Town Planning Review

Constructions of sustainability and spatial planning: The case of Dalton Flatts, County Durham, Planning Inquiry

Town Planning Review (2005), 76, (3), 341–362.

Abstract

This paper explores the constructions of sustainability within a recent land use planning event. The focus is upon the discursive processes employed by key actors and agents in constructing concepts of sustainability during the local planning inquiry into a retail and leisure proposal in the District of Easington, County Durham 'called in' by the Secretary of State for the Environment. It reveals which discourses in particular were employed and discusses their implications. It concludes that sustainability is very much part of a wider political–economic game and that a high degree of social power lies with those participants who are able to utilise the appropriate discursive spaces and concepts; as a result of these factors the rhetoric of the concept of sustainability is generally not being played out within local level planning contexts.

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Author details

Smith, Amanda Hattingh