Law and localism: The case of multiple occupancy housing

Antonia Layard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates how planning regulation constructs the local, encapsulating a locality and prioritising local decision making over regional and national scales. It draws on a case study of the regulation of multiple occupation to make three interrelated points. First, the analysis emphasises the plurality of 'locals' and the interrelationships between them. Secondly, the paper explains how the juridification of the local is required to make a locality legally visible. This operationalisation and construction of the local (legally, spatially and socially) must take place before the political logic of localism, the prioritisation of local decision making over other scales of governance, can take legal effect. Thirdly, the paper explains how, once the 'local' is legally constructed and can make decisions, this prioritisation of apparently neutral local expertise and knowledge can act to enclose the spatial and social with sometimes powerful exclusionary and regressive effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-576
Number of pages26
JournalLegal Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


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  • Law, Localism & Governance

    Layard, A.


    Project: Research

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