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1909 and all that: reflections on the Housing, Town Planning, Etc. Act 1909

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Abstract:

As the pioneering legislation for town planning in Britain, the Housing, Town Planning Etc. Act 1909 has been the subject of analysis and discussion over the past half century. However, many commentators have argued that the Act was a timid measure that failed to achieve its intentions. The purpose of this study is to question that argument by re-examining both the Act and the commentaries on it. It does so by charting the historiography of the Act and then returning to the debates in Parliament and within the profession at the time the legislation was introduced and finally given Royal assent. It concludes that to regard the Act as a failure is to misunderstand its purpose as primarily concerned with the house and its surroundings, to which the broader question of land-use planning was effectively seen as an adjunct.

Keywords: 1909 Act; governance; housing reform; landownership; planning law

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2012.646776

Affiliations: 1: Department of Town and Regional Planning,University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK 2: School of Geography,Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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