Town Planning Review

Parish and community-led planning, local empowerment and local evidence bases: An examination of 'good practice' in West Berkshire

Town Planning Review (2008), 79, (1), 61–85.

Abstract

This paper provides a critical account of the process and design of parish plans (PPs), drawing on empirical evidence collected from parishes and other stakeholders in West Berkshire, England. PPs form part of a non-statutory process of community-led planning aimed at involving local communities in assessing their needs and preferences in a holistic and inclusive manner. The paper discusses the context in which PPs have evolved and critically assesses the process of assembling the plans examined. The findings have significant import for the future design and integration of PPs into wider local governance networks and in the light of new institutionalist models of planning. The paper concludes by highlighting the difficulties and potentials of such plans in an era of emerging spatial planning in England. Practical recommendations about method and structures to deliver more robust and reliable community-led planning in rural and urban areas are also made.

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Parker, Gavin