Planners star in BBC series

Posted on: Monday 24 February 2014

The fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary series The Planners returns this week for its second series with a new name, a new slot and will be featuring Torfaen County Borough Council.

Permission Impossible: Britain’s Planners returns on Tuesday 25th February 2014 at 7pm on BBC Two, featuring a number of UK councils, including Torfaen. The eight part series will transmit daily from Tuesdays to Fridays, over two weeks and will be following planning applications and the contentious processes behind them.

Over several months, film crews from BBC have been following Torfaen council planning officers, residents and councillors as the documentary seeks to lift the lid on the decisions behind planning approvals and refusals; look at some of the misconceptions of homeowners and expose those with a blatant disregard for planning regulations.

It also shows the lengths homeowners will go to protect their properties from disputes with developers intent on building large-scale housing developments to clashes even closer to home - neighbour against neighbour fighting it out over extensions, conversions, and garden erections.  Every planning battle creates fierce argument on both sides. But there can only be one winner.

Duncan Smith, chief officer for planning and public protection, said:

“The planning service is one that people don’t tend to have a great deal of contact with until it’s something that directly affects them, so this was an excellent opportunity to provide people with an insight into what can often be a complicated and controversial process.

“Whether it’s erecting some railings or deciding whether to close down a business operating without planning permission in a residential area, I hope viewers will see how both planning officers and the councillors on the planning committee manage the competing demands of applicants and objectors, architects and developers in an fair, open and democratic manner.”

For programme details and to watch the series online visit

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