City Research Online

The Big Society and community development: Neighbourhood planning under the Localism Act

Stanton, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-5211-5617 (2014). The Big Society and community development: Neighbourhood planning under the Localism Act. Environmental Law Review, 16(4), pp. 262-276. doi: 10.1350/enlr.2014.16.4.225


Bringing into force crucial aspects of the Coalition's ‘Big Society’, the Localism Act 2011 introduces changes to neighbourhood planning through which it seeks to decentralise power to the lowest possible level and afford local communities the opportunities to take the initiative with regards to developing local areas in line with local needs and issues. This article examines the neighbourhood planning provisions of the Act and considers the extent to which they achieve their aims and realise the objectives of the Big Society. It argues that, whilst seeking to decentralise power and empower communities to lead forward local development, the Act leaves a great deal of autonomy in the hands of central government and local authorities, meaning that the communities themselves are constrained by higher authority; it fails also to tackle sufficiently, issues relating to citizen and community engagement.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Vathek Publishing 2014
Publisher Keywords: localism, Big Society, community development, neighbourhood planning, decentralisation, engagement
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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