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By Booth Philip

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Additional resources for Controlling Development: Certainty, Discretion And Accountability (Natural and Built Environment Series, 9)

Example text

The second preoccupation had to do with the control of land values through the payment of compensation and the collection of betterment, which it was the task of the Uthwatt Committee to resolve. Indeed, this was a problem that had bedevilled the planning system since its inception in 1909. The 1909 Act had recognized that if the state deprived a landowner of a legitimate right to develop, the landowner might reasonably expect to be compensated. Conversely, if the state created higher land values through the activity of creating town extension schemes, it might reasonably expect itself to receive the betterment for the increase in value.

More significant was the introduction of, first, Enterprise Zones, and then Simplified Planning Zones, in which development was permitted as of right, provided it conformed to the general conditions of the document that covered the zone. Enterprise Zones were introduced to allow industry to develop free from normal restrictions, but the most significant freedom was from local taxation for a period of ten years. Simplified Planning Zones only offered freedom from the normal process of development control by permitting development, provided it conformed to the general requirements on use of land that was spelt out in zone document.

Together these form the discretionary basis for the whole of the British development control system, and give the system its unique character. But they also raise a difficult question about the right relationship between forward planning policy and the control of development, and they ensure that there can never be any certainty about potential future development or use of land until planning permission has been granted. Finally, the Act made good the omission of all the previous legislation by installing a system for enforcing planning control.

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