Localism in practice: Lessons from a pioneer neighbourhood plan in England

John Sturzaker, Dave Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


The UK Government claimed that its 2011 Localism Act would shift power (back) to local communities and neighbourhoods so that they can manage their affairs in their own interests. One of the principal ways this was intended to happen was through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs). In this paper we use a longitudinal case study of the first NDP to be adopted to analyse the extent to which it meets the expectations placed upon this new element of the English planning system, and consequently the implications for the success or otherwise of 'localism' more broadly. We explore issues including the legitimacy of localist planning processes, the capacity of communities to take the opportunities open to them and the extent to which higher tiers of governance can frame and constrain the activities of lower tiers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-609
Number of pages23
JournalTown Planning Review (TPR)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Decentralisation
  • Housing
  • Legitimacy
  • Participation
  • Rural planning


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