Town Planning Review

Building trust in planning professionals: understanding the contested legitimacy of a planning decision

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (5), 597–618.

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of trust as it occurs in the ‘professional’ decision-making spaces of local government. It does so by examining a proposal to develop an inner-city site into housing and the decisions associated with this. Findings reveal that trust is built and destroyed not only through interpersonal relations between actors, but also through institutional considerations which allow for trust to be held in planning systems and in the values of such a system. The role of professionals in negotiating between individual relationships and institutional contexts is crucial to understanding how legitimacy is built in the planning system.

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BOOTH, P. (2003), Planning by Consent: The Origins and Nature of British Development Control, London, Routledge. Planning by Consent: The Origins and Nature of British Development Control Google Scholar

CAMPBELL, H. and MARSHALL, R. (2002), ‘Utilitarianism's bad breath? A re-evaluation of the public interest justification for planning’, Planning Theory, 1, 163-88. ‘Utilitarianism's bad breath? A re-evaluation of the public interest justification for planning’ Planning Theory 1 163 88 Google Scholar

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COULSON, A. (ed.) (1998), Trust and Contracts: Relationships in Local Government, Health and Public Services, Bristol, Policy Press. Trust and Contracts: Relationships in Local Government, Health and Public Services Google Scholar

CULLINGWORTH, B. and NADIN, V. (2006), Town and Country Planning in the UK (14th edn), London, Routledge. Town and Country Planning in the UK Google Scholar

DAVIS, A. R. (2001), ‘Hidden or hiding? Public perceptions of participation in the planning system’, Town Planning Review, 72, 193-216. ‘Hidden or hiding? Public perceptions of participation in the planning system’ Town Planning Review 72 193 216 Google Scholar

EARLE, T. and CVETKOVICH, G. (1995) Social Trust: Toward a Cosmopolitan Society, Westport CT, Praeger. Social Trust: Toward a Cosmopolitan Society Google Scholar

EVANS, B. (1993), ‘Why we no longer need a town planning profession’, Planning Practice and Research, 8, 9-15. ‘Why we no longer need a town planning profession’ Planning Practice and Research 8 9 15 Google Scholar

EVETTS, J. (2002), ‘New directions in state and international professional occupations: discretionary decision-making and acquired regulation’, Work, Employment and Society, 16, 341-53. ‘New directions in state and international professional occupations: discretionary decision-making and acquired regulation’ Work, Employment and Society 16 341 53 Google Scholar

FERLIE, E., ASHBURNER, L., FITZGERALD, L. and PETTIGREW, A. (1996), The New Public Management in Action, Oxford, OUP. The New Public Management in Action Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (1988), Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (1994), Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy and Policy, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy and Policy Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (2001), Professionalism: The Third Logic, Cambridge, Polity. Professionalism: The Third Logic Google Scholar

FURBEY, R., REID, B. and COLE, I. (2001), ‘Housing professionalism in the United Kingdom: the final curtain or a new age?’ Housing, Theory and Society, 18, 36-49. ‘Housing professionalism in the United Kingdom: the final curtain or a new age?’ Housing, Theory and Society 18 36 49 Google Scholar

GIDDENS, A. (1990), The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge, Polity. The Consequences of Modernity Google Scholar

GOLDTHORPE, J. (1982), ‘On the service class, its formation and future’ in A. Giddens and G. Mackenzie (eds), Social Class and the Division of Labour: Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 162-85. Social Class and the Division of Labour: Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt 162 85 Google Scholar

GROUNDWATER-SMITH, S. and SACHS, J. (2002), ‘The activist professional and the reinstatement of trust’, Cambridge Journal of Education, 32, 341-58. ‘The activist professional and the reinstatement of trust’ Cambridge Journal of Education 32 341 58 Google Scholar

HARDIN, R. (2002), Trust and Trustworthiness, New York, Russell Sage Foundation. Trust and Trustworthiness Google Scholar

HARDIN, R. (2006), Trust, Cambridge, Polity. harris, n. (2010) ‘Discretion and expediency in the enforcement of planning controls’, Town Planning Review, 81, 675-700. Trust, Cambridge, Polity. harris, n. (2010) ‘Discretion and expediency in the enforcement of planning controls’ Town Planning Review 81 675 700 Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. and UNDERWOOD, J. (1978), ‘Professional ideals and planning practice: a report on research into planners’ ideas in practice in London borough planning departments', Progress in Planning, 9, 73-127. ‘Professional ideals and planning practice: a report on research into planners’ ideas in practice in London borough planning departments' Progress in Planning 9 73 127 Google Scholar

HOWE, E. (1992), ‘Professional roles and the public interest in planning’, Journal of Planning Literature, 6, 230-48. ‘Professional roles and the public interest in planning’ Journal of Planning Literature 6 230 48 Google Scholar

JOHNSON, T. (1972), Professions and Power, London, Macmillan. kitchen, t. (1997), People, Politics, Policies and Plans: The City Planning Process in Contemporary Britain, London, Paul Chapman Publishing. People, Politics, Policies and Plans: The City Planning Process in Contemporary Britain Google Scholar

KUMAR, A. and PADDISON, R. (2000), ‘Trust and collaborative planning theory: the case of the Scottish planning system’, International Planning Studies, 5, 205-23. ‘Trust and collaborative planning theory: the case of the Scottish planning system’ International Planning Studies 5 205 23 Google Scholar

LARSON, M. (1977), The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press. The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis Google Scholar

LAURIAN, L. (2007), ‘Deliberative planning through citizen advisory boards: five case studies from military and civilian environmental cleanups’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 26, 415-34. ‘Deliberative planning through citizen advisory boards: five case studies from military and civilian environmental cleanups’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 26 415 34 Google Scholar

LAURIAN, L. (2009), ‘Trust in planning: theoretical and practical considerations for participatory and deliberative planning’, Planning Theory and Practice, 10, 369-91. ‘Trust in planning: theoretical and practical considerations for participatory and deliberative planning’ Planning Theory and Practice 10 369 91 Google Scholar

LEWICKI, R., McALLISTER, D. and BIES, R. (1998), ‘Trust and distrust: new relationships and realities’, Academy of Management Review, 23, 438-58. ‘Trust and distrust: new relationships and realities’ Academy of Management Review 23 438 58 Google Scholar

LIPSKY, M. (1980), Street-level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service, New York, Russell Sage Foundation. Street-level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service Google Scholar

LUHMANN, N. (1979), Trust and Power, Chichester, Wiley. Trust and Power Google Scholar

MAYER, R., DAVIS, J. and SCHOORMAN, F. (1995), ‘An integrative model of organizational trust’, Academy of Management Review, 20, 709-34. ‘An integrative model of organizational trust’ Academy of Management Review 20 709 34 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

McKNIGHT, D. and CHERVANY, M. (2001) ‘Trust and distrust definitions: one bite at a time’, from R. Falcone, M. Singh and Y.-H. Tan (eds), Trust in Cyber-societies: Integrating the Human and Artificial Perspectives (Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 2246), Heidelberg, Springer, 27-54. Trust in Cyber-societies: Integrating the Human and Artificial Perspectives 27 54 Google Scholar

MISHRA, A. (1996), ‘Organizational responses to crisis: the centrality of trust’, in R. Kramer and T. Tyler (eds), Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research, Thousand Oaks CA, Sage, 261-88. Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research 261 88 Google Scholar

MISZTAL, B. (1996), Trust in Modern Societies, Cambridge, Polity. Trust in Modern Societies Google Scholar

O'NEILL, O. (2002), A Question of Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pellizzoni, l. (2005), ‘Trust, responsibility and environmental policy’, European Societies, 7, 567-94. A Question of Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pellizzoni, l. (2005), ‘Trust, responsibility and environmental policy’ European Societies 7 567 94 Google Scholar

POWER, M. (1997), The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford, OUP. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification Google Scholar

PUTNAM, R. (2000), Bowling Alone, New York, Simon & Schuster. Bowling Alone Google Scholar

SCHÖN, D. (1982), ‘Some of what a planner knows’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 48, 351-64. ‘Some of what a planner knows’ Journal of the American Planning Association 48 351 64 Google Scholar

SCOTT, A. (1999), ‘Geographies of trust, geographies of hierarchy’, in M. Warren (ed.), Democracy and Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 273-89. Democracy and Trust 273 89 Google Scholar

STEIN, S. and HARPER, T. (2003), ‘Power, trust and planning’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23, 125-39. ‘Power, trust and planning’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 23 125 39 Google Scholar

STRATHERN, M. (2000), ‘The tyranny of transparency’, British Educational Research Journal, 26, 309-21. ‘The tyranny of transparency’ British Educational Research Journal 26 309 21 Google Scholar

SVENSSON, L. (2006), ‘New professionalism, trust and competence: some conceptual remarks and empirical data’, Current Sociology, 54, 579-93. ‘New professionalism, trust and competence: some conceptual remarks and empirical data’ Current Sociology 54 579 93 Google Scholar

SWAIN, C. and TAIT, M. (2007), ‘The crisis of trust and planning’, Planning Theory and Practice, 8, 229-47. ‘The crisis of trust and planning’ Planning Theory and Practice 8 229 47 Google Scholar

TAIT, M. (2011), ‘Trust and the public interest in the micropolitics of planning practice’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 31, 157-71. ‘Trust and the public interest in the micropolitics of planning practice’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 31 157 71 Google Scholar

VEYSEY, L. (1975), ‘Who's a professional? Who cares?’, Reviews in American History, 3, 419-23. ‘Who's a professional? Who cares?’ Reviews in American History 3 419 23 Google Scholar

BOOTH, P. (2003), Planning by Consent: The Origins and Nature of British Development Control, London, Routledge. Planning by Consent: The Origins and Nature of British Development Control Google Scholar

CAMPBELL, H. and MARSHALL, R. (2002), ‘Utilitarianism's bad breath? A re-evaluation of the public interest justification for planning’, Planning Theory, 1, 163-88. ‘Utilitarianism's bad breath? A re-evaluation of the public interest justification for planning’ Planning Theory 1 163 88 Google Scholar

CLAYDON, J. (1998), ‘Discretion in development control: a study of how discretion is exercised in the conduct of development control in England and Wales’, Planning Practice and Research, 13, 53-62. ‘Discretion in development control: a study of how discretion is exercised in the conduct of development control in England and Wales’ Planning Practice and Research 13 53 62 Google Scholar

COULSON, A. (ed.) (1998), Trust and Contracts: Relationships in Local Government, Health and Public Services, Bristol, Policy Press. Trust and Contracts: Relationships in Local Government, Health and Public Services Google Scholar

CULLINGWORTH, B. and NADIN, V. (2006), Town and Country Planning in the UK (14th edn), London, Routledge. Town and Country Planning in the UK Google Scholar

DAVIS, A. R. (2001), ‘Hidden or hiding? Public perceptions of participation in the planning system’, Town Planning Review, 72, 193-216. ‘Hidden or hiding? Public perceptions of participation in the planning system’ Town Planning Review 72 193 216 Google Scholar

EARLE, T. and CVETKOVICH, G. (1995) Social Trust: Toward a Cosmopolitan Society, Westport CT, Praeger. Social Trust: Toward a Cosmopolitan Society Google Scholar

EVANS, B. (1993), ‘Why we no longer need a town planning profession’, Planning Practice and Research, 8, 9-15. ‘Why we no longer need a town planning profession’ Planning Practice and Research 8 9 15 Google Scholar

EVETTS, J. (2002), ‘New directions in state and international professional occupations: discretionary decision-making and acquired regulation’, Work, Employment and Society, 16, 341-53. ‘New directions in state and international professional occupations: discretionary decision-making and acquired regulation’ Work, Employment and Society 16 341 53 Google Scholar

FERLIE, E., ASHBURNER, L., FITZGERALD, L. and PETTIGREW, A. (1996), The New Public Management in Action, Oxford, OUP. The New Public Management in Action Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (1988), Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (1994), Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy and Policy, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Professionalism Reborn: Theory, Prophecy and Policy Google Scholar

FREIDSON, E. (2001), Professionalism: The Third Logic, Cambridge, Polity. Professionalism: The Third Logic Google Scholar

FURBEY, R., REID, B. and COLE, I. (2001), ‘Housing professionalism in the United Kingdom: the final curtain or a new age?’ Housing, Theory and Society, 18, 36-49. ‘Housing professionalism in the United Kingdom: the final curtain or a new age?’ Housing, Theory and Society 18 36 49 Google Scholar

GIDDENS, A. (1990), The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge, Polity. The Consequences of Modernity Google Scholar

GOLDTHORPE, J. (1982), ‘On the service class, its formation and future’ in A. Giddens and G. Mackenzie (eds), Social Class and the Division of Labour: Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 162-85. Social Class and the Division of Labour: Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt 162 85 Google Scholar

GROUNDWATER-SMITH, S. and SACHS, J. (2002), ‘The activist professional and the reinstatement of trust’, Cambridge Journal of Education, 32, 341-58. ‘The activist professional and the reinstatement of trust’ Cambridge Journal of Education 32 341 58 Google Scholar

HARDIN, R. (2002), Trust and Trustworthiness, New York, Russell Sage Foundation. Trust and Trustworthiness Google Scholar

HARDIN, R. (2006), Trust, Cambridge, Polity. harris, n. (2010) ‘Discretion and expediency in the enforcement of planning controls’, Town Planning Review, 81, 675-700. Trust, Cambridge, Polity. harris, n. (2010) ‘Discretion and expediency in the enforcement of planning controls’ Town Planning Review 81 675 700 Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. and UNDERWOOD, J. (1978), ‘Professional ideals and planning practice: a report on research into planners’ ideas in practice in London borough planning departments', Progress in Planning, 9, 73-127. ‘Professional ideals and planning practice: a report on research into planners’ ideas in practice in London borough planning departments' Progress in Planning 9 73 127 Google Scholar

HOWE, E. (1992), ‘Professional roles and the public interest in planning’, Journal of Planning Literature, 6, 230-48. ‘Professional roles and the public interest in planning’ Journal of Planning Literature 6 230 48 Google Scholar

JOHNSON, T. (1972), Professions and Power, London, Macmillan. kitchen, t. (1997), People, Politics, Policies and Plans: The City Planning Process in Contemporary Britain, London, Paul Chapman Publishing. People, Politics, Policies and Plans: The City Planning Process in Contemporary Britain Google Scholar

KUMAR, A. and PADDISON, R. (2000), ‘Trust and collaborative planning theory: the case of the Scottish planning system’, International Planning Studies, 5, 205-23. ‘Trust and collaborative planning theory: the case of the Scottish planning system’ International Planning Studies 5 205 23 Google Scholar

LARSON, M. (1977), The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press. The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis Google Scholar

LAURIAN, L. (2007), ‘Deliberative planning through citizen advisory boards: five case studies from military and civilian environmental cleanups’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 26, 415-34. ‘Deliberative planning through citizen advisory boards: five case studies from military and civilian environmental cleanups’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 26 415 34 Google Scholar

LAURIAN, L. (2009), ‘Trust in planning: theoretical and practical considerations for participatory and deliberative planning’, Planning Theory and Practice, 10, 369-91. ‘Trust in planning: theoretical and practical considerations for participatory and deliberative planning’ Planning Theory and Practice 10 369 91 Google Scholar

LEWICKI, R., McALLISTER, D. and BIES, R. (1998), ‘Trust and distrust: new relationships and realities’, Academy of Management Review, 23, 438-58. ‘Trust and distrust: new relationships and realities’ Academy of Management Review 23 438 58 Google Scholar

LIPSKY, M. (1980), Street-level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service, New York, Russell Sage Foundation. Street-level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service Google Scholar

LUHMANN, N. (1979), Trust and Power, Chichester, Wiley. Trust and Power Google Scholar

MAYER, R., DAVIS, J. and SCHOORMAN, F. (1995), ‘An integrative model of organizational trust’, Academy of Management Review, 20, 709-34. ‘An integrative model of organizational trust’ Academy of Management Review 20 709 34 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

McKNIGHT, D. and CHERVANY, M. (2001) ‘Trust and distrust definitions: one bite at a time’, from R. Falcone, M. Singh and Y.-H. Tan (eds), Trust in Cyber-societies: Integrating the Human and Artificial Perspectives (Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 2246), Heidelberg, Springer, 27-54. Trust in Cyber-societies: Integrating the Human and Artificial Perspectives 27 54 Google Scholar

MISHRA, A. (1996), ‘Organizational responses to crisis: the centrality of trust’, in R. Kramer and T. Tyler (eds), Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research, Thousand Oaks CA, Sage, 261-88. Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research 261 88 Google Scholar

MISZTAL, B. (1996), Trust in Modern Societies, Cambridge, Polity. Trust in Modern Societies Google Scholar

O'NEILL, O. (2002), A Question of Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pellizzoni, l. (2005), ‘Trust, responsibility and environmental policy’, European Societies, 7, 567-94. A Question of Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pellizzoni, l. (2005), ‘Trust, responsibility and environmental policy’ European Societies 7 567 94 Google Scholar

POWER, M. (1997), The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford, OUP. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification Google Scholar

PUTNAM, R. (2000), Bowling Alone, New York, Simon & Schuster. Bowling Alone Google Scholar

SCHÖN, D. (1982), ‘Some of what a planner knows’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 48, 351-64. ‘Some of what a planner knows’ Journal of the American Planning Association 48 351 64 Google Scholar

SCOTT, A. (1999), ‘Geographies of trust, geographies of hierarchy’, in M. Warren (ed.), Democracy and Trust, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 273-89. Democracy and Trust 273 89 Google Scholar

STEIN, S. and HARPER, T. (2003), ‘Power, trust and planning’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23, 125-39. ‘Power, trust and planning’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 23 125 39 Google Scholar

STRATHERN, M. (2000), ‘The tyranny of transparency’, British Educational Research Journal, 26, 309-21. ‘The tyranny of transparency’ British Educational Research Journal 26 309 21 Google Scholar

SVENSSON, L. (2006), ‘New professionalism, trust and competence: some conceptual remarks and empirical data’, Current Sociology, 54, 579-93. ‘New professionalism, trust and competence: some conceptual remarks and empirical data’ Current Sociology 54 579 93 Google Scholar

SWAIN, C. and TAIT, M. (2007), ‘The crisis of trust and planning’, Planning Theory and Practice, 8, 229-47. ‘The crisis of trust and planning’ Planning Theory and Practice 8 229 47 Google Scholar

TAIT, M. (2011), ‘Trust and the public interest in the micropolitics of planning practice’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 31, 157-71. ‘Trust and the public interest in the micropolitics of planning practice’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 31 157 71 Google Scholar

VEYSEY, L. (1975), ‘Who's a professional? Who cares?’, Reviews in American History, 3, 419-23. ‘Who's a professional? Who cares?’ Reviews in American History 3 419 23 Google Scholar

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Author details

Tait, Malcolm