With all of the reality shows out there it was just a matter of time before they stumbled upon the local planning department. And the first out of the gate is the BBC with "The Planners". A description from BBC's website goes like this:
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.
Resolved in each episode?
Doesn't sound like a real planning department to me. An application completed in a half hour? Or maybe that's the reason it took them so long to come up with a reality show about planners - they've been trying to tape for years, but the application just took forever to get approved.
This is kind of funny though:
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.
I do find enforcement officers ripping down illegally built structures funny. When they are other people's of course. Please don't look in my backyard at that pool encroaching on the floodplain ... I didn't get a permit and it's not like anybody is using the floodplain.
Yes there's no doubt people try to get away some crazy things. When I was a kid opening my own cafe I built and installed my own washroom without a permit. However, I didn't find the eventual encounter with the Building Inspector that funny.
While I would no doubt watch this show, it's more because I'm a planner and a geek, than the possibility it may be good television. Yes we planners think our lives and careers are exciting and worthy enough for reality television, but the fact is we're a bunch of geeks messing with other people's lives.
And gosh isn't that fun ...