Reality TV show The Planners is back on our screens tonight

An objector to new homes in the second series of The Planners

An objector to new homes in the second series of The Planners

Everyone’s favourite show about council planning officers and the conflicts they find themselves engulfed in returns tonight for a second series.

Permission Impossible: Britain’s Planners is back with a new name for another eight-episode stint on BBC Two.  Despite some misgivings about whether a show about planners could ever make riveting viewing, Planning readers overwhelmingly gave the first series, broadcast last year, a big thumbs-up.

According to the show’s producers, the new series promises once again to “lift the lid on the decisions behind planning approvals and refusals”.

They add: “We’ll reveal the secrets of the planners; the misconceptions of homeowners and we’ll expose those with a blatant disregard for planning regulations.”

Focusing on several authorities around the country, the show revisits some of those that featured in the first series broadcast last year – Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) and Stroud District Council. Newcomers include Denbighshire County Council in north Wales and Broxbourne Borough Council in Hertfordshire.

The series also sees the return of old favourite from the first series, including Phil Skill and Fiona Edwards, the heads of planning at Stroud and CWAC respectively.

Tonight’s episode involves a battle between housebuilder Redrow Homes and a well-organised group of objectors over plans for a 1,500-home scheme on farming land at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire (see preview clip, below).

Also in Cheshire, a property developer’s application for two homes of a contemporary design in a traditional market town prompts opposition from neighbours. Meanwhile, Denbighshire Council’s planning team attempt to save a grade two listed former hospital from falling into disrepair.

A a re-visit to some of the most controversial decisions from last year is promised later in the series to see what happened next.

* Permission Impossible: Britain’s Planners starts at 7pm on BBC Two this evening. The series will be broadcast in one-hour episodes on consecutive nights from tonight until Friday and then on the same nights next week.

  • Paul Barkley

    “Despite some misgivings about whether a show about planners could ever make riveting viewing, Planning readers overwhelmingly gave the first series, broadcast last year, a big thumbs-up.”

    Planning readers find a show about planners interesting; but Planning readers are hardly a representative cross-section of the viewing public.