The British system of development control is time-consuming and uncertain in outcome. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly overloaded as it has gradually switched away from being centred on a traditional ‘is it an appropriate land-use?’ type approach to one based on multi-faceted inspections of projects and negotiations over the distribution of the potential financial gains arising from them. Recent policy developments have centred on improving the operation of development control. This paper argues that more fundamental issues may be a stake as well. Important market changes have increased workloads. Furthermore, the UK planning system's institutional framework encourages change to move in specific directions, which is not always helpful. If expectations of increased long-term housing supply are to be met more substantial changes to development control may be essential but hard to achieve
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