Chicago and Boston are insightful, where new political groupings, bridging racial and ethnic lines, have
started to refocus revitalisation programmes through
policies linking downtown and neighbourhood development. A marked contrast is found in Liverpool,
where separatechapters by Parkinson and Ben-Tovim
illustrate how unresolved political strife and the
neglect of black concerns has mired a city already
devastated by economic forces.
The book is not without weaknesses. The choice of
cases seemsa little arbitrary: there is no discussion of
older American industrial cities like Buffalo or Cleveland to match the presentations on Glasgow and
Liverpool, while New York and Chicago are included
but London is not. Except for the introduction,
opportunities to make comparisons between American and British experiences are infrequently taken.
Still, this is a very useful book that provides a
relatively up-to-date review of developments and
some much needed balance to inflated claims about
the recent achievements of urban regeneration in the
United States and Britain.
Office of Technology Assessment,
Congress of the United States
â€¢ The views expressed in this review are not necessarily
those of the Office of Technology Assessment.
Development Control: Policy Into Practice, Peter
Morgan and Susan Nott, London, Butterworths, 1988,
362 pp., Â£24.00 (f1Ib), Â£ 12.95 (p/b)
This book is an acknowledgement of the current
importance of development control within the planning system. Its purpose is to describe control in
Britain from the initial application to the final
decision, whether it be by the local planning authority, the Secretary of State or the courts. Its strength
is that it is written jointly by a lawyer and a planner.
Although the book is couched in the form of a legal
text, with its tables of statutes and casesand lengthy
footnotes, its legal commentaries are reinforced by
more general planning considerations. However,
those planning considerations are written almost
exclusively from within the planning office itself.
There is very little attempt to place development
control in the context of a wider view of the development process. Thus chapter two, on the personnel of
Copyright Â© 2010 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.
Copyright Â© Liverpool University Press.
planning, has only three very brief paragraphs on the
role of the private sector developer, and virtually
nothing of the forces which would mould the form,
function and location of development before it ever
reaches the desk of the development control officer.
After the introductory chapters, the book then
settles down to describing and discussing develop. ment control with many useful insights into its legal
nature and its relationship with planning policy. As
the authors say, the application for planning permission which starts the formal procedures is the
'deceptively simple process' by which the attempt is
made to turn policy into practice. What the authors
never actually do, and note that neither has the
Department of the Environment, is arrive at an
adequate definition of development control beyond
that of controlling development. The gap lies in a
definition of the more fundamental purposes to be
achieved through development control. But that
would need a different book which would place
development control within land ownership and the
processes by which development is initiated and
The weakness is emphasised by the authors in their
discussion of the General Development and use
Classes Orders.They argue that the General Develop"
ment Order (GDO) represents a comprise between
two functions which are potentially in conflict, namely
those of permitting development whose envlronrnental impact is minimal, and a more radical instrument
for removing restrictions on development which
would boost the economic well-being of the
community at large. The latest revision of the GDO
came out after the book was published. It would
suggest that, together with the 1987 GDO, the com"
prise has been shifted significantly towards economic
The most valuable part of Development Control: Policy
into Practice follows in the next three chapters, on the
various sources of policy: development plans; local
policy and special controls, including what Healey
has termed the 'policy stance'; and the Department of
the Environment. It reminds us of the intentions of
the original 1944 White Paper on the control of land
use, and of the rapid and progressive erosion of its
aims for a national policy expressed through a two"
tier system of outline and detailed development
plans. It discusses the status of the current develop"
ment plans claiming that 'the structure plan remainS
the foundation policy document for all aspects of
development control in England and Wales, and is
likely to remain a constant source of reference'. This is
a statement which has been borne out by reviews of
planning practice, not so much in the sense that it is
legally or administratively binding as that the plan