In England, it has been possible since 2013 to convert an office building into residential use without needing planning permission (as has been required since 1948). This book explores the consequences of this central government driven deregulation on local communities. The policy decision was primarily about boosting the supply of housing, but reflects a broader neoliberal ideology which seeks to reform public planning in many countries to reduce perceived interference in free markets. Drawing on original research in the English local authorities of Camden, Croydon, Leeds, Leicester and Reading, the book provides a case study of the implementation of planning deregulation which demonstrates the lowering of standards in housing quality, the reduced ability of the local state to proactively steer development and plan for their places, and the transfer of wealth from the public to private spheres that has resulted. Comparative case studies from Glasgow and Rotterdam call into question the very need for the deregulation in the first place.
Ben Clifford is Senior Lecturer in Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, UK. Ben’s research focusses on the relationship between planning reform and the modernisation of the state in the UK and he was lead author for the book The Collaborating Planner?
Patricia Canelas is an architect and urban planner. Prior to her academic work, Patricia worked in practice. She is currently a researcher at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal. Her research interests span the themes of urban governance, property markets and place-making.
Jessica Ferm is Lecturer in Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, UK. Her research focuses on the intersection of spatial planning with the economy and she has published on planning for workspace and industry. Having worked in practice, she is co-editor of the book Planning Practice.
Nicola Livingstone is Lecturer in Real Estate at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, UK. Her research interests include real estate investment, the evolution of the retail market, food insecurity and interpreting the social form of the built environment.