Presentation - The Big Society, Localism & Housing Policy


Planning in the Celtic areas

Greg Lloyd

School of the Built Environment

University of Ulster

Paper presented to the ESRC Seminar

“Localism, Welfare Reform and Tenure Restructuring in the UK”

Queen’s University Belfast

Thursday 24th

– Friday 25th October 2013.


To explore the main developments in planning arrangements in Scotland, Wales and Northern


To highlight the principal points of convergence and divergence in the devolved landscapes;

To consider the implications for Localism,

Welfare Reform and Tenure Restructuring in the devolved UK.


Economic conditions

– systemic structural weaknesses

Spatial variations ands new geographies

The re-assertion of the core periphery

Institutional hollowing out

Economic weaknesses

– supply chains

& skills

Social and community tensions

Environmental and ecological schisms

Short termism in trade-offs, perceptions and risks


Neo-liberalism - thinking and values

Austerity - policy and governance


– the public sector

Culture change and challenges to the ethos of planning

Myopia and a denial of the future

New parameters for planning in a new world

– growth or de-growth?

"All this stuff about planning ... Broad vistas and all that. But give to me the 18th-century alley, where foot-pads lurk, and the harlot plies her trade, and none of this new-fangled planning doctrine.“

Winston Churchill 1945

“No room! No room! The costs of planning “

How a re-think of our planning policy will benefit Britain.




- Who Should




“Liberating the


“Reforming land use planning”





Why countries better others.



some plan than

Plannings in reality

Land use planning

– the statutory regulation and forward management of land and property development in the public interest.

Strategic planning

– the territorial management of land use and development in the public interest.

Spatial planning

– goes further than land use planning to embrace sector planning, regeneration and local service delivery.

Community planning

– well being.

General shifts

There has been a move away from national economic policy with redistribution

There is a lack of a regional policy context – trickle down

There is a shift away from strategic considerations in land use planning

There is an emphasis on market spaces being created & contested

Variations on a theme

Historical experience and performance of land use planning in the devolved states

Governance arrangements and capacities

Innovation in devising land use planning reforms

Strategic agendas around policy at large

Political economy perspectives

Geographies, communities and environments

Devolution in the UK - Wales

Welsh Assembly/ Government


Wales Spatial Plan

Land use planning reform

Community planning

Social democratic

Devolution in the UK - Scotland

Scottish Parliament/ Government




Strategic planning provenance

National Planning Framework

Land use planning reform

Community planning

Devolution in the UK – Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Assembly/


Democratic Unionist Party/ Sinn Fein

– power sharing


Regional Development Strategy

Review of Public Administration

Land use planning reform

Neoliberal values

The turn to economic agendas

The NPPF in England (paragraph 158) – relevant market and economic signals:

Land prices

House prices



Rates of development


Planning Policy Wales November 2012

Jobs growth, plus retention and protection

Realistic assessment of demand

Planners must speak to economic development officers

Planning Bill 2013 Northern Ireland

Balance of economic advantage/ disadvantage

Promotion of economic development

Scotland Single Policy Statement 2013

Sustainable economic growth


Planning Act 2008 / Spatial plan

Independent Advisory Group Report “Planning in Wales”


Sustaining a Living Wales Green Paper 2012

Planning Bill 2013

Environment Bill White Paper 2013

Independent Advisory Group Report

Welsh Ministers taking decisions on nationally significant devolved infrastructure schemes;

Preparation of a national framework within which local planning authorities deliver local plans;

A statutory framework for strategic planning above individual planning authorities

– city regions;

Establishment of a planning advisory and improvement body.


– a strategic provenance

There is a need to prepare an indicative plan for Scotland on a national scale which will show how it is intended to utilise the land for urban, industrial and recreational purposes.

“To prepare such a policy plan it will be necessary to take into account the views of planning authorities, industrialists, trade unions and many other interested parties. The structure plans of the new regional planning authorities must conform to the national indicative plan.”

(Select Committee on Land Resource Use in Scotland 1970)

Strategic planning traditions

Metropolitan planning

– West

Central Scotland

Regional planning


Regional Reports

National Planning Guidelines

– a single planning policy statement

Land Use Strategy 2011

The first strategy was published in March 2011 and articulated an ambitious vision together with objectives relating to economic prosperity, environmental quality and community well being.

The strategy asserts 10 principles to secure sustainable land use

– which stress,

inter alia,

the multiple benefits of the resource, the importance of regulation, an ecosystem approach to land management and the better understanding of the role of land in everyday living and working.

It is predicated on a more holistic understanding of the land ecosystem and the case for an integrated approach to facilitating land uses.

Northern Ireland

•Centralised institutions

•Fragmented organisations

•Technocratic & administrative inertia

•Democratic deficits

•Advocacy politics

Components of Planning in Northern Ireland

Regional Development Strategy

Planning Policy


Development Plan

Planning Applications

Northern Ireland

Planning Act 2011

Planning Bill 2013

Marine Bill

Strategic Policy reform

Community Planning

Local Government Reform

Programme for Government

Economic Strategy

Investment Strategy

Regional Development


Elements of land use planning reform

Emphasis on plan led thinking

Strategic agendas

Front loaded civil engagement

Proportionate decision making


Third Party Rights of Appeal?

Authoritarian – individualistic Democratic - corporatist

Silent conversations - shouting loudly

Non - strategic

Culture change – reflective practice



Blind growth


Limits and parameters

Towards a new determinism?

Economic limits to growth and action?

Political innovation and leadership?

Social anger and exasperation?

Community divisions?

Institutional capacities?

Environmental parameters?

Environment extremes?

Resource limits?

Dystopia not utopia