Conformance and performance in Taiwan and England: pragmatism in approach?

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There are two distinct planning systems: the discretionary system, such as that of the United Kingdom and the zoning system, typical of Taiwan and Europe. Askew and Chao (2012) have previously compared Taiwanese and English planning systems with regard to advertisement controls, using the conformance and performance models of planning (Steele and Ruming, 2012). Rivolin (2012) and Buitelaar (2010) submit that these distinctions are being broken down across Europe. There is a view that the UK discretionary system (performance) is flexible, whilst the European (and Taiwanese) conformance model, offers certainty to developers, albeit very rigid. This inflexibility might result in development occurring outside the legal plan (Buitelaar, 2010), and probably means that the Dutch planning system does not provide the legal certainty it purports to do. The discretion of the UK system is becoming more attractive to countries with a conformance system, and vice-versa. In Taiwan, the zoning system prevails in urban areas. However, in rural areas, the system is more discretionary (Chen and Shih, 2010). In the UK, developers are suggesting that the allocation of land in a local plan, for, say, housing, should remove the need for further planning permissions – in other words, to create a legally binding plan (UK Treasury, 2014). In comparing planning systems, there appears to be more similarity than there was. Whilst Rivolin (2012) considers that the mixture of systems is not good for Europe, can it be shown to be a useable and pragmatic option for Taiwan and the UK?
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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