All our research is underpinned by excellent facilities and support staff.

Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES)

Our research activities encompass a broad range of work in physical and human geography. There is a substantial postgraduate community, and a lively and active research culture. All our research is underpinned by excellent facilities and support staff.

Research is organised around six themes which make up the Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES).

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MSc Planning dissertation research published in academic journals

A number of MSc Planning students have been successful in publishing the research undertaken in their dissertation project in refereed academic journals. Craig Leger’s research investigated the characteristics of brownfield land in English coastal communities and the challenges faced by planning in the regeneration of these sites through an analysis of the National Land Use Database and a survey of Heads of Planning Service. Sarah Dyke analysed community perceptions towards wind power to test current debates about pre- and post-acceptance opinions of affected stakeholders. Jamie Staples focused on the delivery of bespoke housing for families with severely disabled children and found that better communication between developers and planners was a critical first step in meeting the requirements. Dan Thorning highlighted the issues of development viability and political pressure to unlock and accelerate delivery as constraints on the delivery of mixed communities in the regeneration of waterfront sites in Plymouth and Bristol. Dan Young explored the progress that has been made by the planning system in England in addressing the challenge of climate change adaptation in coastal urban areas, which remains incremental rather than transformative. These outputs provide external endorsement of the high quality of research undertaken on the programme at Plymouth.

Leger, C., Balch, C. and Essex, S. (2016) Understanding the planning challenges of brownfield development in coastal urban areas of England, Planning Practice and Research, 31 (2), pp.119-131. doi:  

Wilson, G. and Dyke, S. (2016) Pre- and post-installation community perceptions of wind farm projects: the case of Roskrow Barton (Cornwall, UK), Land Use Policy, 52, 287–296. doi:

Staples, J. and Essex, S. (2016) Design, disability and the planning challenge: the reality of living with severely disabled children, Planning Practice and Research, 31 (3), pp.327-346. doi:

Thorning, D., Balch, C. & Essex, S. (2019) The delivery of mixed communities in the regeneration of urban waterfronts: an investigation of the comparative experience of Plymouth and Bristol, Land Use Policy, 84, 238-251. doi:

Young, D. & Essex, S. (2019) Integrating climate change adaptation in the planning and regeneration of coastal urban areas: priorities barriers, and future prospects, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, doi:

Research in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Bringing together experts across a range of disciplines to deliver a unique blend of insights and perspectives from the forefront of new discoveries.

The range of our interdisciplinary research groups ensures extensive and broad-reaching themes.

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