation of population and settlement change around major cities (Gilg, 1996 from Moss, 1978) 129
    • 4.6 Wheel method of analysing planning applications (Murdoch and Marsden, 1994) 132
    • 4.7 The relationship of decisions to Local Plans (adapted from Pountney and Kingsbury, 1983) 133
    • 4.8 Planning applications per thousand population (Curry and McNab, 1986) 135
    • 4.9 Approval and refusal ratios in North Yorkshire (Midgeley 2000) 136
    • 4.10 Key settlement policy for Devon (Gilg, 1978) 138
    • 4.11 Planning constraints in east Devon (Gilg and Blacksell, 1981) 139
    • 4.12 Example of an estate of modern houses tacked on to a village (Gilg and Blacksell, 1981) 140
    • 4.13 Location of permitted and refused planning applications in East Sussex, 1975–76 (adapted from Anderson, 1981) 143
    • 4.14 Stocks of planning permission, 1981–91 (adapted from Monk and Whitehead, 1999) 147
    • 4.15(a) Housing land and (b) house prices, 1981–91 (adapted from Monk and Whitehead, 1999) 147
    • 4.16 New housing completions in (a) north Hertfordshire, (b) south Cambridgeshire and (c) Fenland, 1981–91 (adapted from Monk and Whitehead, 1999) 149
    • 4.17 Settlement policies in Structure Plans (adapted from Cloke and Shaw, 1983) 151
    • 5.1 Evolution of design styles in post-war Britain (Planning, 409 13 March 1981) 158
    • 5.2 Relationship between theoretical approaches to planning (Rydin, 1993) 165
    • 5.3 Theoretical approaches based on a view of the economic process (Rydin, 1993) 166
    • 5.4 The development of planning policy and theory (Rydin, 1998) 167
    • 5.5 The evolution of regulatory purposes in the twentieth century (adapted from Healey, 1998) 170
    • 5.6 Conflict management and place making as alternative strategies for planning (adapted from Healey, 1998) 172
    • 5.7 The projected rate of change to urban uses, 1991–2016 (adapted from Bibby and Shepherd, 1997) 186
    • 5.8 The projected rate of urban growth, 1991–2016 (adapted from Bibby and Shepherd, 1997) 187
    • 5.9 Revised plan-making system envisaged by the 2001 Green Paper (author) 193

    List of Tables

    • 1.1 Examples of changes made by the Secretary of State of the Environment to structure plans after the EIP 17
    • 1.2 Stages and timing in preparation of the first generation of Local Plans 21
    • 1.3 Examples of Local Plan preparation and modifications 21
    • 1.4 Structure of local government in 2002 27
    • 1.5 Main concerns and objectives of RPG in England and Wales 28
    • 1.6 Key regional planning documents in England (outside London), 2002 29
    • 1.7 Conditions on permissions used in rural East Sussex 38
    • 1.8 Reasons for refusal of planning permission used in rural East Sussex 40
    • 2.1 UK headline indicators for sustainable development 74
    • 3.1 Landowner involvement in plan making 91
    • 4.1 Land use changes in England and Wales, 1933–1963 112
    • 4.2 Annual average net losses of farmland to urban use, England and Wales 113
    • 4.3 Previous use of land changing to residential use, England, 1985–95 114
    • 4.4 Centralisation and decentralisation in the twentieth century 117
    • 4.5 Percentages of land forecast in 1985 to be surplus to agriculture by 2000 119
    • 4.6 Disputed housing forecasts in the south-east of England 123
    • 4.7 Components of population change, 1981–91, by region and change, 1981–2001 126
    • 4.8 Population change by top and bottom areas, 1981–91 127
    • 4.9 The relationship between data sources and analytical methodologies 131
    • 4.10 Development pressures in England and Wales 134
    • 4.11 The relationship between planning applications and Development Plan policies in south-east Devon 137
    • 4.12 Decisions on development control applications in four areas in Devon 140
    • 4.13 Land use changes and their relation to land use planning policies 141
    • 4.14 Planning applications, by area, in East Sussex 142
    • 4.15 Representations on planning application to convert a cinema to a retirement residence 144
    • 4.16 House prices related to average wages, by region 146
    • 5.1 Changing attitudes towards planning under the New Right 161
    • 5.2 New Right and New Labour comparisons 161
    • 5.3 The changing orthodoxy of planning 162
    • 5.4 A typology of planning problems, policy goals and policy outcomes 163
    • 5.5 A typology of planning styles 164
    • 5.6 Characteristics of four planning styles identified by Brindley et al.164
    • 5.7 Environment or environment-related plans in England 190


    I am grateful to all the staff at Sage who have supported me through this project, notably Robert Rojek, Vanessa Harwood, Fabienne Pedroletti and David Mainwaring. I am also indebted to the three initial referees who made very useful comments on the first draft especially with regard to dividing the evaluation between procedures and impacts. I am also grateful to thirty generations of students who have sat through the lectures on which this text is based and unwittingly aided its improvement by their essay and examination answers. A big thank-you to the two cartographers who modified and made big improvements to many of the figures, Sue Rouillard and Helen Jones. Thanks are also due to my colleagues on the Policy Council of the Town and Country Planning Association, who represent a great cross-section of planning skills and cognate professions.

    I am also grateful to an anonymous design editor who made many thoughtful suggestions for improving the book at the second draft stage. Finally I am very grateful to Mike Kelly, a long-term collaborator, for reading the first draft of the book from the point of view of a practising planner. Mike is a senior planner at North Devon District Council and he has been influential in developing my knowledge of planning since 1990, both through our joint research but also through training courses we have given to local authority councillors.

    While acknowledging the help of many people, any errors are of course my own and the opinions in this book are my own and do not reflect the views of any organisation.

    This book was written at a time of several crises in my life and the chance to escape into the apparently more logical world of planning evaluation provided some much needed stability at each of the three draft stages (summer 2002, winter 2003 and spring–summer 2004). Two planned creations, the golf courses at Crediton in Devon and Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, also provided moments of inspiration. But most of all my immediate family, Joyce, Julie and Alastair, continue to form the basis of my creativity.

    A.W.G. Exeter, July 2004

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