(Cullingworth, J. Barry 1994)
The planning system in UK is unique. National legislation is applicable to almost whole country and it is compulsory follow it. Local governments carry out land use and planning policies within the framework of the central legislation and policies. Central government departments have comprehensive controls over local government planning activities. Acts of parliament require local governments to submit proposals and development plans. It is the discretion of central government to accept, modify or even reject the plans. The Central government also has authority to control borrowing and other affairs of local authorities.
Control over land use planning is of various categories. Structure plans consist of policy statement of local authorities need to be approved by the Secretary of State. The Secretary has authority to modify or even reject the plans
The Structure plan is detailed operational plan of local authorities describing each aspect of proposed planning required for a particular area. These plans are prepared and adopted by local authorities after public inquiries and surveys.
The Secretary of State not only has power t...
The local authorities then start the process of planning application keeping in view the directives of Central Government. The local authorities also consider various provisions in dealing with planning applications. (www.odpm.gov.uk)
The courts have a very small role in land use planning. They are involved only when local authorities are alleged to have violated provisions of planning legislation. But if local government has any grievances they submit appeals to the office of secretary of state. British plans have force of law, but the implementation is mainly on the discretion of local authorities. The Office of Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for setting national planning policy. Draft plans are prepared by local authorities. Planning of the new buildings or changes to existing buildings or the local environment requires permission from the local authority.
The ODPM is a source of information for the general public, planners and local authorities. This includes advice on planning permission, online applications and guidance on how the system works. (www.odpm.gov.uk)
Reforms in the planning system
The British, who see the shortcomings of their planning system much more clearly than its merits, are seeking help from studies of foreign practice. Indeed, a wealth of comparative material on planning systems is becoming available.
The 1947 British white paper that explained the proposed postwar planning legislation stated the point categorically: "the best way of putting plans into effect is often to make the land available for any development which the plan shows to be desirable.
The central government is making,