A Place in the Country: The Contribution of Second Homes to North Devon Communities
Barnett, Jenny Elizabeth
Date: 22 August 2013
University of Exeter
PhD in Geography
This research examines the sustainability and participatory objectives of the UK’s planning system in a geographical context. It aims to explore the relationships between communities and place, and the connections between national government, local governments and communities in planning processes and outcomes. It also considers the ...
This research examines the sustainability and participatory objectives of the UK’s planning system in a geographical context. It aims to explore the relationships between communities and place, and the connections between national government, local governments and communities in planning processes and outcomes. It also considers the role of planning in shaping places and communities, and how planning endeavours to include communities in decision-making through encouraging participation in community activities. This thesis argues that there is a gap between planning policy and rhetoric and the implementation of policy within specific community contexts. The research is a piece of collaborative research conducted with the planning department at North Devon Council (NDC). Through developing an original empirical case study of data from parishes within North Devon, planning’s sustainability and participatory agendas are examined through the framework of second homes considered a distinct yet related form of tourism (Jaakson, 1986). The research unpicks popular understandings of second homes through quantitative and qualitative research and argues that there are nuanced existences and experiences of second home properties, compounding the difficulty of defining these properties that produce both non-permanent residents and semi- permanent tourists. Exploration of the socio-economic contributions of second homes within host communities suggests that second homes have potential to contribute unsustainable traits, particularly social impacts, to host communities while also having potential to bring positive, predominantly economic, contributions. The empirical research demonstrates that notions of community from resident and policy maker perspectives illustrate that place is not necessary to understanding or experiencing community but has a key role in framing both policy and North Devon residents’ perceptions of community. Through examining the most recent round of democratic renewal in the planning system, issues of power and responsibility within planning functions are reviewed. It argues that the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition neighbourhood planning obligations reveal a dichotomy between community desire for power and the realism of heightened responsibility.
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