Town Planning Review

Planning for growth? The implications of localism for ‘Science Vale’, Oxfordshire, UK

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (4), 457–488.

Abstract

This article provides a preliminary examination of the emerging implications of UK Coalition Government planning policy as a key part of its growth agenda. Attention is directed in particular to the adoption of localism in planning policy, which is presented by the Coalition as a vital key to unlock economic growth. The empirical focus is on the ‘Science Vale UK’ (SVUK) area of southern Oxfordshire, a major concentration of the hi-tech, science-based economy that the Coalition government sees as pivotal to future economic development. However, the expansion of such areas often generates significant challenges, particularly in the dispersed, semi-rural environment which characterises much of the South East of England. In light of the early evidence from SVUK, the article speculates that the implications of localism for planning policy will be more complex than has been portrayed by advocates and critics alike, but that localism also faces ongoing strategic challenges in managing and achieving growth in this context.

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Author details

Valler, David

Phelps, Nicholas

Wood, Andrew

Valler, David

Phelps, Nicholas

Wood, Andrew