Britain has a long standing policy of plan led development to make sure that a presumption in favour of land owners developing their land as they wish is tempered with the impact of the wishes and needs of others.
Every decade or so local planning authorities decide how much development and what sort of development their area needs and then produce maps of where they would wish such development to take place.
Inevitably plans are controversial. Change is uncomfortable – but inevitable. Plans allow for the wider, positive and negative, impacts of new developments to be anticipated and the worst errors avoided while minimising the chances of opportunities being missed.
People living in an area have long had a voice in agreeing local plans – through formal and informal consultation. While that voice may be heard, it is not always listened to.
As a country we can have pretty much anything we want. But we cannot have it everywhere and we cannot have everything. Negotiation, compromise, altruism and mutual understanding can give power not only to our elbow but also to our collective voice.