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The actions of key agents in facilitating rural super-gentrification: Evidence from the English countryside

Sheppard, D; Pemberton, S

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Authors

D Sheppard



Abstract

Whilst the process of gentrification in rural spaces is widely recognised, there has been less focus to date on the emergence of rural super-gentrification - defined as the displacement of the wealthy from rural communities by the super-wealthy. Of the limited work which has been conducted on super-gentrification, this has focused on the nature and outcomes of displacement taking place in different rural settings without considering the actions of key agents, such as planners and estate agents. Consequently, this paper explores the role of gentrifying agents - namely planners and estate agents - in shaping processes of rural super-gentrification in the English countryside. The paper highlights how restrictive planning regimes, including constraints on higher plot densities, contribute to ‘rural exclusivity’ and rural super-gentrification. Within such contexts, the promotional and steering strategies of estate agents - based upon incomers perceived economic and cultural capital - also facilitate rural super-gentrification. In such a way, the paper advances existing consumption-side theories of gentrification by highlighting desires by super-wealthy incomers for consuming rural village locations with local services, a slower pace of life and a ‘sense of community’. In addition, the importance of privacy and seclusion, urban proximity and connectivity and access to educational circuits by incomers also shape the promotional and steering strategies of estate agents. Consequently, the paper highlights how more localised ‘micro-geographies’ of rural super-gentrification are of relevance to rural areas in comparison to urban contexts, where super-gentrification is argued to be a neighbourhood-level

Acceptance Date Jan 9, 2023
Publication Date Jan 12, 2023
Journal Journal of Rural Studies
Print ISSN 0743-0167
Electronic ISSN 1873-1392
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 97
Pages 485 - 494
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2023.01.004
Keywords Rural; Super-gentrification; Estate agents; Promotional and steering strategies; Micro-geography
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0743016723000049?via%3Dihub

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