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Planning gain and progressive politics: New Labour as a paradigm shift?

Lyons, Chris (2010) Planning gain and progressive politics: New Labour as a paradigm shift? PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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New Labour came to power claiming it would usher in an era of progressive politics that would go beyond the old Left and New Right ideologies and deliver balanced communities through a modernised local government. These communities would see a move away from the dominance of economic policy with environmental and social issues given parity. The planning system has historically accepted a socially driven argument for capturing some of the uplift in land value that results from the granting of planning permission, for community benefits. Local planning authorities seeking social benefits for a community normally secure these through planning obligations. However, obligations can be used for a wide range of purposes and this thesis investigates whether New Labour changed the emphasis of using obligations to be more socially cognisant, compared to the previous Government. This is measured by conducting an in-depth analysis of obligations signed at one local authority over the period 1991 to 2003. This gives six years of obligations under the Conservative Government to provide a contrast with the obligations signed under the first six years of the New Labour Government. Every clause signed in every obligation over this period has been classified to see whether the use of obligations has undergone a paradigm shift under New Labour. The research at the authority came to an interesting and surprising conclusion that a smaller percentage of obligations had a social purpose under New Labour than the previous Conservative Government. The research results were investigated by conducting interviews with senior officers at the authority to consider why so little progress was made under New Labour. The thesis concludes by suggesting why problems arose, considers whether they are likely to transcend the case study authority, and suggests how changes are needed if social issues are to be progressed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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