Standing in front of bulldozers? Explaining policy stability in land use planning

Ed Turner, Siobhan McAndrew

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paper


Policy towards planning presents scholars of politics and public policy with a significant puzzle. Since 1947, there has been a surprising level of stability in the system used to plan the use of land. On the other hand, there has been growing evidence that insufficient land has been released for development. The paper considers the question why, in spite of the planning system demonstrably failing to allocate sufficient land, fundamental reform of the system has not been achieved.
In answering the question, the paper considers in particular attempts at reform under the Labour governments from 1997 to 2010. It argues that there is an interplay of interests, ideas and institutions: public attitudes, the interests of certain sections of the population, and institutions which are responsive to these attitudes and interests combined to stymie policy reform. As a consequence, radical reform was not achieved, and the paper concludes that attempt to find a technical “fix” to the planning system are unlikely to succeed. A diagnosis recognising the political and distributive nature of the problem will be required.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventPolitical Studies Association Conference - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Apr 20125 Apr 2012


ConferencePolitical Studies Association Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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