Dr Sue Brownill publishes new book "Localism and neighbourhood planning"

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Dr Sue Brownill publishes new book Localism and neighbourhood planning

Sue Brownill, a Reader in the School of the Built Environment explores the extent to which new community planning rights are really devolving ‘power to the people’ in a new book just published by Policy Press. Jointly edited with Dr Quintin Bradley from Leeds Beckett University, ‘Localism and Neighbourhood Planning; Power to the people? critically examines neighbourhood planning; a major new initiative introduced in 2011 enabling community groups to draw up their own local land use plan. It is one of the fastest growing, most popular and most contentious contemporary planning initiatives.

Dr Brownill said ‘This is the first the book which examines the neighbourhood planning experiment in depth. It brings together original empirical research on how neighbourhood planning is emerging on the ground with critical perspectives on governance and planning. It shows the way in which the enthusiasm of neighbourhood planning groups has become tempered by the limits to their plans’ abilities to shape their neighbourhoods resulting from the power relations in the planning system and the lack of community skills and resources.’ The book also places neighbourhood planning in the context of the global rise of localism as a focus for contemporary governance. Dr Brownill said ’the book draw on experiences from the US, Australia and France to place the experience of localism in its international context and to reflect on the possibilities for the emergence of a more progressive form of localism which could better devolve ‘power to the people’’.

Dr Brownill has also worked with neighbourhood planning groups in Oxfordshire over the last five years and has run joint projects with planning students and communities. She continued , ‘In the book we have brought together the voices of the different interests involved in neighbourhood planning to express their views in their own words. This presents a fascinating insight into the different experiences of neighbourhood planning.’