Town Planning Review

Re-imagining neighbourhood governance: the future of neighbourhood planning in England

Town Planning Review (2018), 89, (4), 379–402.

Abstract

Neighbourhood planning is arguably the most radical innovation in UK neighbourhood governance in a generation, with over 2,200 communities in England now involved in statutory development planning at the neighbourhood level. Following incremental policy reforms, we argue that neighbourhood planning has reached a critical juncture where the future of the initiative is at stake. In this article we reflect on existing research to assess the policy to date before imagining what an optimised version of the policy might look like. Despite being a state-led initiative, central government has failed to provide an image of success for neighbourhood planning which we argue has held back widespread innovation and progressive participation. We therefore outline a normative guide against which future iterations of neighbourhood planning might be assessed, and employ this in order to imagine a more comprehensive form of neighbourhood governance.

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DCLG (DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2016), Neighbourhood Planning: progress on housing delivery: October 2016 edition, London, DCLG. Google Scholar

DEFRA (DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS) (2013), Neighbourhood Planning: The Rural Frontrunners: Research and Case Studies, London, DEFRA. Google Scholar

FARNSWORTH, D. (2012), ‘Who will control localism?’, Town and Country Planning, 81, 20–23. Who will control localism? Town and Country Planning 81 20 23 Google Scholar

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HOLMAN, N. and RYDIN, Y. (2013), ‘What can social capital tell us about planning under localism?’, Local Government Studies, 39, 71–88. What can social capital tell us about planning under localism? Local Government Studies 39 71 88 Google Scholar

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LOCALITY (2018), People Power: Findings from the Commission on the Future of Localism, London, Locality. Google Scholar

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