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The social relations of property: motives, means and outcomes of the community right to bid in England

Lynn, T. (2018) The social relations of property: motives, means and outcomes of the community right to bid in England. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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This thesis discusses ownership as a governance issue and contributes to conceptualisations of property as an expression of wider social relations and vice versa i.e. how property impacts on social relations. This is pertinent given the advent of renewed attention to the (new)commons as a set of practices and is intrinsically linked issues of how rights are constituted, defended and challenged. Indeed, the collective right claims made via the Community Right to Bid (CRtBid) policy and Assets of Community Value (AsCV) mechanisms explored in the research do resemble discourses associated with the (new)commons and right to the city movements. Central to conceptualising property is consideration of claims to property that are often derived from conflicting value systems, which unsettle property in use and exchange from ‘owners,’ users and other third parties’ perspectives. This research describes how competing claims are reflected in stakeholder behaviours and motives, as well as in the means used and outcomes derived in practice. The empirical element of this thesis focuses on the CRtBid policy and AsCV regulations, enabled under the 2011 Localism Act in England. The CRtBid was introduced alongside a new localist approach to politics and planning, with a claim to recognise the socialities of property in planning decision making and opening new channels for alternative ownership of qualifying assets. The AsCV nominations and CRtBid were intended, and have been used by, communities, to increase local control of community assets. The findings indicate that the CRtBid policy largely emphasises market values and can lead to an unequal access to opportunities in protecting and purchasing assets. While such assets gain some status in planning terms, the protection afforded can be weak or indeed value may be effectively ‘lost’ through the process. Instead of enabling communities the policy can actually lead to the closing-off of rights claims while other mechanisms or avenues for communities may be more appropriate, as at least those other means do not operate through market logics and have some clearer democratic and equity-based attributes. This timely investigation of the CRtBid policy draws attention to a need to address issues in governing community assets in the public interest.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Parker, G. and Musson, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:83767


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