Call for Papers: Communities and the trouble with house-building

Call for Papers: Communities and the trouble with house-building: citizen engagement in planning for new homes

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, Tuesday 27th РFriday 30th August Sponsored by the Planning and Environment Research Group (PERG) 

Session convenors: Dr Quintin Bradley, Leeds Beckett University,; Charles Goode, University of Birmingham,


The aim of this themed session is to draw together the latest international research on citizen engagement in planning for housing development with a particular focus on public objections to house-building. 

Policy makers have become increasingly attentive to the motivations of citizens opposing housing development. In economies predicated on financialised housing markets, public objections to new house-building challenge policy makers to resolve conflict without disturbing the prevailing liberalised development model (Inch 2012).Their responses have included the introduction of third-party rights of appeal, and the devolution of statutory development planning to local communities (Brownill & Bradley, 2017; Ellis, 2000; Willey 2006).

Set against a crisis of housing affordability, and the widening gulf between housing as a public good and a private gain, this session asks how we should understand citizen objections to house-building (Gallent, Durrant & Stirling 2018). The planning objections of publics are still routinely delegitimised on the grounds that they act as self-interested NIMBYs who express their private interests and not societal concerns (Dear & Taylor, 1982; DeVerteuil, 2013). Studies of public opposition to new house building, however, show that objectors frame their challenge on environmental, ecological and heritage grounds in the context of democratic rights to be included in decisions over neighbourhood change (Cook, Taylor & Hurley, 2013; Matthews, Bramley, & Hastings 2015; Ruming, Houston & Amati, 2012; Wolsink, 2006).  

In this themed session, we welcome papers that broadly reflect these issues and in particular that address the following themes:

  • The motives for citizen objections to house-building and case studies of conflict and/or resolution
  • Third party rights of appeal; neighbourhood planning and other institutional responses to citizen engagement in planning 
  • Community-led models of housing development 
  • Green Belt, heritage, conservation, and environmental concerns affected by housing development
  • Questions of spatial knowledge, and the role of place and place attachment in community responses to housing development.

Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words should be submitted by the end of Friday 8 February to Quintin Bradley, Leeds Beckett University

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