Last edited 08 Jun 2021

Town and Country Planning Act


[edit] 1944 Act

The Ministry of Town and Country Planning was established in February 1943.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 is sometimes referred to as the ‘Blitz and Blight Act’, as it drew together the issues of post-war reconstruction and the demolition of slums. This followed pressure from Birmingham’s city surveyor, Herbert Manzoni, and others, who feared that new planning powers would otherwise not enable them to solve the range of problems which extended far beyond the damage itself. Ref Bombing and rebuilding.

The Act allowed local authorities to compulsorily acquire bomb-damaged areas for redevelopment and created a fund of £300 million to compensate owners for the loss of development rights. Ref

[edit] 1947 Act

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 formed the basis for much of the contemporary planning system. It was intended as a response to the post-Second World War need for large-scale rebuilding and planning of towns and cities, as well as to help reorganise industry.

The 1947 Act democratised the use of land, controlling it and requiring planning permission to be granted prior to development beginning. The significance of the Act lay in the fact that by establishing the requirement for planning permission, the right to develop land was no longer a given of ownership.

This meant that local authorities, which were reorganised from 1,400 to 145, had to prepare a comprehensive local plan which set out detailed policies and proposals for the use and development of land within their area. Permitted development rights were granted to sectors such as agriculture which exempted them from some planning controls.

Wide-ranging powers were given to local authorities, including:

The latter power was the beginning of the listed building process, which provide protections to certain historic buildings.

[edit] Town and Country Planning Act 1968.

Brought effective protection to listed buildings for the first time and was the key to the conservation revolution.

For more information see: Town and Country Planning Act 1968.

[edit] 1990 Act

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 superseded the 1947 Act and made several changes, principally dividing planning into forward planning and development control, i.e. setting out the future strategy of the local authority, and controlling the current development.

This principle was amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991, which introduced the plan-led system, meaning that development plans should be determined in line with planning applications.

Part 3 of the Act places all significant development decisions by private landowners in public ownership, which was seen as being necessary to prevent development taking place that was against the will or best interests of the community.

Section 102 enables a Notice to be issued ordering the discontinuing use, or alteration or removal of buildings or works. A local planning authority (LPA) can issue a Notice if they consider it is in the interests of the proper planning of their area, including being in the interests of amenity. For more information, see Section 102.

Section 106 allows for the setting in place of planning agreements or planning obligations that developers must meet in order to secure planning permission. The purpose of Section 106 is to offset the costs (social, infrastructural, economic, etc.) entailed with the development going ahead. This can take the form of a provision for social or affordable housing, or a contribution towards the provision of better local infrastructure. For more information, see Section 106 contributions.

Sections 137-171 relate to the landowner’s right to require purchase of interests, i.e. interests affected by planning decisions or orders. Known as property blight, this involves the reduction in marketability and value of land as a result of a public sector decision. For more information, see Property blight.

Section 215 enables an LPA to serve a notice if they judge the condition of land or buildings to be harmful to the area. A typical application of a Section 215 notice is to require the tidying up of waste and detritus on open land. For more information, see Section 215.

Sections 226-246 relate to the acquisition and appropriation of land for public and planning purposes, as well as the extinguishment of certain rights.

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