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Title: The monitoring and review process in English regional planning
Author: Preuss, Stefan Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3499 7214
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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This study investigates the trajectory of regional planning in England in the light of the reforms to the planning system since 1997. It looks in particular into a key element of these reforms, namely the introduction of what will be called a Plan, Monitor and Manage (PMM) approach to regional planning. The concept of PMM first emerged in regional planning debates in relation to housing but a central argument in this research is that with the revision of PPG11 in the late 1990s/early 2000s a 'mainstreaming' of PMM has occurred insofar as key ideas and elements of PMM have become the formula for regional planning as a whole. In a nutshell, the current PMM approach envisages a continuous planning process of strategy making, implementation, monitoring and review which is to increase the responsiveness of planning, bring about more up-to-date strategies and enhance implementation. Against this backdrop, the research sets out to examine and explain the operation and implications of the PMM approach to regional planning. The investigation is carried out at two interconnected levels. On the one hand, the study examines the 'practical' side of PMM, its functioning and implications as regards technical, organisational and governance matters as well as substantive outcomes. On the other hand, the operation of PMM and its implications are linked to wider theoretical debates about political ideologies, governmental agendas, public sector, planning and state reform. The empirical element of the study combines an overarching analysis of the situation across England with two detailed case studies of the practice of PMM in two English regions, namely the West Midlands and South East of England. The analysis of the operation and implications of PMM in regional planning produces a fairly ambiguous picture. On the one hand, the study shows the progress which has been made so far and identifies potential and concrete benefits of the PMM model, e.g. a planning system which is responsive to change and draws more widely on monitoring. On the other hand, the current PMM model entails major problems and challenges. Some of these could be described as the 'teething problems' of a new system, some are operational problems and others are methodological and conceptual limitations such as the difficulties in achieving responsiveness through strategy review. However, many of the problems which have been identified can be assigned to structural limitations in the way the current PMM model is designed and resourced, inherent tensions and conflicting or essentially incompatible requirements. In the light of these findings, the study develops recommendations for improved national policy and regional practice of PMM.
Supervisor: Marshall, Tim ; Glasson, John Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral