Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An evaluation of the effectiveness of the planning system in securing the retention of village services in rural Devon
Author: Hart, Jane Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 9586
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Despite national and local planning policies that seek to retain rural services, their loss from Devon's villages has led to those communities becoming increasingly less sustainable and self-sufficient. At both the national and the local level there is inadequate quantitative information about the extent of the losses of particular services over time and of the characteristics of those settlements most likely to be affected. The influence of wider contexts, or drivers of change, within which the changes are occurring are also poorly understood. Although several Local Authorities have produced reports recording rural service loss they seldom analyse these changes or seek to explain why such changes are occurring. Accordingly, Local Authority planning officers, both in Devon and elsewhere, have an evidence base of only limited value upon which to develop policy or evaluate individual applications. This thesis addresses the lack of local data and associated quantitative analyses and provides a qualitative assessment of the wider influences on rural service loss. Data about changes in rural services with Devon villages, collected from diverse sources, are subjected to rigorous statistical analyses. These analyses show the differential loss of particular services (Public Houses being markedly more resilient than Post Offices and shops), and identify key factors associated with service loss, most notably population numbers. In order better to understand the wider contexts influencing changes in rural service provision, the influences of a number of themes are explored and assessed. These include: demographic and socio-economic trends; changing retailing patterns; academic and professional debates about the role of rural areas; the national planning policy context that has since at least the early 1940s, and with changing rationales, been urban focused firmly constraining development in the countryside; and the effectiveness of planning decision- making at District Council level. Whilst not offering a simple planning 'solution' to the decline in rural services the case is made for reliable and up-to-date statistics to support objective decision-making and for the explicit consideration of the impacts of wider drivers of change so that the challenges of future potential service change can be more openly, objectively and constructively addressed. Allied to an improved evidence base, further assessment of other models of provision, such community-run and subsidised commercial operation, is urgently needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available