A Conversation for British Town Planning

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My doesn't three years go by quickly... it only seems like three years ago I posted this entry. But it is now a little out of date. Here are some significant changes:

The central Government body that runs British Town Planning is now the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)currently headed by Mr. John Prescott. Yup, the one who thumped a Member of the public during the last election campaign.

There are some very good websites for further general information: see www.rtpi.org.uk or www.planning.haynet.com. Also, most local authorities have good websites with planning information on them, just search for your local council.

The British Planning world is undergoing some significant changes just now. New legislation will, amongst other things, be changing the system dramatically towards the end of 2003.e.g.

Abolishing the County role in producing Structure Plans.
Replacing Structure and Local Plans with Local Development Frameworks plans (nope, nobody here knows the difference either).
Tinkering with procedures to make planning faster.

Also, the recently announced £300 Million for Planning over the next three years is supposedly for improvements to the system. What it means is that more and more Councils are falling over themselves to make fast decisions to gain the kudos and attract some of this money. Each Council this year was given £75,000 minimum as a starter. Big deal, it is enough to pay for one upgrade to that useless computerised planning records system to make it even less usable than before. National Supermarkets will spend this kind of money on one tricksie Barrister at one Public Inquiry to get their way.

Also, Councils are finding it hard today to recruit new planners on the pitiful salaries they insist on paying. Consequently there are fewer graduates into the profession than junior posts in the country. So, if anyone needs a job out there...........

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