Compared to the situation in 1935, contemporary British land use planning represents a substantial and comprehensive set of powers to regulate the land market and to acquire land and undertake development, in order to achieve national and regional spatial, land use and design policy objectives. Overseas commentators writing on the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 which established the main parameters of the present system saw it as revolutionary (Haar, 1951) or disastrous (Dunham, 1964), depending on their attitudes to social policy and private property rights. Yet to the contributors to the original book writing in the 1930s, the establishment of a set of effective planning controls lay far into the realms of idealism. Sir Ernest Simon wrote that 'Planning on a national scale has as yet hardly been thought about' (Municipal Progress, p. 214).