Town Planning Review

Trojan horse or white elephant? The contested biography of the life and times of the Leeds Development Corporation

Town Planning Review (1999), 70, (2), 173


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TPR) 70 (2) 1999 GRAHAM HAUGHTON Trojan horse or white elephant? The contested biography of the life and times of the Leeds Development Corporation This paper examines some of the issues surrounding the Leeds Development Corporation's work, in particular some of the claims made about improving the local planning process. The paper looks at the difficulties the Corporation encountered in getting its plans past vociferous resident opposition in one area, and its claims for improving the speed of determining planning applications in its main area of commercial potential. The emphasis within the analysis is on the discourses of failure and success used by those seeking to influence local and national debates around the efficacy of the Urban Development Corporation approach. It is a delight for us all to see the end of the Leeds development corporation. Quangoland is going ... We never wanted it; it has not worked; it is good to see it going. (Derek Fatchett, MP for Leeds Central) Ultimately it must be accepted-and at least some Labour members of the Committee have accepted this-that the Leeds Development Corporation has brought new development and economic vitality to the area and improved its attractiveness. (Sir Paul Beresford MP, Under-Secretary of State for the Environment) B?th comments were reported in the Standing Committee debate on the ~lUding up orders for the Leeds Development Corporation (Secretary of State Or the Environment, 1995). E G~aham Haughton is Professor and Head of the Centre for Urban Development and Un~lronmental Management (CUDEM), School of Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan nlversity, Calverley Street, Leeds LS 1 3HE. 19~aper submitted January 1998; revised paper received October 1998 and accepted November 8. 173 Copyright © 2010 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Copyright © Liverpool University Press.

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Author details

Haughton, Graham