This study examined the role of community-led planning in its widest sense, in empowering communities and also in influencing strategic thinking. It reviewed relevant statutory and voluntary structures and activity in unitary and two-tier authorities in the South West region and identified key similarities and differences, and common themes; in particular considering the support which these authorities have given to community-led planning, and how they might support and build capacity for this.

In pursuing these three main objectives, principles underlying successful practice in this area were developed and areas of conflict and tension were articulated. A set of recommendations for good practice was proposed. The project was carried out between October 2009 and January 2010 by Nigel Curry and Stephen Owen.

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