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The Politics of Privilege: Delivering New Homes on 'Privileged' Sites in England
This project is comparing the technical process underpinning the allocation of land for housing at the local level in England with the reality of political and community influence over land allocations and the siting of new homes. It is examining the way in which housing is pushed, or simply drifts, to privileged or more politically convenient sites and away from areas of potentially adverse reaction. The research is asking whether concentration of housing at more convenient, and potentially less challenging sites, means that the objectives underpinning the technical process - including its focus on sustainability - are sacrificed, or whether local input, and deviation from expert advice, delivers a better outcome for communities and for the country as a whole. Background and Critical Question: There has been a longstanding interest in re-using privileged sites for housing in England. These sites are ‘privileged’ by virtue of there being an unwritten presumption in favour of their reuse. What are they? They include both publicly and privately owned sites: former institutions, old airfields and other ex-military sites, former utility works and so on. The presumption is based on the belief that development on them is broadly acceptable and will attract less opposition than similar development on green-field sites. They are, in other words, sites of convenience.
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