Participation in environmental decision-making: reflecting on planning and community benefits for major wind farms

Armeni, Chiara (2016) Participation in environmental decision-making: reflecting on planning and community benefits for major wind farms. Journal of Environmental Law, 28 (3). pp. 415-441. ISSN 0952-8873

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Abstract

The notion of public participation in environmental decision-making remains ambiguous and unsettled. This article critically reflects on the conceptual nature of participation, focusing on wind energy developments. It points to an overlooked, but conceptually significant, distinction between models of engagement directed to ‘participation’ and those aimed at ‘public acceptance’. By simply offering a shadow of participation, models of public acceptance are problematic and make the normative and substantive justification of the decision inevitably more fragile. Analysing two major wind projects in England and Wales and their underlying legal and policy framework, the article explores the role of mitigation measures and the under-researched potential for developer-led community benefits to provide participatory space. In the light of logic of acceptance, it suggests that the participatory orientation of mitigation measures within planning law should be acknowledged and strengthened, while the potential for community benefits to constitute alternative fora for community participation should be explored.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Chiara Armeni
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 08:55
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 09:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66720
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