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By Philip Booth

The British approach of common improvement keep an eye on celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1997. Remarkably, the approach has survived roughly intact however the event of the Nineteen Eighties has left huge questions unanswered in regards to the relevance and effectiveness of the process. This publication strains the background of the improvement keep watch over method in Britain from early glossy occasions to the current day

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Additional resources for Planning by consent : the origins and nature of British developmental control

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Medieval controls were about maintaining social harmony by preventing neighbour disputes. Tudor and Stuart controls aimed to reduce the potential for civil unrest by preventing new building. However, by allowing some new building providing it conformed to a rigorous aesthetic code, they were also attempting to 20 PLANNING BY CONSENT encourage residence in London by the gentry and the aristocracy. In more recent times, the idea of promoting a certain kind of development, ostensibly for aesthetic reasons, may well be as much about social as architectural proprieties.

Some of the material comes from other published sources, particularly for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some of the material has been assembled for this book. Material from Sheffield has been used both for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, not because Sheffield was particularly remarkable, indeed rather the opposite. Sheffield is the ordinary, rather 24 PLANNING BY CONSENT than the exceptional, case of urban development control, a touchstone of how a process was experienced on the ground, a counterpoint to official thinking at the centre.

Something else was at work in this control of building, however. The Stuart monarchs saw the fining of offenders against the royal proclamations as a convenient source of revenue that did not require the approval of Parliament (Barnes, 1971). The City rightly objected that simply fining offenders instead of demolishing the buildings negated the intention of the proclamations. Particularly insidious in this view was the habit of ‘compounding’ with offenders, that is to say, agreeing what proportion of the fine should be paid and over what period.

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