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Urban Studies Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 378326, 14 pages
Research Article

Conundrums in Conservation: Complexity in Control

1Planning and Local Government Group, Department of the Environment Millennium House, 17-25 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BN, UK
2School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland BT37 0QB, UK
3School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
4School of Planning Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Received 13 December 2011; Revised 2 May 2012; Accepted 7 May 2012

Academic Editor: Jianfa Shen

Copyright © 2012 Danielle Rush et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The departure point for this investigation is to highlight the centrality of regulation theory as a praxis in planning enforcement. The value of the conceptual framework is demonstrated by application in the problematic arena of conservation regulatory compliance, where there is currently a dearth of investigation. It is evidenced that this thematic approach provides a lens to scrutinise problematic areas of control and provides a deeper understanding of the difficulties faced by planning enforcement operational practice generally and heritage regimes specifically. The utility of the proposed mechanism is that it remedies the current, well documented, pitfalls of disjointed, piecemeal strategies by providing a framework for robust, coherent decision making not only in planning but in the wider regulatory arena.