Localism, neighbourhood planning and community control: the MapLocal pilot

Jones, P.; Layard, A.; Lorne, C. and Speed, C. In: O’Brien, D. and Matthews, P. eds. After Urban Regeneration: Communities, Policy and Place. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, pp. 165–179.

URL: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/after-...

Abstract

This chapter examines contradictions in the rhetoric which depicts changes to the English planning system under the Localism Act as offering communities more control over their neighbourhoods. There are major issues around community capacity to take advantages of these legislative changes meaning that wealthier and better organised neighbourhoods will gain the most. The chapter describes a pilot project using a smartphone app (MapLocal) attempting to give communities a cheap and effective way to undertake the initial phase of producing a neighbourhood plan. Although the pilot showed the potential for such technologies, there are still major issues around reconciling competing viewpoints within communities. Beyond the case study, there remain grave difficulties for meeting neighbourhood scale aspirations within the confines of a national planning system driven by economic gain at the expense of local control.

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