Town Planning Review

Surveillance, social control and planning: citizen-engagement in the detection and investigation of breaches of planning regulations

Town Planning Review (2013), 84, (2), 171–196.

Abstract

Regulatory controls and their enforcement - including planning controls over the built environment - depend on a capacity to detect and monitor breaches or infringements of regulations. The article uses concepts derived from surveillance studies literature to explore the mechanisms by which breaches of planning controls are initially detected and subsequently investigated. The specific focus of the article is on how the public are engaged in the enforcement of planning controls, particularly in reporting breaches as complainants and carrying out ongoing surveillance of sites as informants. The empirical material presented in the article is based on structured interviews with planning enforcement officers in England.

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Harris, Neil