Conclusion: Planning for the Future
The discussion in Chapter 14 has highlighted the impacts of planning, in its various forms, as revealed through published research and data. It provides a mixed account of the success of planning in achieving its objectives. There are two broad reasons for the criticisms. First, there is the inadequacy of the policy tools that have been available to planners. Some of the tools, such as development control, are reactive in nature. In some cases, the application of protective designations is not the most appropriate approach as changes in land management practice are needed. Many types of regulation are weak, due to scope of application or problems of implementation and enforcement. Resources are not always properly distributed to achieve the policy goals; this is clearly the case with agricultural support. In some areas, as with urban regeneration, the level of resources is insufficient to deal with the scale of the problem and the pressure of market forces. And there are difficulties in raising the public support needed to implement measures which would achieve the policy goals, as with raising fuel prices sufficiently to alter travel patterns. The second reason lies in the unsatisfactory outcome of the ‘politics of planning’, the operation of negotiation and bargaining during the planning policy process. Charges of corporatism and inadequate public participation have been levelled at some aspects, such as pollution control; elsewhere the balance of involvement by interests has resulted in certain groups being poorly treated by the distributive impacts of planning. The
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