Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This was the origin of the modern system of planning control. In fact this expectation was entirely mistaken as, by the mid 1950s, the rate of private sector development was vastly exceeding that of development control regulations 2012 pdf public sector. Although these are addressed via the process of formulating local planning policies for the area of each LPA on a local basis, as far as the public are concerned it is development control and the process of determining planning applications which is the most evident part of the planning system as a whole.
The term “development control” is usually used only in reference to control under Town and Country Planning legislation. Since that date planning permission has been required for all new development. With a few rare exceptions it is not specific to the person, organisation or firm who obtained the permission. Certain types of development are specifically excluded from the definition of development, such as routine building maintenance and repair. These are in effect granted an automatic planning permission by law, rather than requiring any specific application for planning permission.
Although still defined as “development” these works avoid any need to engage with the planning system and can be undertaken by land owners as a right. Some small scale changes between use classes are nevertheless “permitted development” and hence do not require planning permission. Any change of use of “sui generis” land requires planning permission. In practice most uses are a composite of several uses so that, say, a factory might well have an ancillary office and perhaps storage uses, all within the same premises. The owner of a listed building can also be compelled to keep it in a good state of repair to safeguard its architectural or historic significance. Unless those trees are dead, dying or dangerous, then consent is required for their removal, and generally a replacement tree may well be required.
If development is carried out without planning permission then the LPA may take “enforcement action” to have the building removed, the land reinstated, or at least undertake the minimum measures required to prevent any harm arising. Generally, a retrospective application for planning permission would be invited first, and action taken if planning permission is then refused. Almost all planning permissions are granted conditionally and enforcement action can also be taken to secure compliance with the conditions imposed. Unauthorised development can be the subject of a “stop notice” if there is an urgent need to prevent further harm. All applications for planning permission must by law be decided in accordance with relevant policies within the Development Plan prepared and published by the LPA, “unless other material considerations indicate otherwise”.
Planning Control is therefore “policy led” rather than “influence led”. These will incorporate a large measure of community and public involvement in preparing the new local planning policies by which applications will be decided in future years. Whatever their local priorities, future LDFs will be a key policy document for all local authorities, enabling them and other local agencies to engage in spatial planning for their local area on an inclusive and “joined up” basis. This is not just a description of the development, but also explains how the design was arrived at, what local planning policies have been observed, how any public engagement has been reflected in the design, and how relevant principles of good design have contributed to the proposal.