Community planning in a diverse Northern Ireland: opportunities for inclusion?




School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 3
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

From 1 April 2015, 11 new ‘super-councils’ took over from the previous 26 under the Local government reform. The new councils provide the same services as previous councils with a number of new powers and responsibilities added. The new functions, amongst others, include local planning functions and leading a community planning process.

This research considers prospects for engaging with local communities through the new super-councils. It will examine the different layers of governance and how these affect particular places, the power struggles that ensue through processes of engagement and the potential for community plans to affect change at the local level. It will also consider the function of community plans through which the social relations between the key players will be scrutinised.

The research is placed in the context of an increasingly diverse Northern Ireland. It will consider opportunities for different social groups to engage with the process through examining the interplay between different actors, including community ‘representatives’, elected representatives, officials and lobby/interest groups (including migrants). As part of a wider devolved governance framework, one of a greater ‘multi-governance’ structure, it will reflect upon the way knowledge is produced and re-produced, thus considering the role of experts versus lay perspectives.

Supervisors: Dr Ruth McAreavey and Dr. Mike Corman (Sociology)


LLM Law and Governance, Queen’s University Belfast, 2014
LLB Law, University of Kent, England, 2011


PhD Research Studentship, Department of Employment and Learning, 2015