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May 2018 right left


Community Places Free Planning Advice

Wednesday 2nd May
Community Places, 2 Downshire Place, Belfast BT2 7JQ


Dry Stone Walling

Sunday 6th May
Mourne Mountains


Belfast Roadshow on Sustainable Development Goals

Tuesday 8th May
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, 3 Cromac Quay, Ormeau Gasworks, Belfast BT7 2JD

Sustainable NI Carbon Management Training

Wednesday 9th May
Parliament Buildings, Belfast
See above


An Evening Walk in Spring

Saturday 12th May
Belfast Area

Guided bluebell walk at Prehen Wood

Sunday 13th May
Prehen Wood, Derry~Londonderry


Bluebell Stroll with the Ranger

Saturday 19th May
Murlough NNR
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Glenoe Geology Walk

Saturday 19th May
Glenoe Waterfall
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co Armagh – Historic Garden Restoration

Sunday 20th May
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh


Carbon Management Course

Wednesday 23rd May
Inspire Business Park, Newtownards
£225 (No VAT to pay)


Country Fair

Sunday 27th May
Florence Court
Normal Admission Members Free

Jazz in the Garden at Mount Stewart

Sunday 27th May
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission Members Free

Cruise the Lough

Monday 28th May
Adult £4, Child £2


Durkan’s proposals for flooding 11 October 2013

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, has proposed new initiatives to reduce the risk of future flooding


The Minister also proposed in the Revised Draft Planning Policy Statement 15 ‘Planning and Flood Risk’, improvements to manage and recover from flooding events which occur.

Included in the policy is a proposal to address safety in reservoirs. This will require developers to provide assurances about reservoir safety before planning permission is granted for any new development close to reservoirs. 

Other key proposals are that developers will now have to submit a flood risk assessment within identified flood risk areas and demonstrate how these risks can be managed through, for example, building flood proofed buildings. 

Within areas protected by flood defences but still at risk from flooding, under the proposals there will be increased safeguards. This means that new developments where the young or vulnerable are potentially at risk from flooding such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and nurseries, will not be permitted. Similarly, developments housing hazardous substances that would pose a health risk in the instance of flooding would also be refused planning permission.

In coastal flood plains there will be greater flexibility to facilitate development when the flood risk has been mitigated through raising the land to an appropriate level. 

There is also new guidance on sustainable drainage and the flood proofing of buildings in flood risk areas. 

Mark H Durkan said: “Up until the beginning of this year, there has only been one year (2010) that did not experience a serious local flood incident. Given the predictions for climate change, the frequency of these events is likely to increase in the future.

“While flooding is a natural phenomenon that cannot be entirely eliminated, we in government need to do all we can to address this recurring problem which can have devastating impacts on individuals and communities – especially the vulnerable. And let’s not forget the impact on buildings, and the delivery of services and the hardship experienced by people in the recovery and clean up period. Flooding can also directly affect schools, hospitals, businesses, transport and infrastructure and is therefore detrimental to our economy and society. 

“I believe it is important to ensure that the planning system continues to manage new development so as to further reduce the risk of flooding to people and property. I also think that developers building near reservoirs should take responsibility for ensuring their safety – making this a planning condition should help create a safer environment.”

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill, who has responsibility for the Rivers Agency, added: “I very much welcome this review of PPS 15 which will provide a clearer and more robust policy statement for government bodies, developers and their representatives on all aspects of flood risk arising from proposed development. My Department has been fully involved in the revised policy statement and I look forward to the outcome of the consultation process.”

The Environment Minister concluded: “Government is committed to limiting the devastating impacts of flooding and there is much joined–up work being progressed alongside full use of new information on flood risk. I am particularly grateful for the valuable contribution of DARD Rivers Agency in the development of the revised draft PPS. This revised policy and updated guidance is something that can have an impact on many people’s lives so I encourage people to participate in the consultation.”

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