England, Scotland and Wales in context

Madhu Satsangi, Nick Gallent and Mark Bevan

in The rural housing question

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423856
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303985 | DOI:
England, Scotland and Wales in context

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How does the situation in England, Scotland and Wales compare with the situation in other countries? In particular, how do different governments find solutions to their rural housing questions? Throughout this book, it has been implied that collectively, England, Scotland and Wales have provided a unique and an ‘extreme’ case, with planning restriction creating a hostile environment for residential development. However, other countries have developed a unique approach to rural housing as well. In other developed countries, rapid urban growth, land-take for human use and expansion of human habitation has marked their development for the past several decades. Others have created their own planning systems, establishing policy frameworks on the back of political and processes that reflect prevailing social attitudes and cultural preferences. It is evident that other countries faced broadly comparable challenges, and that their populations shared a concern with the use of land resources and the impact of change on open, green space and on natural and semi-natural environments. Indeed, all countries share the same concern of conserving something of their past and set restrictions on the general spread of development over their open and less populated areas. While these concerns are broadly true in all countries, there are differences on the point of balance between an acceptance of development and the need to conserve rural areas. This chapter places the countries of Britain in a wider review of European experiences, attitudes and responses. From a comparative perspective, the chapter tries to understand how the underlying rationale of rural planning in England, Scotland and Wales compare to that found elsewhere. The chapter first provides a brief pan-European review and then compares the British nations with the Republic of Ireland. Ireland's legal and planning systems share distinct roots with those of Britain. Britain and Ireland were once joined by centuries of imperial rule from England hence, it is expected that the two countries may share similar views towards the function of rural land. The fact that there is clear sky between the planning systems in the countries of Britain and Ireland, with the systems driven by opposite rationalities not only suggests an interesting comparison but also the possibility of the two countries learning valuable lessons from one another.

Keywords: England; Scotland; Wales; conservation; rural housing; Britain; rural planning; Europe; Ireland

Chapter.  6601 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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