follow the instructions of the assignment below as the professor says and want an master paper




ACADEMIC YEAR:                                                                                         





Select and complete one of the following assignments.



  1. Compare and contrast an element of another country’s planning policy and practice with the equivalent aspect in Scotland, and make recommendations for the improvement of both systems.


Each student should choose a particular area of policy and practice (element) for comparison. The areas selected should be narrow enough for a detailed comparison and in-depth analysis. You can focus, for example, on affordable housing policies and provision, regeneration of run down residential areas, waterfront development, promotion of economic development etc. You should avoid selecting a very wide area (e.g. the national land use planning system) and therefore making very general journalist style observations.


Your essay should include the following discussion and analysis:


  • A short justification of the area for comparison: You need to be relatively familiar with the specific area you selected for your essay in both countries, and give the reasons why such a comparative study is beneficial.


  • Brief discussion of planning systems in both countries: This should be a comprehensive but short and concise description of the policy and practice in each country. This should be based on a wide range of sources rather than drawn from only one or two books. Recent journal articles, reports on the topic must be used to get an up-to-date picture.


  • Systematic comparison of your selected element between the two countries: After the description of each system, you must make comparative analysis by drawing together the major differences and similarities. A table form of presentation could be useful in presenting the comparative findings. In comparative analysis, you must avoid superficial discussion at the very general level, and should consider the impact and influence of different political, economic, cultural and historical backgrounds.


  • Recommendations for the improvement of one or both systems: It is important to remember that a particular policy of planning may work well in one country, but not in another, because of the differences in political, social and economic context. Recommendations based on comparative studies usually point to improvement or adjustment rather than direct copy of one system to another.



  1. Review how your specific programme area e.g. Real Estate, Carbon Management, Sustainable Urban Management or Marine Spatial Planning is affected and influenced by national, strategic and local planning policies and make recommendations on the potential to raise awareness of your specialist interest in the development and implementation of planning policy and development management. Evaluate how the interface between the two areas of practice can be improved.


Your essay should include the following discussion and analysis:


  • A brief outline of your specialist area of interest and a general overview of how it is affected by planning policy.


  • A review of how relevant planning policy addresses your specialist interest or in some cases how it does not.


  • Highlight areas where there are potential overlaps, gaps or conflicts. This could be best achieved by the use of examples.


  • Recommendations on how the planning system or systems within your specialist area of interest could be improved to deliver stronger policy and outcomes.


If you choose to do the essay it must not exceed 2500 words and must follow the normal School requirements in terms of presentation. This is a research-oriented assessment using mainly secondary materials and data, but you must avoid plagiarism and carefully reference in the text the work of authors whose ideas you are using.  There must be a full list of references at the end.  Further guidance on referencing and the presentation and submission of coursework is provided in the programme handbook.

You should use the course reading list to guide your research.

Hand in date for the essay is 8th December 2014.



  1. Planning appeal inquiry.


This assignment explores the roles of planners and other stakeholders in determining whether a development proposal is appropriate for a particular site. It explores the roles of planners and other stakeholders in the post-decision phase, where the applicant has appealed the planning decision. It culminates in a simulated Public Local Inquiry/ Hearing.


The allocation of groups and the selection of the appeal site will be determined once the course co-ordinator has an indication of the numbers of people wishing to take part in the inquiry. Please can you contact me by Monday 27th October if you wish to be involved in the planning appeal.


In weeks 10  and 11  tutorial sessions will be allocated for group preparation and short progress tutorials.


An introduction to the planning appeal process

Assignment A simulated aspects of the submission and scrutiny stages of the

development management process. The outcome of the planning permission process is a decision by the relevant committee of the local planning authority (the Council) or an officer under delegated powers. The decision is either:


  • grant permission, subject to conditions, or
  • refuse permission.


In each case clear and specific reasons for the decision must be given. The applicant has the right under the Planning Acts to challenge the decision.


Most administrative appeals to Scottish Ministers are considered by ‘reporters’ working for the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) (except for a small number that are ‘recovered’ to be determined by Scottish Ministers):



Appeals can be determined in one of three ways, either by:


  • written submissions from the relevant parties that are then considered by the reporter
  • by an informal public hearing: where the reporter holds and leads sessions to find out more information about areas she feels require elaboration.
  • by Public Local Inquiry: a more formal and adversarial process of examination of evidence, that includes cross examination of witnesses.


The decision as to how the appeal will be heard is the responsibility of the “appointed person” (reporter or Scottish Minister).


This assignment will be based on a genuine planning application that has recently been refused by the City Of Edinburgh Council. However, we will not always follow the statutory procedures perfectly. The processes we will follow are laid out below, whilst special conditions will be communicated to students in their expert groups (see below).


[NB. Following changes to the appeals system in Scotland that came into force in August, 2009 applicants have the right to appeal to either Scottish ministers or to request a review by a local review body.]


Only one of these options is available depending on whether the application was initially determined by the relevant council committee (appeal to Ministers) or under delegated powers (Local Review Body) There are no rights of appeal in relation to applications for national developments in the new Scottish planning system.


Students keen to find out more should consult the relevant circulars which outline in detail how the new processes will work. These are:



They are both available at:



Information about how the old system worked can be found in some of the various text books listed in the course’s reading lists, particularly Cullingworth and Nadin.



To develop understanding of planning in practice through resolution of issues arising from a development proposal.



Students will be organised into expert groups each representing a key stakeholder in the public hearing. Relevant documents relating to the application will be made available on VISION.


The overall task is to explore scope for a consensus on actions required to make a

development proposal acceptable in planning terms. The assignment culminates in a mock public inquiry on Monday 1st  December. Before then, all groups must:

  1. a) read relevant documentation
  2. b) consult the relevant development plan and other policy guidance
  3. c) visit the appeal site (but keep to the public footpaths)
  4. d) prepare a written statement of evidence (max. 1000 words) identifying issues

of concern and possible solutions, to be circulated to all other parties no later than one week prior to the date of the mock hearing

  1. e) make an opening 5-minute oral presentation of statement of evidence at the hearing.
  2. f) from analysis of statements of evidence of other parties, identify key

questions to be asked of relevant parties’ evidence [Inquiry Reporters team to

prepare a written statement of issues to be addressed at the Inquiry]

The Hearing will conclude with an oral and written report (max 1000 words) from the

Inquiry Reporters, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement, and actions for


[NB the Inquiry Reporters do not undertake tasks d) and e) but instead prepare the

oral and written findings of the hearing].


  1. Assessment criteria
  • Ability to analyse and interrogate relevant evidence
  • Ability to communicate evidence in written and oral forms
  • Ability to work effectively as a team


  1. Hearing Session Monday 1st December

The Hearing Session will be led by students taking on the role of ‘reporters’. The session will proceed as follows:



  • Each group will have up to 5 mins. to orally summarise their position on the planning application.



  • Each Group will be given up to 5 minutes to question specific other Groups in turn on their written and/or oral statement, or on any other documented material provided for the assignment and lodged on VISION (eg technical reports, correspondence). This session will be moderated by the Inquiry Reporters, who will rule on the relevance of any question, and will be able to ask further questions of any group.



  • The Inquiry Reporters will provide an oral report of their initial findings, as follows:
  • Principal findings of fact
  • Conclusions on the scope for consensus on the use of the appeal site
  • Conclusions on the scope for consensus on the form of the proposed development
  • Decision on the appeal (with conditions if approved, with reasons if refused)
  • Other recommendations


  1. Individual Assignment

Each student is required to prepare a briefing paper of no more than 750 words that reviews the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence that their group has prepared for the hearing/inquiry highlighting if they would have benefitted from any additional information and what issues they would have been willing to negotiate over.   The Inquiry Reporters group are required to present an individual briefing paper commenting on the inquiry process and the quality of evidence presented and any improvements they would have made in the organisation of a future inquiry. This briefing paper comprises 20% of the final assessment for this course and should be submitted by 8th December 2013.



  1. Instructions for groups


Instructions for expert groups (groups 2-9)

Expert groups are required to:

  1. Submit a written statement on 24th November (1,000 words max) outlining:
  2. a) What the Group considers to be the key planning issues raised by the application as submitted, insofar as they affect the Group’s interests (based on the information supplied on VISION);
  3. b) The Group’s view on the potential grounds of appeal, insofar as they address the concerns previously expressed by the interests represented by the Group;
  4. c) The Group’s view on whether the proposed development could be approved in its current form, or what changes would be required to make the development acceptable (changes to mix of uses, density, access etc).
  5. Provide an oral summary of a)-c) in Session 1 of the Public Hearing (max 5 minutes) and decide who in the Group will give this summary.
  6. Compile a list of key questions the Group would wish to put to specified other Groups (excluding Group 1) during Session 2 of the Public Hearing. These should be in rank order of importance (in the event that the Group runs out of time – max 5 minutes).
  7. At the end of Session 2, confirm or amend their position as stated under 1c above.


Instructions for inquiry reporters group (group 1)

Inquiry reporters are required to:

  1. Manage the Public Hearing, including keeping to the timetable.
  2. During Session 2, ask questions of any Group for clarification (either of a Group’s position or in order to improve their own understanding of the planning issues at stake).
  3. In their oral conclusions at the end of the Hearing;


  1. identify their initial conclusions on the scope for agreement among all/most of the Groups on whether the proposed development could be approved in its current form, or what changes would be required to make the development acceptable;


  1. indicate whether, on the basis of a), they are minded to approve with/without modifications, or reject, the appeal.


  1. Give a written summary (max 1000 words) of 3a and 3b due no later than one week after the end of the Hearing.


Please do not contact any local authority department, organisation or group in connection with this project.  There is a considerable amount of information that can be accessed from VISION and also the City of Edinburgh Council and other stakeholder websites.


Essay (any type)
spatial planning
8 pages / 2200 words
English and Literature
Format or citation style:

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