Providing an overview of rural (spatial) planning for students on planning, geography and related programmes, this book charts the major patterns and processes of rural change affecting the British countryside, its landscape, its communities and its economies in the twentieth century. The authors examine the role of ‘planning’ in shaping rural spaces, not only the statutory ‘comprehensive’ planning that emerged in the post-war period, but also planning and rural programme delivery undertaken by central, regional and local policy agencies. The book is designed to accompany a typical teaching programme in rural planning and considers:

  • the nature of rural areas and the emergence of statutory planning in England
  • the agents of rural policy delivery and the potential for current planning practice to become a ‘policy hub’ at the local level, co-ordinating the actions and programmes of different agents
  • economic change in the countryside and the influence planning has in shaping rural economies
  • social change, the nature of rural communities and recent debates on housing and rural service provision
  • environmental change, the changing fortunes of farming, landscape protection, and the idea of a multi-functional landscape made by forces that can be shaped by the planning process
  • key areas of current concern in spatial rural planning, including debates surrounding city-regions, the rural
  • the challenge of managing rural change in the twenty-first century through new planning and governance processes.

A comprehensive coverage of the forces, processes and outcomes of rural change whilst keeping planning’s influence and role in clear view at all times.

part |2 pages

PART I Rurality, planning and governance

chapter 1|27 pages


chapter 2|29 pages

Rural governance and spatial planning

part |2 pages

PART II The rural economy

chapter 3|29 pages

Economic change

chapter 4|23 pages

The farming economy

chapter 5|28 pages

New economies

part |2 pages

PART III The needs of rural communities

chapter 6|22 pages

Community change

chapter 8|30 pages

Living in the countryside

part |2 pages

PART IV Environmental change and planning

chapter 9|29 pages

A changing environment

chapter 10|33 pages

A differentiated environment

part |2 pages

PART V Governance, coordination and integration

chapter 11|22 pages

(Re)positioning rural areas