Case Western Reserve Law Review, Vol 13 No 4, 1962,
“Town and Country Planning in England: A Bird’s Eye View”
por R. E. Megarry
These defects, and many others, were corrected by the Act of 1947.
This scrapped the old system completely. It wiped the slate dean: in effect Parliament said, "We are going to start all over again. We will learn from our experience and mistakes under the old system and have a better and more comprehensive system of control." First, the old town planning schemes were all completely repealed and replaced by a very much modified version of the town planning scheme. Every local planning authority was required to prepare within three years what was called a "development plan."
Unlike the old planning schemes, development plans are compulsory. As a preparatory step, the authority was required to carry out a survey of its area and submit a report of the survey to the Minister, who is now the Minister of Housing and Local Government, in place of the Minister of Health. Although the report of the survey is not a formal part of the development plan, it usually contains far more reasoning and explanation of policies than will be found in the plan itself: the report explains, the plan states.
The development plan itself does not look very different from the old town planning scheme. There is still a complex of maps, including a basic map and a town map for each urban area. The town map has various markings and colorings on it; there may be red for the residential zones, dark purple for the heavy industrial zones, light purple for the noiseless, colorless, and odorless industries, brown for shopping areas, and so on. There are also program maps to show when during the next twenty years each of the changes is likely to take place.
Generally speaking, all our zoning is exclusive. We have never had a system of Euclidian zoning" in which there is a hierarchy of uses, and where in each class any use in a superior class is permitted. Thus an industrial zone does not embrace housing or shops. The furthest we go along this road is that some local planning authorities provide a table in the written statement which is part of the development plan showing certain compatible uses (e.g., shops and houses, or offices and public buildings) which will probably be permitted, or will be considered on their merits. Thus in a heavy industrial zone, permission for light industrial development will in all probability be granted; commercial development will be considered on its merits; and permission for housing development will in all probability be refused. Euclidian zoning would permit all these.
In addition to all the maps, the development plan includes a written statement. This sets out the broad outline of planning policy and the general rules to be applied in the area, together with various definitions. So the development plan does not look much different from the old town planning scheme. However, as you will see later there are some important differences.
Every local planning authority is thus obliged to prepare a development plan. Having prepared the plan, the authority must submit it to the Minister for approval. The plan must first be advertised. At least six weeks notice must be given to allow for objections, and anyone can inspect the development plan in the local city hall to see how it affects his own land. There will then be a public local inquiry into any objections to the development plan.
These inquiries are usually well attended by objectors. The inquiry will often last a long time. Perhaps the simplest of these inquiries will be completed in about a week, whereas the more complex ones take many weary months. At the inquiry there is a detailed examination of every objection that has been made to the development plan. The objections may be on matters of broad principle; on the other hand, they may be on the particular application of a planning policy to an individual plot of land. (Continua)
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