PurposeThe paper aims to consider whether Neighbourhood Panning provides the appropriate output legitimacy for citizen engagement in the planning process. The Localism Act 2011 transformed the planning process by shifting decision-making powers away from the local institutions and transferring them to local people. Neighbourhood planning has created a new dynamic in planning by using “bottom up” governance processes which enables local people to shape the area where they live. Local referenda are used to inject output legitimacy in to neighbourhood planning, and this planning self-determination can be considered as “spatial sovereignty”, whereby the recipients of the planning decisions are also the primary stakeholders that have shaped planning policy.Design/methodology/approachThis paper will examine how Localism, as an evolving concept of local governance, is enfranchising local communities to take control of planning and development in their area. The paper will draw upon the experience of the revised planning methodology introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and consider its impact on the delivery of broader public policy objectives contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.FindingsLocalism provides an alternative form of citizen engagement and democratic legitimation for planning decisions which transcends the traditional forms of participatory democracy, and recognises that other paths of democratic law-making are possible.Originality/valueThe paper argues that neighbourhood planning has created a paradigm whereby local planning preferences, as an expression of spatial sovereignty, do not necessarily align with the broader public policy objective to build homes in the right places.
Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 9, 2018
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