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The role of Planning Aid England in supporting communities’ engagement in planning

Parker, G. ORCID: and Street, E., (2015) The role of Planning Aid England in supporting communities’ engagement in planning. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 08/15. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp19.

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In considering the position of community engagement within planning in a time of neo-liberalism and a context of ‘neo-communitarian localism’ (cf. Jessop, 2002; DeFilippis, 2004), this paper reviews the role and relevance of Planning Aid in terms of its performance and aspirations in guiding and transforming planning practice (Friedmann, 1973; 1987; 2011) since its inception in 1973. In doing this we reflect on the critiques of Planning Aid performance provided by Allmendinger (2004) and bring the account up-to-date following on from past considerations (e.g. Bidwell and Edgar, 1982; Thomas, 1992; Brownill and Carpenter, 2007a,b; Carpenter and Brownill, 2008) and prompted by the 35 years since the University of Reading produced the first published work reviewing Planning Aid (Curtis and Edwards, 1980). Our paper is timely given renewed attacks on planning, the implementation of a form of localism and reductions in funding for planning in a time of austerity. Our view is that the need for forms of ‘neo-advocacy’ planning and community development are perhaps even more necessary now, given the continuing under-representation of lower income groups, minority groups and to allow for the expression of alternative planning futures. Thus further consideration of how to ensure that Planning Aid functions are sustained and understood requires the attention of policymakers and the planning profession more widely.

Item Type:Report (Working Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:47773
Publisher:University of Reading
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