The evolution of land use and development control and their relevance in a future South Africa

Olivier, Jan Gysbert Maritz (1992-11)

Study project (M. in Town and Regional Planning) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1992.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Modern land use planning and development control originated late in the previous century as a reaction to the poor living conditions created by the industrial revolution. Many types of controlling measures were formed and evolved through the years into the present systems of control. The question is whether these controls still have relevance today. In this study project the evolution of control in Britain, the USA and South Africa is traced, and the present systems in these countries evaluated. The British land use planning system of compulsory development plans and the obtaining of planning permission in any development has experienced some degree of deregulation of planning controls in the 1980s. This led to greater freedom for prospective developers, although there still is a strong feeling that development control must have a stronger, more clear relationship with definite policy. In the absence of policy, control can become arbitrary and ineffective and, instead of reducing uncertainty, enhances and intensifies it. The principle central to US land use planning is the preparation of comprehensive plans, which addresses total socio-economic-physical development, thereby leading development and not restricting it. The most important method of implementing planning is zoning, which can be said to be the 'end' of the planning process and aimed mainly at control. Zoning is therefore the principle legislative land use control instrument in the US. South African land use planning and development control evolved within a unique political framework, whereby different systems were applied for different races. Traditionally, land use planning has been done mainly through town planning, which has zoning as its central principle. Town planning (zoning) schemes create a mechanism whereby the use of land can be controlled. In contrast to American and British practice, South African town planning is often restricted to land use planning and therefore tends to be restrictive rather than offering positive methods or solutions for economic development and the alleviation of poor living conditions. The present situation in South Arica, where mass urbanization, unemployment and poverty affect the lives of millions of people, leads to the belief that less rigid and inflexible control measures can create an environment where informal activities will help in the social upliftment of these deprived people. The existing planning system was therefore found not to be very effective in poor areas. There is a real need for a system to provide for control in highly formal "first world" areas and informal "third world" settlements. The conflict between 'more control' and 'less control' is central in this need. In the study it was, however, concluded that restrictive controls should be kept to a minimum and that land use control should be separated from the current over-abundant control measures in order to help create self-sufficient and sustainable communities. A more innovative approach is need, where town planning is more pro-active and not just an effort to cope with day to day problems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Moderne grondgebruikbeplanning en ontwikkelingsbeheer het laat in die vorige eeu ontstaan as In reaksie op die uiters swak lewensomstandighede wat deur die industriele revolusie veroorsaak is. Verskeie tipes beheermaatreels is geskep en het deur die jare verander om die huidige beheersisteme te vorm. Die vraag is of die beheer vandag nog enige relevansie het. In hierdie werkstuk word die evolusie van beheer in Brittanje, die VSA en Suid-Afrika nagespeur en die huidige sisteme in die lande geevalueer. Die Britse grondgebruikbeplanningsisteem van verpligte ontwikkelingsplanne en die verkryging van beplanningstoestemming vir enige ontwikkeling, het gedurende die 1980s In groot mate van deregulering ondergaan. Dit het gelei tot groter vryheid vir voornemende ontwikkelaars. Daar bestaan tog In sterk gevoel dat ontwikkelingsbeheer In sterker, meer duidelike verband met definitiewe beleid moet toon. In die afwesigheid van beleid kan beheer arbitrer en oneffektief word en, in plaas van om onsekerheid te verminder, dit aanmoedig of vererger. Die sentrale beginsel van Amerikaanse grondgebruikbeplanning is die voorbereiding van komprehensiewe of omvattende planne wat totale sosioekonomiese- fisiese ontwikkeling aanspreek en sodoende ontwikkeling lei en nie beperk nie. Die belangrikste metode vir beplanningsimplementering is sonering, wat beskou kan word as die leindpuntl van die beplanningsproses en wat hoofsaaklik op beheer gemik is. Sonering is dus die belangrikste wetlike grondgebruikbeheerinstrument in die VSA. Suid-Afrikaanse grondgebruikbeplanning en ontwikkelingsbeheer het binne 'n unieke politi eke raamwerk, waar verskillende sisteme op verskiUende rasse toegepas is, ontwikkel. Tradisioneel is grondgebruikbeplanning hoofsaaklik deur stadsbeplanning, met sonering as kernbegrip, gedoen. Soneringskemas skep dan In meganisme waarmee grondgebruik beheer kan word. In teenstelling met die VSA en Brittanje, word Suid-Afrikaanse stadsbeplanning gereeld beperk tot grondgebruikbeplanning. Gevolglik neig dit om beperkend te wees, eerder dat dit positiewe metodes en oplossings bied vir ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die verbetering van swak lewensomstandighede. Die huidige situasie in Suid-Afrika, waar massa verstedeliking, werkloosheid en armoede miljoene minderbevoorregte mense daagliks raak, lei tot die gevoel dat minder streng en onbuigsame beheermaatreels 'n omgewing kan skep waar informele aktiwiteite kan bydra tot die sosiale opheffing van die minderbevoorregtes. Dfe huidige beplanningsisteem is egter nie baie effektief ' in arm gebiede nie. Daar is dus 'n groot behoefte aan 'n sisteem wat voorsiening maak vir beheer in formele "eerste wereld" gebiede en vir informele "derde wereld" vestigings. Die konflik tussen 'meer beheer' en 'minder beheer' is sentraal in hierdie behoefte. In die werkstuk is dit bevind dat beperkende beheermeganismes tot 'n minimum beperk moet word en dat grondgebruikbeheer geskei moet word van die huidige oorvloedige beheermeganismes in 'n poging om selfonderhoudende en lewensvatbare gemeenskappe te stig. 'n Meer innovatiewe en verbeeldingryke benadering is nodig, waar stadsbeplanning pro-aktief is en nie net 'n poging om daaglikse probleme te hanteer nie.

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