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News

 

Events

 

Jan 2018 right left

New Year’s Day Winter Walk

Monday 1st January
Mount Stewart
Adult £10, Child £5

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Historic Garden Restoration

Sunday 7th January
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co Armagh
Free

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Have a go: Hedge laying

Saturday 20th January
Mount Stewart
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Meadow Management

Sunday 21st January
Balloo Wetland & Woodland, Bangor
Free

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Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA) – The Opportunities in Energy Storage

Tuesday 23rd January
The Doyen, 829 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7GY
£66

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Griddle Baking

Saturday 27th January
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Get Stuck In at Murlough

Sunday 28th January
Murlough NNR
No Charge, Donations Welcome

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Planning

The DoE began a major programme to reform the Northern Ireland planning system with the introduction of the Planning (NI) Act 2011. The 2011 Act gives effect to the whole process of local government reform which includes the transfer of the majority of planning functions and decision making responsibilities to district councils in 2015.

Planning

Planning policy in Northern Ireland is also undergoing significant change. Policy Planning Statements (PPSs) contain policies on land use and other planning matters and currently set out the main considerations to be taken into account in reaching planning decisions on proposals for development in Northern Ireland. These statements are being consolidated into a single Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) for Northern Ireland in 2014. This document will outline the purpose of the planning system within NI, the core principles of the system, the nature of Local Development Plans, and guidance on planning decisions affecting, for example, built heritage, coastal development, natural heritage.  Following the production of the SPPS there will be significant supplementary guidance produced to guide local councils in planning decision making.

Each new council area will prepare Local Development Plans, to be produced as soon as possible, taking into account the content of the SPPS, the Regional Development Strategy, the Sustainable Development Strategy for Northern Ireland and any other relevant strategic documents.

NIEL provides a secretariat service to the Planning Task Force which works towards a more effective and accountable planning framework that will facilitate sustainable development. The Task Force regularly meets with planning representatives and actively engages with the Department of Environment on planning policy development and the programme of planning reform.

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In 2012/13, the average processing times for Major, Intermediate and Minor categories of planning application has reduced by four, two and three weeks respectively.

Renewable energy applications decisions have increased by 90% from 2011. Almost nine in 10 renewable energy applications were approved in 2012/13.

In the period 1 April 2008 to end of 31 December 2012, a total of 79,568 planning applications have been approved out of a total 85,728 decisions representing a 92.8% approval rate

Applications for residential development have continued to fall, down by 16% from 1,825 in quarter two of 2011/12 to 1,528 in quarter two of 2012/13.

Overall, 93% of decisions issued for planning applications in quarter two of 2012/13 were approved.

In urban areas, the number of residential applications fell from 738 to 587 (20%) and in rural areas the number fell from 1,087 to 941 (13%). Rural applications made up over three fifths (62%) of residential applications.

The vast majority (75%) of renewable energy applications received in quarter two of 2012/13 were for single wind turbines.

The number of decisions issued against renewable energy applications doubled from 88 in the second quarter of 2011/12 to 177 in the second quarter of 2012/13.

Over nine tenths (92%) of renewable energy applications were approved.

Powers that are currently proposed for transfer to Local Government include urban regeneration from DSD; local economic development and tourism from DETI; part of the responsibility for roads from the DRD; local sports facilities from DCAL; and rural development from DARD.