Dear all, sorry for the late reply, but it always takes some time for me to collect my thoughts and give a proper answer.
@MichaelHicks, i agree with your argument that everything being accepted is if supply covers demand. Clearly, iterative updates of prices can help to guide society to this point over time. However, this process may take some time and i think that it does not entirely adress the question of how-to resolve these conflicts in the short-run. It may be the case, that two conflicting production plans can be fulfilled in future planning periods with updated prices. Nontheless, the current planning period needs to be resolved before that and we need a way to decide how to allocate the resources in the short-term too. Id be especially interested in thoughts about this short-term conflict resolution, since its least clear to me how we would proceed on that one.
I am kind of keen on this question, since i am convinced that these type of conflicting usage proposals will rather be the norm than the exception.
The reason for this being, is that one of the stated goals of participatory planning is efficiency.
I think, that any efficient production plan will have to result from a mathematical optimization calculation. Now, depending on the exact planning procedure the involved optimization may differ. However, most proposals for such procedures argue for the usage of linear optimization (see a quick intro video on linear programming to get an idea of what im talking about). The theory of linear optimization directly tells us a few interesting things, about how a efficient production plan has to look like.
A mathematical optimization problem consists of two parts:
1a. A quantifiable “Goal”, usually called the objective function.
1b. A specification wether want to “maximize” or “minimize” our goal. A sensible goal would be to minimize worked hours or CO2 emission, today it frequently is to maximize profits, but it could also be to maximize the output of production.
2. A set of quantifiable “Limits” to the goal, usually called the constraints. Constraints, can be a large variety of things like how much machines can produce, but also minimum requirements of the planning such as that each person requires at least a minimum provision of nutrition or housing.
Now, given any formulation of goals and limits into a set of equations the theory of linear optimization allows you to calculate how-to balance those most efficiently.
However, it also tells us that any efficient solution has at least one, most likely several, constraints that need to be fully exhausted. Otherwise, we are not making full use of our resources.
If these constraints model productive resources, then it is sensible to think that we should expect some level or conflict about it. Also, if efficient production plans need to involve some level of exhaustive use of limitng factor, id expect this question arise in every planning step by design.