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Title: The impact of land use planning on the business sector : a study of the adaptive behaviour of firms in Cambridge
Author: Hutchinson, K. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of land use planning on the business sector. It adopts a case study approach and focuses upon the impact of regulative policies that have been implemented in a buoyant city centre location - Cambridge - where there has been a strong tendency for businesses to cluster. Regulative planning regimes typically seek to prevent additional building in areas that are deemed likely to become overdeveloped. The rationale for this is to preserve the existing benefits associated with business clusters and prevent diseconomies from taking hold. In effect, regulative land use planning policies impose a supply-side constraint on companies’ development opportunities. Applicants in receipt of a planning refusal notice are forced to alter their intended actions as a result of the existence of the land use planning system. These refusals form an identifiable sub-group of application that are affected by the planning system. The majority of the planning literature that has examined the processes and outcomes of development control has adopted a narrow view of the manner in which businesses react once they have been refused planning permission. There tends to be an assumption that if permission cannot be obtained, the development project will have to be aborted. However, the refusal of planning permission need not foreclose all forms of development to the disappointed applicant. Resubmission of a modified and/or the lodging of an appeal against refusal provided formal mechanisms for further direct interaction with the planning system. In addition, disappointed applicants may take a number of other actions: significantly, the majority of these do not involve direct interaction with the formal planning system. These actions include changing working practices, minor internal adaptation of the existing buildings, and partial or total relocation. These alternative strategies have been examined by researchers working within the disciplines of business management, economic geography, surveying, architecture and facilities management. Although such studies do not explicitly examine the reactions of firms that have been refused planning permission, the concepts that they develop can be modified to address this issue. The thesis draws together aspects of this literature in order to develop a typology of companies’ adaptive behaviour following planning refusal. ‘Planning’ and ‘non-planning’ actions are identified as potential options for the disappointed applicant. The relevance of this framework is then tested in the field, using a case study of office-based firms in Cambridge. The thesis takes into account the characteristics of firms, their relative bargaining power, and the role of their agents as well as the broader economic and political environment in determining which course of adaptive action is undertaken. Finally, the limitations of current planning policy and possible future developments are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available