Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Conservation, Conservatives and consensus: the success of conservation under the Thatcher and Major Governments, 1979-1997

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Pendlebury



The British Conservative governments between 1979 and 1997 are usually associated with a strident agenda of economic liberalism, combined with a centralization of political power, which affected land-use planning along with other policy spheres. However, not only did the conservation of the historic environment escape these forces, its policy significance strengthened during the period. In a time associated with the breakdown of post-war political consensus, conservation policy goals achieved a virtually unchallenged consensus for the first time. This article examines how central government policy developed during this period before examining a range of possible explanations for these outcomes. These include political attitudes and support, electoral significance, conservation lobbies, the commodification and political symbolism of heritage and the dominant ideology thesis. Finally, the article speculates on how stable and enduring the conservation consensus may prove.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pendlebury JR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Planning Theory and Practice

Year: 2000

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 31-52

Print publication date: 01/09/2000

Date deposited: 15/07/2008

ISSN (print): 1464-9357

ISSN (electronic): 1470-000X

Publisher: Routledge