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Title: The role of sustainability appraisal in neighbourhood planning in England
Author: Yu, Xinzhi
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 592X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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The main aim of this thesis is to investigate how Sustainability Appraisal performed in Neighbourhood Planning in England. Neighbourhood Planning emerged in 2012 as a non-mandatory planning form, aiming to encourage communities to decide neighbourhood issues by themselves. Sustainability Appraisal of Neighbourhood Planning is not required if no significant impacts identified, but it still can be carried out to benefit the performance of Neighbourhood Planning. In carrying out the study, 15 progressed Neighbourhood Plans that prepared Sustainability Appraisal have been investigated with an evaluation framework based on previous experience and characteristics of Neighbourhood Planning. For each case, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and Examiner's Report have been analysed. Moreover, 12 semi-structured interviews have been undertaken, including nine interviews of members of Neighbourhood Planning Steering Groups, and three interviews of relevant experts and scholars. The thesis discussed how to systematically establish an evaluation framework for Sustainability Appraisal. Based on the evaluation framework established in this research, the results showed that the performance of Sustainability Appraisal in Neighbourhood Planning is uneven in different cases. There are many factors could influence the result and they generally follow an influence chain. Planning skill capacity and neighbourhood context both could influence the quality of Sustainability Appraisal. The quality of Sustainability Appraisal was proved have close linkages with the effectiveness aspects which can directly influence the performance of Neighbourhood Planning. Three prominent dilemmas about the implementation of Sustainability Appraisal in Neighbourhood Planning and possible recommendations were also discussed in this thesis, suggesting that voluntary Sustainability Appraisal might be better than compulsory; the Sustainability Appraisal could be simply or comprehensive depending on different contexts and needs; and if financial support is sufficient, to commission a consultant can be benefit, but Neighbourhood Planning Steering Groups should hold the leading position and positively participant in the planning process.
Supervisor: Kidd, Sue Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral