BBC One commissions The Planners
BBC One has commissioned The Planners, a fiery, funny and touching new fly-on-the-wall documentary series that will give viewers a unique glimpse inside some of Britain's local planning authorities from Scottish independent IWC Media.
IWC Media, part of the RDF Media Group, have gained full access to a number of council planning departments, including those of Barnet and Barking & Dagenham Councils.
Each of the eight 30-minute early evening shows, commissioned by Richard Klein, BBC Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, will follow the trials and tribulations of the councils' officers in planning, building control and planning enforcement.
Every day brings new challenges from cheeky extension plans which would deprive a neighbour of their natural light which the planning officers have to make a decision on, to the illegally-built granny annexe at the end of someone's garden which the planning enforcement officers are going to have demolished.
Nothing evokes more emotion than when the environment in which you live is threatened with change, and the planning office staff appear as heroes or villains in equal measure.
From mobile phone masts to residential developments of over 60 flats, from the vexed question of satellite dishes to the thorny issue of garden sheds, each programme will feature a range of stories which will be resolved in each episode.
Emma Willis, Executive Producer for the BBC, said: "With so many people improving their homes it's a great time to lay bare the ups and downs of domestic planning in Britain.
"It's full of character and, of course, conflict – just what we're looking for in pre-watershed documentaries on BBC One."
Hamish Barbour, Creative Director, IWC Media, said: "We're very excited to be making this series for BBC One. Access has taken a hugely long time, but so far it's proving well worth the effort.
"You just wouldn't believe what some people try and get away with. It's funny, moving and very, very passionate."
The Planners will be executive produced by Jane Merkin and series produced by Nic Blower for IWC Media.