Town Planning Review

‘If independence goes, the planning system goes’: New Political Governance and the English Planning Inspectorate

Town Planning Review (2020), 91, (1), 21–45.


Radical restructuring of ‘arms-length’ government bodies following the 2010 UK national election signalled a change in relations between government and the civil service. This was seen as a major shift in modes of governance – from ‘New Public Management’ to a more politicised mode of ‘New Political Governance’. This paper presents an analysis of the impacts of these shifts on the English Planning Inspectorate, an executive agency central to the land-use planning system. It identifies measures by ministers to increase control over the inspectorate that represent a shift in governance culture and a shift in the planning system itself.

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Author details

Hickman, Hannah

Boddy, Martin