~e!a~e their research findings and conclusions to
I<~rher work on urban systems by Bourne, Dziewonski,
th aassen, and Sinclair; if each made such an attempt,
pee volume would not appear as diverse in analytical
OfThis ~ol.ume represents a first step in the direction
urbPrOVldlng a conceptual apparatus for studying
ecaan systems in transition within different socioshonfdmlc environments and political settings; it
of t~ be seen as a platform upon which future work
TN e Commission can be developed and expanded.
nlversity of Utah
Prac ?Control: Philosophies, Prospects and
Londtlce, M, L, Harrison and R, Mordey Ieds.I
on, Croom Helm, 1987,234 pp., Â£25.00
Current ~ctlon of essays reviews and summarises
COntrol' iSSues and debates about development
dn the 1980s, As Mordey points out in the last
Cold. "t ~velopment control has come in out of the
sYst~~ IS no lon,ger the Cinderella of the planning
:ilpidJy ~n? t~e ~lterature on the subject is growing
Itself a'. t l~ .fin~lng its place in planning education,
now th IUS~lficatlon for the collection. Yet, ironically,
COntrol ~t It has achieved this status, development
the oth IS n~ longer 'as secure as it once seemed' as
tio n, It ~~ editor, Harrison, points out in the introduc\:ontrol t almo.st as if the exposure of development
has reve ~ o~tslde gaze in the last ten or fifteen years
are far f~ ed Its weaknesses, that its logic and purpose
c,le,ar once looked at separately from the
V10lJS]y d PO.l1cles and procedures which had pre-
LaokinorrlInated planning writing and education.
Purpose g f at, these wider questions is not the
cHrn is to 0 thIS collection. Rather its quite modest
~he prese~~t ~he scene about development control at
Â°tne are tIme and to look at some specific issues.
a~sthetic c Controversial, such as planning gain or
C~l, SUch a~ntrol; ot~er~ are more neutral. or techni~Iffers from a de~cnptlon of how Scottish practice
eVeloPrne EnglIsh, or the use of computers in
. That . nt Control.
at defenSive I Y Worry about the collection Its tone
s tack both . t sees planning and control under
theCifics of on the broad front of principle and on the
q e,attaCks fProcedure and influence. But its reply to
('lr~ If too
t'nor the most part is defensive It is almost
(Llany of th
e authors have accepted
rn lftcation f Ions and have repl ied by seeking a
~thods With~ Co~tro!
and improvements in its
theIr frame of reference.
Copyright Â© 2010 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.
Copyright Â© Liverpool University Press.
The prevailing tone is set by Pearce in his
introductory review of the literature on development
control and the development process. His review
focuses on the effects control has on the private
sector and the complaints that result: allegations of
delay and uncertainty; of restrictions on the market;
on the extra costs imposed by standards, conditions
and agreement. It is a view of the world which
assumes that the market is normal. that state
intervention is, at best, a necessary imposition for
correcting market failures. By concentrating on con . .
trol and its procedures in isolation, the literature
becomes lopsided, with very little reference to the
aims of planning in a wider sense, its achievements
or indeed its failures. It is admittedly the prevailing
political view of planning, that it should be market . .
led, a mechanism for filling the gaps and correcting
the failures in the market but not much more. My
criticism is more that of the literature itself than of
the review, which does give a useful summary.
Other essays take much the same stance, by
focusing on the particular issues which have been
particular sources of complaint from the market.
Thus Simpson discusses planning gain, relying
heavily on the very biased literature, notably the
report by the Property Advisory Group. His responses
to the criticisms of planning gain are very general,
based neither on empirical research (other than
some case studies) nor a sound theoretical basis. It 1S
true that there are no clear, acceptable rules for
planning gain other than those in the Department of
the Environment's Circular 22/83. There is a real need
for a properly worked out policy framework to give
planning gain a rationale based on a proper under..
standing of the aims of planning.
Booth presents a useful review of the literature on
design control. emphasising the extent to which the
debate has become side-tracked into a very partial
view of design, over-concerned about the superficialities of the outward appearance of buildings and
the detailed treatment of, say, fenestration rather
than anything more fundamental about our re~
sponses to change in the environment.
Green and Foley pick on another topical issue,
illustrated by the conversion of old buildings for
small businesses. The problems lie in the uncertainty
created by administrative discretion untremmetled
by clear policy, especially when reinforced by the
attitudes and prejudices of individual planning
officers and committees. for instance on mixed and
non-conforrning uses The review of the use classes
order provides the vehicle for this paper, though the
debate tends to be locked into seeing the correct
definition of the use of a building as the criterion,
and refonn becomes a matter of juggling between