The Planning Process

To understand the intersections between urban planning and the housing market, and the ways in which these may differ between jurisdictions, it is important to understand the process by which planning decisions are carried out. These processes can unfold over a considerable period of time. Indeed, the time taken to secure planning permission is often regarded to be a major constraint in housing development (Ball 2010; Dowall 1979; Keogh and Evans 1992), discussed further in Chap. 4.

Since regulatory planning is bound by legislation, the planning process itself follows defined and sequential paths. Often a broad division is made between comprehensive forward or ‘strategic’ planning for a defined area (assigning land for particular uses), and ‘development control’—assessing specific proposals for development on a particular site. Strategic planning processes might apply to a neighbourhood, a whole town or a larger region, during which time land will be allocated for different uses in relation to a set of overarching objectives, existing development and infrastructure, and environmental or physical characteristics and constraints.

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