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Real Estate & Planning Research Seminar, in person Presentation by Dr. Linda Fox-Rogers from the University College Dublin "Exploring the dynamics between stakeholder perceptions of planning and planning reform: a temporal analysis from Northern Ireland"

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Event information
Date 21 November 2022
Time 14:00-15:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Venue Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus
Event types:

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Exploring the dynamics between stakeholder perceptions of planning and planning reform: a temporal analysis from Northern Ireland

Dr. Linda Fox-Rogers, University College Dublin.

Planning systems throughout the UK, Europe and internationally appear to be in a constant state of flux as successive governments attempt to respond to competing demands from a diverse range of political, economic and socio-environmental interest groups with disparate views about how the planning system needs to change ‘for the better’. To date, the effectiveness of the planning system and associated reform measures have almost exclusively been evaluated on the basis of performance-based indictors associated with service delivery (e.g. speed of decision making, approval rates, development completions etc). In doing so however, there has been widespread failure to analyse the efficacy of the system in other ways. Specifically, virtually no attempt has been made to understand how the planning system is viewed by key ‘clients’ of the system, namely politicians, developers, the public and planners themselves.

Our research seeks to address this gap by analysing the views of key stakeholders in Northern Ireland’s planning system based on two surveys carried out before and after major reforms were introduced in 2015 which saw the majority of planning powers (over the regulation of development and forward planning policy) being devolved from central government to the region’s local authorities. Whilst Northern Ireland thus presents itself as a useful empirical lens to explore the dynamics of stakeholder opinion about the effectiveness of these reforms, the survey data also offers a rare and unique opportunity to analyse the extent to which attitudes towards the performance of the planning system and priorities for reform have changed over a 10-year period (2011-2021). The research offers fresh insights into the dynamics of stakeholder opinion and planning reform and signals the needs for us to think differently about how we assess the performance of individual planning systems by encapsulating the views of a much wider cohort of stakeholders in order to carve out alternative (and more representative) reform agendas.

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