Countdown to revelations about planning practices

Today is the deadline for responses to a Friends of the Earth online survey that has attracted over four hundred submissions on local planning practices. Responses from across society and the professions, including a number of revelations from within the developer-planner nexus, promise to make for uncomfortable reading for those charged with the protection of our natural and built environments. Here, the Director of Friends of the Earth, James Orr talks about some of the findings.

From the stories about one new home constructed within a County Down shed to the one about a supermarket built over the site of paupers’ graves, the revelations range from the surreal to the profane. Orr and his partners at Queens University have begun their analysis of the survey material with a view to submitting their report to the Government as it undertakes a comprehensive reform of local planning.

I am a lecturer in sustainable development and governance at the School of Law, Queens University Belfast. I also conduct work at United Nations negotiations on the environment for the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

My book on the attention economy and mindfulness as commons was published by Routlege in June 2017. See A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Mindful Commons (Routledge Studies in Sustainability)

My research interests include consumerism, green politics and the economy. I locate myself firmly to the left of the political spectrum. I write in a personal capacity.

Born in Donegal, I was raised in Derry and now reside in Belfast with my family.