The interface between the planning system and private organisations in the case of large applications for development : a theoretical and empirical study
This thesis focuses on the planning system as a complex and frequently difficult interface between the planning system and private organisations. The key questions asked in the thesis are first analytical, what are the relationships at the interface and secondly, managerial, can the interface be managed in a better way? The theoretical approach adopted is based on the Institutional Approach to planning and more particularly the communicative version of that approach. A particular analytical method has been developed based on project issues and the investigation of five dimensions of planning: Command, Challenge, Collaboration, Contract and Culture (the 5Cs).This research has a qualitative focus and is based on three case studies: a compulsory purchase by an Urban Development Corporation of a building owned by a major company whose challenge took the case to the Court of Appeal; a change of use of a site from bus depot to a supermarket raising highway, traffic, Conservation area, air pollution and cultural issues; a change of use from an industrial site to housing in which the Local Plan, employment and housing were key issues. The thesis finds a dominant power of command in planning governance, a crucial importance of the right to challenge, and an absence of real collaboration and contractual relationships. The lack of discussion in practice of the importance of cultural differences and the impact on resources are also evident. From these findings the thesis proposes a prescriptive model for the management of the public-private interface. This is based on a modified collaborative model of the Institutional Approach but is equally influenced by the analytical model of the 5 Cs developed in this thesis.