Neighbourhood planning: national strategy for ‘bottom up’ governance
journal contributionposted on 01.05.2018, 13:03 by Barbara Bogusz
The Localism Act 2011 transformed the planning process by shifting decision making powers away from the local institutions and transferring them to local people. Neighbourhood planning has created a new dynamic in planning by utilising ‘bottom up’ governance processes which enables local people to shape the area where they live. Local referenda are used to inject output legitimacy in to neighborhood planning and this planning self-determination can be considered as ‘spatial sovereignty’, whereby the recipients of the planning decisions are also the primary stakeholders that have shaped planning policy. This paper will examine how Localism, as an evolving concept of local governance is enfranchising local communities to take control of planning and development in their area. The paper will draw upon the experience of the revised planning methodology introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and consider its impact on the delivery of broader public policy objectives contained within the National Planning Policy Framework. Localism provides an alternative form of citizen engagement and democratic legitimation for planning decisions which transcends the traditional forms of participatory democracy, and recognises that other paths of democratic law-making are possible. The paper argues that neighborhood planning has created a paradigm whereby local planning preferences, as an expression of spatial sovereignty do not necessarily align with the broader public policy objective to build homes in the right places.