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Thread: BBC's The Planners Are Coming

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    BBC's The Planners Are Coming

    First episode (of 8) to air this Thursday (11th September) at 8pm GMT. BBC1.

    I'm sure it'll be a riveting watch and available on the BBC iPlayer - should you be able to get access to it. I will record it onto my magic telly box thing and then see if I can fathom a way to get it online without breaking too many broadcasting laws...

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Seems like there was mention of the series somewhere else on Cyburbia quite a while ago. Even if we don't get to see it maybe you or some other Brit could provide a review. Is it a comedy by chance?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Press Release about this TV show:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pre...planners.shtml
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Seems like there was mention of the series somewhere else on Cyburbia quite a while ago. Even if we don't get to see it maybe you or some other Brit could provide a review. Is it a comedy by chance?
    As far as I can work out it's a fly on the wall documentary type programme. I'm out on a wroks do in the evening but will report back at the earliest possible opportunity. For some reason I'm not expecting it to portray 'us' in a good light - probably as buffoons or loveable idiots.

    EDIT: updated press link for the show here

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    If any of our UkOGBaNI Cyburbians can get the show into a standard multimedia file format (mpg, avi, etc), I'll find a way to make it available on Cyburbia.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HarryFossettsHat View post
    As far as I can work out it's a fly on the wall documentary type programme. I'm out on a wroks do in the evening but will report back at the earliest possible opportunity. For some reason I'm not expecting it to portray 'us' in a good light - probably as buffoons or loveable idiots.

    EDIT: updated press link for the show here
    I'm envisioning the cast of Are You Being Served? in a municipal setting.

    (Google it, kiddies!)

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HarryFossettsHat View post
    As far as I can work out it's a fly on the wall documentary type programme. I'm out on a wroks do in the evening but will report back at the earliest possible opportunity. For some reason I'm not expecting it to portray 'us' in a good light - probably as buffoons or loveable idiots.

    EDIT: updated press link for the show here
    HFH, do you think it would be possible for you to find out the names/places of employment or even contact information (email?) of the municipal employees featured on the show? If so, could you PM me?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    And it's not just buildings that come under the control of Planning Departments, it's things like mobile phone masts as well. In a conservation area, [a citizen] tries to rally her community to save it from the relentless march of new technology.


    "I don't have to watch it. I lived it." --Pee Wee Herman

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    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    If any of our UkOGBaNI Cyburbians can get the show into a standard multimedia file format (mpg, avi, etc), I'll find a way to make it available on Cyburbia.
    I'm sure that the show will generate torrents of laughter and intrigue.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    It sounds quite dreadful.

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    It sounds quite dreadful.
    don't be a git.









    hfh, did i use it correctly?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    don't be a git.









    hfh, did i use it correctly?

    I have no idea what a "git" is. But I'll try not to be one

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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    HFH, do you think it would be possible for you to find out the names/places of employment or even contact information (email?) of the municipal employees featured on the show? If so, could you PM me?
    Hello,

    I work at one of the places of employment involved in the series which is the London Borough of Barnet Planning & Building Control Departments. Two other London Boroughs were involved, though im not sure which. One of the people featured tonight works in the Planning Department here.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dacta View post
    Hello,

    I work at one of the places of employment involved in the series which is the London Borough of Barnet Planning & Building Control Departments. Two other London Boroughs were involved, though im not sure which. One of the people featured tonight works in the Planning Department here.
    Excellent! There are many American planners who are eager for the opportunity to ask their colleagues in the UK about their experiences with that production. The show, as you probably know is being broadcast on BBC 1 tonight - we're trying to figure out a way to make the shows viewable for folks on Cyburbia.

    Dacta, check your email.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Welcome from a planner in the Washington DC area
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    Whoever the guy was from Barking & Dagenham that appeared on tonights show was, in my opinion, a disgrace to the planning permission.

    Firstly he turns up to visit customers wearing a bluetooth earpiece, which immediately suggests to the person he's visiting that he couldn't give a damn. Secondly, he breaks all the principles of confidentiality by actually encouraging a complainant to enter into private land when he is going in to tell the owner/tenant that he's breaching planning control, thereby potentially causing a physical confrontation.

    Having run enforcement teams for many years, if any of my staff had ever done that I wouldn't let them go on site again until they had further training because his behaviour was a liability to the Council- . It's when I watch programmes like this I realise how poor the quality of planning staff is in this country and why I'm fortunate to now work for a planning consultancy. It's a real shame that the vast majority of LPA planners are just happy to collect their salaries and have no passion for the subject.

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    Yeah....

    Quote Originally posted by pavel38 View post
    Whoever the guy was from Barking & Dagenham that appeared on tonights show was, in my opinion, a disgrace to the planning permission.

    Firstly he turns up to visit customers wearing a bluetooth earpiece, which immediately suggests to the person he's visiting that he couldn't give a damn. Secondly, he breaks all the principles of confidentiality by actually encouraging a complainant to enter into private land when he is going in to tell the owner/tenant that he's breaching planning control, thereby potentially causing a physical confrontation.

    Having run enforcement teams for many years, if any of my staff had ever done that I wouldn't let them go on site again until they had further training because his behaviour was a liability to the Council- . It's when I watch programmes like this I realise how poor the quality of planning staff is in this country and why I'm fortunate to now work for a planning consultancy. It's a real shame that the vast majority of LPA planners are just happy to collect their salaries and have no passion for the subject.
    Did I mention I'm available at any time for a mere £100,000 When and where do I need to report mate?
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Download Episode 1 (for those outside of the UK)

    For those outside of the UK who don't have access to BBC downloads:
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/mkf07r

    The Planners Are Coming: Episode 1

    New series looking at building planning processes aims to help householders, take wrong-doers to task and save our surroundings from ill-judged developments.

    A disabled pensioner is shocked to discover that she has no legal right to stop the car garage behind her East London flat building and blocking her view. With the help of her son she fights to save her garden oasis.

    In North London Senior Planning Officer Fabien Bernard-Gaudin finds something being built without planning permission. When he arrives on site he discovers that, amazingly, the proposed nine flats are finished and about to go on the market. Calling in the Planning Enforcement Team may mean the developers have to undo all their hard and expensive work and they won't do that without a battle.

    It is not just buildings that come under the control of planning departments, but also things like mobile phone masts. In a conservation area, Meenal Mehta tries to rally her community to save it from the relentless march of new technology.

    Broadcast on: BBC One, 8:00pm Thursday 11th September
    Duration: 30 minutes


    Quote Originally posted by pavel38 View post
    Whoever the guy was from Barking & Dagenham that appeared on tonights show was, in my opinion, a disgrace to the planning permission.

    Firstly he turns up to visit customers wearing a bluetooth earpiece, which immediately suggests to the person he's visiting that he couldn't give a damn. Secondly, he breaks all the principles of confidentiality by actually encouraging a complainant to enter into private land when he is going in to tell the owner/tenant that he's breaching planning control, thereby potentially causing a physical confrontation.
    I saw that, and just thought it was just a difference in planning practice in the UK. In the places where I've worked, when there's been a complaint about a possible zoning or site plan violation, the identity of the party making the complaint is kept confidential.

    It seems like planning enforcement in the UK, as depicted on the show, is reactive. Then again, the series might not be as interesting if they showed cases of proactive enforcement.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    I haven't had chance to watch the programme yet as I was out last night, although I will be catching up with it today.

    I would just like to pull pavel up on this though:

    Quote Originally posted by pavel38 View post
    It's a real shame that the vast majority of LPA planners are just happy to collect their salaries and have no passion for the subject.
    I don't think the vast majority are just happy to collect their salaries. In my experience of LPAs, both working for an LPA and currently in the private sector, I have encountered many many LPA planners with vision and drive to make things better in their authority areas.

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    episode 2: Sept 22 03:10 or Sept 25 20:00

    Charles Wright believed that a house built on his parents' land within the Greenbelt would never be allowed, so he turned a wood cabin into his home sweet home without any planning permission. But Planning Enforcement Officer Brian Taplin and Braintree Council have caught up with him.

    If Charles can't prove that he's lived there continuously for the past four years, then his house in the country could be demolished.

    Landscape designer Diarmuid Gavin never shies away from controversy and his design for a garden pavilion for a luxury block of flats has the neighbours up in arms. They worry that the peace of the suburb will be destroyed by wild parties but Diarmuid thinks they are just being difficult for the sake of it.

    In another garden, Head of Enforcement at Brent Council, Tim Rolt, discovers a shocking case of what's known in the trade as 'beds in sheds' when he goes to demolish an illegally-built garden extension.

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    last night's episode was mysteriously pulled at the last minute...

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    http://www.sendspace.com/file/6kcbci

    The Planners Are Coming: Episode 2

    Charles Wright believed that a house built on his parents' land within the Greenbelt would never be allowed, so he turned a wood cabin into his home sweet home without any planning permission. But Planning Enforcement Officer Brian Taplin and Braintree Council have caught up with him.

    If Charles can't prove that he's lived there continuously for the past four years, then his house in the country could be demolished.

    Landscape designer Diarmuid Gavin never shies away from controversy and his design for a garden pavilion for a luxury block of flats has the neighbours up in arms. They worry that the peace of the suburb will be destroyed by wild parties but Diarmuid thinks they are just being difficult for the sake of it.

    In another garden, Head of Enforcement at Brent Council, Tim Rolt, discovers a shocking case of what's known in the trade as 'beds in sheds' when he goes to demolish an illegally-built garden extension.

    Broadcast on: BBC One, 8:00pm Thursday 25th September
    Duration: 29 minutes



    IMHO, this is must-see TV for North American planners, because it shows some very different code enforcement techniques than what we're used to.

    British code enforcement officers tear down buildings and plant lawns! In the US, depending on the jurisdiction, fines and leins will be levied; a property owner may even be jailed if they do not resolve their violation, although it's rare. A municipality may contract with a demolition or cleanup crew as a last resort -- I had a contract with a towing company for junk car extraction in one town where I worked; it was the most common property maintenance issue -- but enforcement action certainly isn't as it is depicted on The Planners are Coming; "we sent you a violation notice and you didn't address it, so we're doing it for you."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    I've been enjoying the series. It's interesting to see the similarties and differences in the way things happen in England.
    Please keep the episodes coming.

    Thanks!
    Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :-o
    - Yogi Berra

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    http://www.sendspace.com/file/m5nvdu

    The Planners Are Coming: Episode 3

    It's not just residential buildings that come under Planning Department control. Enforcement Officer John Ayres is called to an industrial site where a wood recycling operation has sprung up without warning. Local workers are complaining that the dust it produces is a health hazard and they're worried that the huge piles of wood and chippings could spontaneously combust. While the site operators and the local council argue over whether it's operating legally, a mysterious fire suddenly breaks out.

    Wood piles of a different kind come under scrutiny when Tree Officer Anne Currell is alerted to an Atlantic Cedar that has been savagely attacked by a chainsaw-wielding man. The tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and if Anne can track down the culprit, they could be facing a fine of up to 20,000 pounds.

    Vigilant neighbours complain about a house that has simply disappeared. First-time developer Jeremy Morris might have got permission to convert a semi-detached house into flats, but somehow the entire house has been demolished and he has no permission to rebuild. If the Planning Committee refuses his application, his career as a developer may come to an end.

    Broadcast on: BBC One, 8:00pm Thursday 2nd October
    Duration: 29 minutes
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Thanks Dan! I've been enjoying the series quite a bit. I guess development control and enforcement are better suited for TV than policy planning

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