Local planning in inner city residential areas : studies of Leeds and Manchester 1966-1986
A new phase of local planning began in the 1970s in the major English cities, as redevelopment of older residential areas began to give way to rehabilitation. This phase has not been intensively studied in the planning literature. This study seeks to assess the contribution of local planning to the processes of renewal in these inner residential areas, with a special interest in arrangements which may give residents of these areas better control over the outcomes. The research examines the factors which conditioned the approach to local planning in each city and each neighbourhood, with case studies of two neighbourhoods in Leeds and two in Manchester. At the citywide level Manchester council's form of Labour politics is seen as generally discouraging the use of local planning frameworks, with the retention of a more centralised council administration. Analysis of the joint operation of a wide range of factors is emphasised as necessary to understand the kinds of local planning adopted and the effects these had. In particular the variation present within each neighbourhood and in each case or episode is seen as significant in influencing local planning processes and outcomes. After 1974 there was less likelihood of even informal area frameworks being used, and greater tendencies towards ad hoc planning decisions on individual cases. It is concluded that extensive changes are needed to make local planning more responsive: changes particularly in the overall resourcing and programming context in which local planning operates, and in the procedures used within planning, above all those for involving local interests and in the way municipal administration is organised. The housing renewal system introduced in 1990 (with Renewal Areas) might, if suitably applied, help to facilitate such a form of more responsive local planning.