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Strategic spatial planning – a case study from the Greater South East of England

Church, David (2015) Strategic spatial planning – a case study from the Greater South East of England. MPhil thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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The aim of this thesis is to investigate, through the method of a case-study at two levels (development site and sub-region), the historical development of and current mechanisms used to deliver strategic spatial planning (large scale housing development). The theoretical underpinnings of strategic spatial planning are examined, including some key planning paradigms such as the ‘green belt’, ‘city regions’ and ‘spatial planning’. The key dichotomy of current policy – the ‘desire to devolve’ through localism and the counteracting ‘centralising tendency’ as expressed through urban containment policy is then discussed. The substantive element of the research is an examination of these policies in practice, through a case-study at two levels. The first level of the case study is a site-level forensic examination of the West of Stevenage development, first put forward in the early 1990s but which is currently in abeyance without a single home having been built. The second level of the case study is a sub-regional study of the issues facing those with tasked with implementing strategic spatial planning across three very different local authorities – Stevenage, Luton and North Hertfordshire. This element of the research has been carried out largely through the medium of qualitative interviews with senior planning professionals, senior local politicians and a senior executive at a Local Enterprise Partnership. One significant piece of quantitative research is also presented in the research: a highly accurate, Great Britain wide survey of land use based on up to date Ordnance Survey data. The research concludes by offering five suggestions to improve strategic spatial planning in a growth area like the wider South East of England (four practical, policy-related steps and one theoretical reconceptualising of the discipline).

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Additional Information: © 2015 David Church
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Tonkiss, Fran

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