Managing diversity and mainstreaming equality: reflections on initiatives in the Planning Inspectorate

BOOTH, C. (2006). Managing diversity and mainstreaming equality: reflections on initiatives in the Planning Inspectorate. Planning theory and practice, 7 (1), 47-62.

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The Planning Inspectorate is a key institution in the English planning system which has a high public profile. It is a planning agency of the UK central government which is responsible for determining appeals against the refusal of planning permission and conditions imposed on development by local planning authorities. It also determines appeals against enforcement action on unlawful development and holds public local inquiries, where planning inspectors hear objections to policies contained in development plans. The decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate must be seen to be fair, transparent and accountable and, as a consequence, the procedures and conduct of the organisation are increasingly subject to public scrutiny. However the arena in which the Inspectorate now operates has become increasingly more complex. Significant social change has impacted on space, spatial activities and the way people use space. Campaigns around the issues of race, gender, disability, age and sexuality have challenged the notion of a homogeneous public and developed the view of a socially and culturally diverse society. As issues of diversity have become more widely recognised and expressed in society, so the UK government has expected key planning organisations, such as the Planning Inspectorate, to reflect and respond to these changes, particularly in the light of the new Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This paper examines the initiatives undertaken to mainstream equality and manage diversity in the Planning Inspectorate. It critically reflects on the scope and effectiveness of the initiatives and identifies lessons that can be learned for other planning institutions. The material used in the paper draws heavily on three sources: consultancy work undertaken for the Planning Inspectorate; documentary analysis; and case study material and findings from a recent research project into planning and diversity

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
Identification Number:
Page Range: 47-62
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 29 May 2008
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 23:31

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