This paper begins by considering the community liaison role that individual Councillors elected to Local Authorities are currently expected to fulfil in relation to the Planning of new urban development in their own localities.
It explains that individual Councillors are now being challenged as never before by rapidly changing community user-needs and those often not being reflected in Local Planning decisions that determine local future living conditions for people, especially in new residential developments.
The complex pressures Councillors now face are summarised along with some of the recent negative results of the planning approvals system for people as the consumers.
It goes on to show that in fact Councillors are actually now facing an almost impossible task of both keeping constantly abreast of the rapidly widening spectrum and complexity of social dynamics in their local communities – and having the vital information about user-needs now required as a vital part of the Planning process.
It concludes that their role urgently needs to be augmented and proposes that full-time professional social psychologists be engaged to work within communities. – To assist local people to discuss and explain their own realities related to future residential area planning; and with a further professional role to be facilitators in assisting self-help social community development.