This article examines the interaction between development control and economic development in the countryside within the context of contemporary debates on shifts in the agricultural sector from productivism to multi-functionality. Using planning application decisions from the case of Northern Ireland for the period 1994–95 to 2005–06, together with insights from high-level key informants with planning, economic development and environmental management expertise, the article critiques a perception that regulatory planning is in line with rural development ambitions to foster a multi-functional countryside. While the quantitative data indicate a high approval rate for economic development projects, the qualitative evidence points to limitations within the policy content and operational practices of the planning system. The article argues that regulatory planning must engage more deeply with rural development objectives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies