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11 September 2005
Against Planning

The Independent says: “Creeping urbanisation ‘could destroy rural England in 30 years’ “

To which Stephen Pollard replies: “At least there’s some good news around.”

Now, I suspect that Stephen doesn’t really mean this.  I think what he actually means to say is that he doesn’t like planning.  I don’t either.  I also suspect he has doubts about the “concreting over” propaganda (me too) but just finds it easier to be offensive than to list out the whole counter-argument in all its complexity.

PermalinkFeedback (3)Planning


  1. We just need to get rid of the fucking Green Belts. (Well, that would be a good start, anyway).

    Posted by Michael Jennings on 12 September 2005 at 02:10pm

  2. “Easier to be offensive”? Nah, just couldn’t resist a feed line.

    Posted by Natalie Solent on 14 September 2005 at 04:16pm

  3. Look at “The Containment of Urban England” by Sir Peter Hall et al for a pretty definitive assessment of both how it happened and the consequences in terms of social exclusion and land costs.

    “It is an analysis of the British town and country planning system, based on a formidable amount of statistical research. It focuses on the processes of urban growth in England and Wales since World War II and describes how the planning movement tried to contain and guide it”. (from the wikipedia entry on Peter Hall.)

    It is out of print now but from memory although he accepts - indeed demonstrates - that Planning has driven up land values in the SE especially, he still seems to believe that some sort of planning system is needed.

    Peter Hall also wrote - along with Rayner Banham and others - a very influential article in 1969 in New Society called “Non-Plan: an experiment in freedom”, (more here: )

    Another, much less satisfactory article on planning without the state is in the book The Voluntary City. It is less satisfactory because it contains many inaccuracies that detract from the author’s case.

    As for Hyde Park etc they remained open because the Royal owners wanted them to be so. Perhaps the Commons were just that and managed to avoid the sort of theft inherent in the enclosure movement.

    Posted by ian on 09 November 2007 at 02:16am

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