Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture
on Tuesday 11 October 2016, 6pm
Local Publics and Offshore Wind Farms:
Constructing evidence in nationally significant infrastructure planning
by Yvonne Rydin, Professor of Planning, Environment and Public Policy, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL
The regulation of offshore wind farms and other major renewable energy infrastructure provides an opportunity to examine the processes put in place by the Planning Act 2008. There has been little research on the operation of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) regime to date and an ESRC-funded project (Rydin, Lee, Lock and Natarajan No. 164522) is currently filling this gap. The project focuses particularly on how local publics are involved and their representations constructed - or not - as evidence. In this lecture, research on the NSIPs regime, based on detailed reading of extensive documentation, supplemented with on-going interviews, focus groups and attendance at hearings, will be used to show how science and technology studies (STS) offers insights into how the voice of local publics is constructed, the way that knowledge claims are recognised as evidence, and the role that material artefacts play in the hearings and deliberations.