Read e-book online An Environmental History of Twentieth-Century Britain PDF

By John Sheail

ISBN-10: 0333949803

ISBN-13: 9780333949801

ISBN-10: 1403940363

ISBN-13: 9781403940360

Environmental heritage has grown apace due to the fact 1970. The publication breaks new floor in illustrating how one of the most urgent issues got here to be well-known, and a reaction made. Policymaking is reviewed in the wider context of a transforming into understanding at the a part of govt and company of the position of environmental concerns in wealth production and social well being.

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Sanitation had developed into a cult where scientists were for ever experimenting. In Fletcher’s words, it was the era of local government, where towns vied with one another in demolishing slums and setting standards for their street cleaning and lighting (Fletcher 1918). However exaggerated, such sentiments highlighted the burgeoning responsibilities of local government as the country emerged from the bloodiest war in history. The Webbs expected the revival of civil patriotism would lead to such local councils becoming responsible for ‘the whole mental and physical environment’ of the population they were appointed to serve – in town planning, in the joint organisation of the rapidly dwindling spaces between towns, elimination of hideous advertisements, and ‘prevention of defilement of the ground and streams’.

Where the 1,441 district and borough councils had been the primary planning agencies under the 1932 Act, such powers were transferred to the 145 county councils and county borough councils. Each was to operate a simplified decision-making process, whereby planning consent was required for any prescribed development, or change in use. Compensation was only payable where there was infringement of previously granted rights. Whilst the broad outlines of the system proved remarkably robust, their survival owed more to pragmatism than to conviction.

Such an absolute standard had impaired progress, in the sense that sanitary authorities had no difficulty in proving the impossibility of meeting such a goal, both technically and financially. They simply claimed exemption from that part of the Act. As sanitary engineers emphasised, the most important consideration, in any case, was the state of the river, once the discharge had been mixed with its water. It was in that larger context that guidelines were sought as to the scientific criteria by which such evolving case-by-case, standards might be set.

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An Environmental History of Twentieth-Century Britain by John Sheail


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