Town Planning Review

Policy utilisation in planning control

Planning appeals in England’s ‘plan-led’ system

Town Planning Review (2001), 72, (3), 321–340.

Abstract

Recent governments have sought to make England’s planning system more ‘plan-led’ in outlook and operation. This paper explores the concept of plan-led control, before looking in detail at the potential and actual role of plans in planning appeal determinations. An empirical study (of appeals in Coventry, South Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Coastal districts) reveals that appeal decisions are more plan-led than aggregate statistics suggest, although there are frequent disagreements between decision makers over the application or interpretation of plan policies. This reflects the fact that flexibility and discretion—traditional hallmarks of the English system—remain important features of both plan content and use.

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Author details

Bingham, Michael