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Title: A viable systems analysis of development control services in English Local Planning Authorities
Author: Wynn, Catherine
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2012
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Development Control in England is an important element of the Town and Country Planning process and the economic structure of the country: it is the process which approves or prevents development. Despite this, there is comparatively little research into the processes involved in, and the management of, the decision making process, and there are difficulties effectively researching the process. The Development Control process lies within a changing environment, both with regards to its political and economic influences, but it is vital that it remains effective and efficient throughout changes in its situation. Historically, it has struggled to adapt to these changes, such as the increased demand on its services throughout the 2000’s when it was subject to criticism in particular in relation to housing supply. This study presents a unique examination of Development Control services in England. It examines the barriers which present themselves in the research of its processes, developing a methodology based on the Viable Systems Model of Stafford Beer to overcome these barriers and, most significantly, it successfully applies this methodology, providing a structured examination of the ability of the system to adapt to changes in its environment. This examination is highly original in both its subject matter and its methodology and is, as such, a significant contribution to both the fields of Development Control and the Viable Systems Model. It contributes to the limited research within Development Control, extends the fields to which the Viable Systems Model has been applied and demonstrates the presence of features of the Viable Systems Model in an existing high performing authority. The analysis identified important areas of both good and bad practice and led to recommendations which can assist Development Control services strengthen their ability to recognise and adapt to change. Furthermore, the methodology and recommendations have potential to be applied throughout local authority services, and in other Government provision, to enable services to be effective throughout future changes in their political and economic environments.
Supervisor: Stephenson, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available