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Appeals regime takes a hit in Northern Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Closed / Shutterstock_343680818

Northern Ireland’s planning appeals system has been dealt a blow as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The offices of the Planning Appeals Commission are now closed.

All arrangements for submission of evidence and proceedings are suspended. 

“Once our offices are open [again] we will be in contact to make alternative arrangements,”  the organisation has told all those affected.

All appeals will be dealt with by written representation for the foreseeable future. All accompanied site visits have been cancelled.

Despite this hiatus the statutory time limits for submission of appeals remains unchanged.

“We have no power to extend the time limits. All new appeal submissions can continue to be made electronically through our website,” explained the commission.

Michael Gordon, Turley’s Belfast director, told The Planner: “Obviously the move is understandable in the present circumstances. In due course we look forward to hearing whether contingency planning might allow more appeals to be processed remotely by written representations.  

“Looking further ahead there are likely to be implications for the timing of examinations of LDP draft plan strategies but even thinking about the knock-on effects is difficult at this time.”

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