Land-use planning and the market: An examination of private housebuilding in West Central Scotland

Cameron, Gordon (1981) Land-use planning and the market: An examination of private housebuilding in West Central Scotland. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In a mixed economy the implementation of planning policies must, to a large extent, depend upon the actions of the private sector. This places an onus on the planning system to understand and appreciate how its objectives can be achieved through the management of market forces. The present study attempts to examine some of the problems which this can pose; particularly in relation to the control of private housebuilders. It is not, however, intended to be a comprehensive essay on the relationship between planning and the market. Rather, the emphasis is placed throughout on an examination of the practical problems which planners face in this respect; and on considering how the operation of market forces can frustrate the planning system in its efforts to control private investment . The study is structured in the following manner: Chapter One sets out to establish the rationale for land-use planning intervening in the operation of the market. Firstly, planning can be justified on the grounds that its purpose is to compensate for the imperfections which characterise the workings of the land market. Planning, in these circumstances, restricts itself to the task of removing any obstructions. Which hinder the efficient operation of market forces; playing, in effect, a passive rather than an active role. Secondly, planning can legitimise its actions by pointing cut that the unfettered operation of market forces will inevitably work to the disadvantage of those in greatest need. Planning must, therefore, play a more active role, challenging the was in which private agents operate in the market. The question is whether or not planning can actually fulfill this task, hearing in mind both the tools which are available to carry out land-use planning; and the hostility which this course of action is likely to generate in the private sector. Chapter Two examines some of the practical implications of these problems by looking at the way in which the economics of private housebuilding can create special problems for the planning process. Here the emphasis is placed upon developing a critique of the land-use planning system, by illustrating the limited opportunity which it has to control the decisions made by private builders, operanting in the land and development market. The chapter highlights the conflicting and variable pressures which a planner can experience when attempting to deal directly with the market. Chapter Three develops these considerations further with a study of the private builder public planner relationship in the West of Scotland. The study traces, in some detail, the was in which the housing and land markets have developed in the area in order to stress their importance in determining the milieu within which land-use planning must take place- This provides the essential background for an analysis of the conflict between Strathclyde Region and the private housebuilders, over the allocation of land for private housing in the Structure Plan. Certain features of this conflict cogently illustrate how past and prevailing market forces can circumscribe the actions of planners. The role of the housebuilding lobby, representing the market, and the Secretary of State, representing central government, in determining the outcome of this conflict and seen as crucial. Chapter Pour deals with the practical problems which Glasgow District Council face in their efforts Ill to manage and direct the activities of private housebuilders. The influence which the micro-political environment can have on the planner/market relationship is examined. In addition, the methods used by the planners to increase the level of in-town private housebuilding are examined. Basing its conclusions on evidence detailed in the previous two chapters the final chapter analyses the problems which can arise when planning attempts to influence the operation of the market-motivated, private sector. The chapter also includes some general suggestion on how the planning system might be made both more effective and more sensitive in its efforts to cope with the management of market forces.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Sheila McDonald
Keywords: Urban planning, Land use planning
Date of Award: 1981
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1981-74218
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74218

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