Settlement, strategy and planning

Authored by: John Sturzaker

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315102375-38

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Abstract

One answer to the question of viability of services considered in the previous chapter has been concentration of new housing and other development in so-called ‘key settlements’, or ‘key service centres’, where more jobs, services, etc. are located. Rationales for that approach include reducing the cost of public investment in service provision; creating a market for private enterprise by enabling communities of scale; and ‘sustainability’ – the latter suggesting that concentrating, rather than dispersing, development, has a lighter environmental footprint as the need for travel by private car should be reduced. But the approach of concentrating development in certain locations and rejecting it in others has been questioned in recent years – some have described the sustainability argument as a ‘trap’, whereby lack of development exacerbates loss of services in smaller settlements, making them less likely to be designated as ‘key settlements’ – a vicious circle. Some rural communities have therefore been seeking different spatial outcomes, often supported by direct community action, including devising their own plans and undertaking development themselves through a variety of means. This chapter will review these issues and consider the lessons they provide for rural planning.

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