Contesting sustainable development: Low-impact development in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Alister Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses the credentials of the planning system in dealing with low-impact developments in the countryside. Forming part of the wider debate on sustainable development in the UK, low-impact developments challenge contemporary rural planning orthodoxy. A detailed case study of Brithdir Mawr in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park reveals the complexities and sensitivities inherent in operationalizing sustainability in this context. The results reveal a planning system reluctant to embrace unconventional lifestyles and methods claiming to be sustainable. It is concluded that the planning system and low-impact developments both need to demonstrate their sustainability credentials in a more direct and empirical manner. Ultimately this could be built into revised criteria for allowing dwellings in the open countryside.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


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