Power To The People? The Impact of the Localism Act 2011 on Environmental Justice in England

Frances Bodman

Abstract


The Localism Act 2011 is a wide-ranging piece of legislation which is part of the current government’s drive towards creating ‘the Big Society’. Part 6 of that Act concerns changes to the planning system and represents a radical departure from the system that has developed over the last 60 years. Amongst other changes, it abolishes Regional Spatial Strategies and introduces Neighbourhood Planning. These changes will affect the way that decisions about the distribution of desirable and undesirable land-uses in England are made and they therefore raise questions about environmental justice. This paper uses the concept of environmental justice to analyse the provisions and underpinning ideology of the Localism Act. In concluding I find that both these changes have the potential to have a negative effect on environmental justice. Both are liable to increase the disparity between rich and poor communities.

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