Town Planning Review

Reforming the process for infrastructure planning in the UK/England 1990–2010

Town Planning Review (2011), 82, (4), 441–467.

Abstract

The 2008 Planning Act sought to give England, and to lesser extents other parts of the UK, a new planning process for deciding major infrastructure projects. The causes, gestation and politics of this measure are analysed in this paper. This shows how distinctive the UK context has become since the 1990s, with the new legislation emerging from the political economy of powerful infrastructure industries, interacting with the particular configuration of interests represented by the New Labour government. The post May 2010 government aims to keep the 2008 Act reforms, subject to some revised elements. At present the innovation stands out in European comparison, with no other state having taken this path.

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HM TREASURY (2006b), National Infrastructure Plan, London, HMT. Google Scholar

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HOUSE OF COMMONS, SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS (2002), The Planning Green Paper, Thirteenth Report, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS, SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS (2005), Minutes of Evidence, 30 November 2005, Examination of Sir Rod Eddington, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

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JESSOP, B. (2008), State Power, Cambridge, Polity. State Power Google Scholar

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KELLY, B. (2008) 'The Planning Bill: implications of the proposals for a new regime for major infrastructure for democracy and delivery', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 1–12. 'The Planning Bill: implications of the proposals for a new regime for major infrastructure for democracy and delivery' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 1 12 Google Scholar

LEVETT, R. (2007a), 'A White Paper for planning growth', ECOS, 28, 79–81. Google Scholar

LEVETT, R. (2007b), Deconstructing Barker: A Report for CPRE on the Planning White Paper, London, CPRE. Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, K. AND HONEY, R. (2007) 'Planning for a new generation of power stations', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, June, 843–62. Planning for a new generation of power stations Journal of Planning and Environment Law 843 62 Google Scholar

MCCRACKEN, R. (2009) 'Infrastructure Planning Commission: challenge or opportunity', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 7–23. 'Infrastructure Planning Commission: challenge or opportunity' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 7 23 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2010a), Scotland Working Paper, working paper available on research project webpages: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/schools/be/about/planning/projects/tmarshall.html Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2010b), 'Dissecting the first stab at a National Infrastructure Plan', Town and Country Planning, December, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

MVA (2002) Review of System for Making Orders under the Transport and Works Act 1992, MVA for DfT, Final report, February. Google Scholar

NEWMAN, P. (2009), 'Markets, experts and depoliticizing decisions on major infrastructure', Urban Research and Practice, 2, 158–68. Google Scholar

NUFFIELD FOUNDATION (1986), Town and Country Planning, London, Nuffield Foundation. Google Scholar

PURDUE, M. AND POPHAM, J. (2002), 'The future of the major inquiry' Journal of Planning and Environment Law, February, 137–50. The future of the major inquiry Journal of Planning and Environment Law 137 50 Google Scholar

RAWNSLEY, A. (2010), The End of the Party, London, Penguin. The End of the Party Google Scholar

RICS (ROYAL INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS) (1992) Shaping Britain for the 21st Century, London, RICS. Google Scholar

ROBINSON, P. (2009) 'Energy planning in 2009 – all systems go?' Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 53–77. 'Energy planning in 2009 – all systems go?' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 53 77 Google Scholar

RSPB (ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS) (2002), Response to Planning Green Paper, executive summary, Sandy, RSPB. Google Scholar

RTPI (ROYAL TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE) (2006), Uniting Britain, London, RTPI. Google Scholar

SINEI (SURFACE INFRASTRUCTURE OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE) (2004), SINEI. A Study for England's Regional Development Agencies, Birmingham, Ecotec and Faber Maunsell. Google Scholar

TCPA (TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION) (2006), Connecting England, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. (1998), 'Modernising planning?', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, June, 519–28. Modernising planning? Journal of Planning and Environment Law 519 28 Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. (2002), The Planning Polity, London, Routledge. The Planning Polity Google Scholar

THOMPSON, P. (2002), 'Major infrastructure projects – where to now?', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, Occasional Paper 30, 25–46. Google Scholar

BANHAM, J. (1994), The Anatomy of Change, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson. The Anatomy of Change Google Scholar

BANHAM, J. (1995), 'Rewriting our economic geography', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, Occasional Paper 23, 1–14. Google Scholar

BARKER, K. (2004), Barker Review of Housing Supply, Final Report, London, HM Treasury. Google Scholar

BARKER, K. (2006), Review of Land Use Planning, Final Report, London, HM Treasury. Google Scholar

BEECH, M. AND LEE, S. (2008), Ten Years of New Labour, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Ten Years of New Labour Google Scholar

BRENNER, N., PECK, J. AND THEODORE, N. (2010), 'After neoliberalization?', Globalizations, 7, 327–45. After neoliberalization? Globalizations 7 327 45 Google Scholar

BRUTON, M. AND NICHOLSON, D. (1987), Local Planning in Practice, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

CASEY, T. (ed.) (2009), The Blair Legacy, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. The Blair Legacy Google Scholar

CBI (CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY) (1986), Planning and Working Together, London, CBI and the National Development Control Forum. Google Scholar

CBI (CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY) (1992), Shaping the Nation, London, CBI. Google Scholar

CBI (CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY) (1995), Missing Links, London, CBI. Google Scholar

CBI (CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY) (2000), Manifesto – Towards 2010, London, CBI. Google Scholar

CBI (CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY) (2005), Transport Policy and the Needs of the Economy, London, CBI. Google Scholar

CPRE (COUNCIL FOR THE PROTECTION OF RURAL ENGLAND) (2002), Planning for Major Infrastructure Proposals. Summary of CPRE's Views on the Government's Proposals, London, CPRE. Google Scholar

DCLG (DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2010), Localism Bill, London, DCLG. Google Scholar

DETR (DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS) (1998), Modernising Planning. A Policy Statement by the Minister for the Regions, Regeneration and Planning, London, DETR. Google Scholar

DETR (DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS) (1999a), Modernising Planning. A Progress Report, London, DETR. Google Scholar

DETR (DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS) (1999b), Modernising Planning. Streamlining The Processing Of Major Projects Through The Planning System (Consultation Paper), London, Detr. Google Scholar

DFT (DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT) (2003), The Future of Air Transport, London, DfT. Google Scholar

DTI (DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY) (2006), The Energy Challenge. Energy Review Report, London, DTI. Google Scholar

DTI (DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY) (2007), Meeting the Energy Challenge. A White Paper on Energy, London, DTI. Google Scholar

DUDLEY, N. AND RICHARDSON, J. (2000), Why Does Policy Change?, London, Routledge. Why Does Policy Change? Google Scholar

EDDINGTON, R. (2006), The Eddington Transport Study, London, DfT and HM Treasury. The Eddington Transport Study Google Scholar

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2010), Energy Infrastructure Priorities for 2020 and Beyond – a Blueprint for an Integrated European Energy Network, COM(2010) 677 final, 17/11/2010, Brussels, CEC. Google Scholar

GLASSON, J. AND ELSON, M. (1987), The Planning and Inquiry Process and Infrastructure Projects, MPA Briefing Paper 3, for 5th Annual Conference, Oxford, 28–30 September. Google Scholar

GRANT, M. (2002), Memorandum on the Planning Green Paper, April, submitted to the Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Appendices to the minutes of evidence, Thirteenth report. Google Scholar

GRANT, W. (2009), 'The pressure group challenge', in Casey, T. (ed.), The Blair Legacy, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 80–93. 'The pressure group challenge' The Blair Legacy 80 93 Google Scholar

GRANT, W. AND GREAVES, J. M. (2006) 'Pressure groups: business as usual but an expanding private sector', in Rush, M. and Giddings, P. (eds), The Palgrave Review of British Politics 2005, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Pressure groups: business as usual but an expanding private sector The Palgrave Review of British Politics 2005 Google Scholar

HAUGHTON, G., ALLMENDINGER, P., COUNSELL, D. AND VIGAR, G. (2010), The New Spatial Planning, Abingdon, Routledge. The New Spatial Planning Google Scholar

HAY, C. (2007), Why We Hate Politics, Cambridge, Polity. Why We Hate Politics Google Scholar

HELM, D. (2004), Energy, the State and the Market, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Energy, the State and the Market Google Scholar

HELM, D. (ed.) (2007), The New Energy Paradigm, Oxford, Oxford University Press. The New Energy Paradigm Google Scholar

HM GOVERNMENT (2007), Planning for a Sustainable Future, London, CLG, DEFRA, DTI, DfT. Google Scholar

HM TREASURY (2006a), Long-term Opportunities and Challenges in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, London, HMT. Google Scholar

HM TREASURY (2006b), National Infrastructure Plan, London, HMT. Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS, PROCEDURE COMMITTEE (2002), Major Infrastructure Projects: Proposed New Parliamentary Procedures, First Special Report, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS, SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS (2002), The Planning Green Paper, Thirteenth Report, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS, SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS (2005), Minutes of Evidence, 30 November 2005, Examination of Sir Rod Eddington, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS, SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT (2007), Minutes of Evidence, 16 April 2007, Examination of Sir Rod Eddington, London, House of Commons. Google Scholar

INCH, A. (2009), 'Planning at the crossroads again: re-evaluating street-level regulation of the contradictions in New Labour's planning reforms', Planning Practice and Research, 24, 83–101. Planning at the crossroads again: re-evaluating street-level regulation of the contradictions in New Labour's planning reforms Planning Practice and Research 24 83 101 Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (2008), State Power, Cambridge, Polity. State Power Google Scholar

JOINT RESPONSE BY 13 NGOS (2002), Major Infrastructure Projects – a Joint Response, March. Google Scholar

KELLY, B. (2008) 'The Planning Bill: implications of the proposals for a new regime for major infrastructure for democracy and delivery', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 1–12. 'The Planning Bill: implications of the proposals for a new regime for major infrastructure for democracy and delivery' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 1 12 Google Scholar

LEVETT, R. (2007a), 'A White Paper for planning growth', ECOS, 28, 79–81. Google Scholar

LEVETT, R. (2007b), Deconstructing Barker: A Report for CPRE on the Planning White Paper, London, CPRE. Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, K. AND HONEY, R. (2007) 'Planning for a new generation of power stations', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, June, 843–62. Planning for a new generation of power stations Journal of Planning and Environment Law 843 62 Google Scholar

MCCRACKEN, R. (2009) 'Infrastructure Planning Commission: challenge or opportunity', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 7–23. 'Infrastructure Planning Commission: challenge or opportunity' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 7 23 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2010a), Scotland Working Paper, working paper available on research project webpages: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/schools/be/about/planning/projects/tmarshall.html Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2010b), 'Dissecting the first stab at a National Infrastructure Plan', Town and Country Planning, December, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

MVA (2002) Review of System for Making Orders under the Transport and Works Act 1992, MVA for DfT, Final report, February. Google Scholar

NEWMAN, P. (2009), 'Markets, experts and depoliticizing decisions on major infrastructure', Urban Research and Practice, 2, 158–68. Google Scholar

NUFFIELD FOUNDATION (1986), Town and Country Planning, London, Nuffield Foundation. Google Scholar

PURDUE, M. AND POPHAM, J. (2002), 'The future of the major inquiry' Journal of Planning and Environment Law, February, 137–50. The future of the major inquiry Journal of Planning and Environment Law 137 50 Google Scholar

RAWNSLEY, A. (2010), The End of the Party, London, Penguin. The End of the Party Google Scholar

RICS (ROYAL INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS) (1992) Shaping Britain for the 21st Century, London, RICS. Google Scholar

ROBINSON, P. (2009) 'Energy planning in 2009 – all systems go?' Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 13, supplement, 53–77. 'Energy planning in 2009 – all systems go?' Journal of Planning and Environment Law 13 53 77 Google Scholar

RSPB (ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS) (2002), Response to Planning Green Paper, executive summary, Sandy, RSPB. Google Scholar

RTPI (ROYAL TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE) (2006), Uniting Britain, London, RTPI. Google Scholar

SINEI (SURFACE INFRASTRUCTURE OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE) (2004), SINEI. A Study for England's Regional Development Agencies, Birmingham, Ecotec and Faber Maunsell. Google Scholar

TCPA (TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION) (2006), Connecting England, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. (1998), 'Modernising planning?', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, June, 519–28. Modernising planning? Journal of Planning and Environment Law 519 28 Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. (2002), The Planning Polity, London, Routledge. The Planning Polity Google Scholar

THOMPSON, P. (2002), 'Major infrastructure projects – where to now?', Journal of Planning and Environment Law, Occasional Paper 30, 25–46. Google Scholar

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Author details

Marshall, Tim