Perceptions of professional stakeholders in the process of historic building regeneration in the UK: a relational perspective

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This article examines the relational interactions between the professional stakeholders in the redevelopment of three historic former asylums in northern England. Each stakeholder in the redevelopment process has their own expertise, goals, opinions, and views of everyone else in the process. This relational perspective provides a counterpoint to the often atheoretical and non-critical examination of these issues. The article explores the perceptions that the stakeholders hold of themselves, each other and how this helps shape the process of historic building reuse. The empirical findings in this paper are based on semi- structured interviews with stakeholders involved in the redevelopment of three historic former asylum buildings in the north of England. It asks how the perceptions of stakeholders; of themselves, others and the process, affect the redevelopment outcome of three sites. Healey’s (1992) conceptual framework of the redevelopment process is adapted to understand this situation – understanding the interaction between owners (where identifiable), planners (including planning consultants), conservation officers and heritage practitioners. Original findings demonstrated discord between the perceptions the stakeholders held for each other and the actual actions those stakeholders took. In addition, findings also indicate that they viewed themselves as objective experts - yet the findings show that the stakeholders brought their personal experiences and bias into the discussion of historic former asylums, particularly in relation to the history of the buildings. These findings are significant for academia and practice/ policy as it paints a more nuanced picture of stakeholders involved in the process of redevelopment, challenging prevailing pinons and explores the usually assumed homogenous groups of developers (Coiacetto, 2001) and property owners, something which is lacking in the literature currently.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105087
Number of pages9
Early online date14 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2024

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