An increase in the rights of the public to participate in environmental permitting decisions has paralleled developments in other areas of administrative decision making in Britain. It is generally accepted that one of the key objectives underlying the enhancement of participatory rights was to improve the quality of decision making through improving the quality or range of values and information upon which decisions were based. This objective now has a counterweight in the Better Regulation agenda. The result is a balancing of objectives in which the emphasis increasingly appears to be falling on ensuring speed and consistency in decision making. It is argued here that too much emphasis has now been placed on ensuring the objectives of the Better Regulation agenda and greater emphasis should be placed on the benefits that arise from public participation.
- Public participation
- Better Regulation