Law and Localism: The Case of Multiple Occupancy Housing

Legal Studies, Forthcoming

28 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012

Date Written: January 5, 2012


This paper investigates how planning regulation constructs the local, encapsulating a locality and prioritizing local decision-making over regional and national scales. It draws on a case study of the regulation of multiple occupation to make three inter-related points. First, the analysis emphasizes the plurality of ‘locals’ and the interrelationships between them. Second, the paper explains how the justification of the local is required to make a locality legally visible. This operationalization and construction of the local (legally, spatially and socially) must take place before the political logic of localism, the prioritization of local decision-making over other scales of governance, can take legal effect. Third the paper explains how, once the ‘local’ is legally constructed and can make decisions, this prioritization of apparently neutral local expertise and knowledge can act to enclose the spatial and social with sometimes powerful exclusionary and regressive effects.

Keywords: 2011 Localism Act, NIMBY, houses in multiple occupation, maps, scale, law, governance, localism, juridification, enclosure, exclusion, planning

Suggested Citation

Layard, Antonia, Law and Localism: The Case of Multiple Occupancy Housing (January 5, 2012). Legal Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Antonia Layard (Contact Author)

Bristol Law School ( email )

Bristol Law School
Wills Memorial Building
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics