the Eton versus East Chiltington
the residents of East Chiltington
learned that Eton College had plans to destroy their way of life by concreting
over fields to build an unasked for and entirely unnecessary new town. read more|
consultation in planning
the burglar analogy
the wrongthingy guide to developerspeak and greenwash
Zsolt Kerekes - editor -
June 18, 2021
In this episode of developersprak I'm going to
discuss possible translations and meanings of the word consultation -
when used by a land developer and planning department from a
wrongthingwrongplace point of view.
As English is an evolving language
I've based my interpretations on sample sightings of these words as seen in the
wild. Warning:- time, location, bias and context can change the meanings of
when a developer says "consultation" what could it
Developerspeak is a very hard language to understand for
beginners because it uses many words which look just like commonplace English
- but when you see them in a developer document or web site they can have
completely different meanings.
There isn't a direct one word for
another translation of "consultation" in developerspeak. We have to
use an analogy to understand what it means. And the best analogy is the
consultation - the burglar analogy
imagine you get an email from a burglar which says this.
Householder, (they're very polite these burglars)
am giving you advance notice that I intend to rob your house and steal all
your treasured possessions. I could tell you the exact date and time - but
rest assured that not even Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson working in
partnership with Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings would be able to stop me
or catch me or make the slightest difference. So to avoid any unpleasantness -
please respond to this consultation and tick whichever option of
burglar entry you prefer me to take.
Is it best if I...
- kick down your front door / back door?
Looking forward to your participation in this
consultation. Yours truly - The Burglar.
- collect your keys and alarm code from under your door mat - while you are
out at the pub?
PS - if you tick "collect
your keys" - then I will, of course, wipe my muddy shoes before
entering, run the vacuum cleaner around after bagging up your possessions and
do a bit of dusting and polishing for you too. This is what we call the "leaving
things better than they were to begin with" - burglar-biodiversity
Sanity check:- If you're wondering - Would the Burglar think it
rude if I asked him to clean the windows while he's about it? - then don't tick
option #1 (smashing windows)
when a planning department says "consultation" what
could it mean?
Planning department speak (aka planning piffle)
presents similar problems - because it sounds so similar to English and
Developerspeak too. Some academics regard it as dialect which originally came
from Developerspeak. So there can be upto 2 levels of translation involved
before words ever get to English - which can add to anbiguity and confusion in
The first questions to ask yourself when seeing the word "consultation"
from your planning department are...
- Did they think this up all by themselves?
planning piffle demystified
- Or - is the planningpiffle department trying to translate a script
which a developer ghost wrote for them? (The polite burglars have award
winning fiction writers on tap.)
no point asking the planning piffle department to clarify this.
can't hear residents (due to special filtering in their phones which
cuts out those frequencies) and although planning departments can
receive and store emails from residents - their software changes the colours of
the words to make them invisible. This is
a health and safety measure to reduce eyestrain if they get too many
If you really need to know what the consultation is
really about - you can read about it in the
press and on blogs - but these are just guesses and speculation.
Nobody who isn't a developer or planner has any real idea what's going on.
where politicians come in. But they have a different language of their
own - which is outside the scope of this (or any other) dictionary. And they -
like the press and bloggers - are just guessing too.
So where does
that leave us with "consultation" - when a planning department says
consultation - the wasting your time means we're doing
Just imagine you have a calendar - which is a
real calendar - which has all the usual 12 months in it... January, February
And imagine that a developer (who is a proper developer - and
speaks fluent Developerspeak and Planningpiffle and maybe some fictional
English too) if this developer has a plan which says something must happen by a
certain month - let's say September... then what the Planning Department does is
insert a "consultation" which makes it happen a bit later instead.
"consultation" - used by a Planning Department - is a bit like having
an invisible delay which they can insert into a plan to make it look
like they're thinking about something. Which they may be - but as they can't
hear residents (due to tuning), or see their emails (due to software filtering)
- it means that they (like you) think the consultation is a waste of precious
time. But it's in the rules book - so they've got to do it. Tick. Done.
if the Planning Department does a "consultation" and sends you a
questionnaire - it doesn't mean they want to know the best way to burgle you.
All they are doing is delaying the date because the burglars are very busy and
can't get around to your place yet. So make the most of the delay and enjoy
what you've got for a little bit longer.
PS - and another way to look
at this might be the Admiral Nelson analogy - as in -
see no objections"
Alternative translations and
interpretations are available.
|Eco Towns, Garden Cities,
Garden Villages - I thought I understood English but it was a Developer who
spoke them. Any idea what they mean? |
| The simple words eco
and garden when prefixed to village, town or city
can add up to create semi-descriptive phrases which are power loaded with
wildly different connotations depending on who you are and the context in
which they are encountered. |
So you can't blame developers sprinkling
these wordplay sauces liberally around their prospectus chalkboard menus
to make their crunchy concreting dishes appear less ashen on the
palette de jour. It's only natural!
On the other hand - countryphiles
and rural protection campaigners who are at the unsolicited receiving end of
these communications commonly report nocebo effects - including headache,
nausea and a bitter aftertaste - due to a belief that jumbling together
good words to disguise nature harming projects doesn't make their digestive
outcomes any sweeter.
I was looking for a learner's guide to help
me understand DeveloperSpeak And in a few clicks I found a very helpful
phrase book on www.designingbuildings.co.uk
Here are links to translations of some DeveloperSpeak phrases
which we might encounter more often in upcoming discourses on wrongthingwrongplace.com
eco town /
/ garden city
Other competing interpretations are available.
Downs Eton by dog -
the landscape assessment walks in East Chiltington
|What do you like in this
What makes you happy being here?
recognise the dogs?
Was it really that long ago?
Editor:- May 20, 2021 -
Published today - a new article - the landscape
assessment walks in East Chiltington - looks back at an event which
has particular relevance today - when we're thinking about what it is we're
trying to protect. ...read the article