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Department for Infrastructure considers backlog of big plans in Northern Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Backlog / iStock_000005510636

Major planning applications dating back more than a decade have still not been determined, according to an investigation by the Belfast Telegraph.

A decision has yet to be made by the Department for Infrastructure on several applications, including one for a significant out-of-town food superstore in Londonderry from February 2006.

The department has confirmed that a total of 10 large applications lodged with the department remain undetermined.

Planning powers were devolved to Northern Ireland’s councils in April 2015, but major and significant applications were retained by the Department of the Environment, now the Department for Infrastructure, for decision.

A department spokeswoman said a small number of so-called ‘Article 31’ applications were “transferred to the new Department for Infrastructure in May this year”. They involved “a range of complex policy and procedural issues” she said.

“The department continues to expedite former Article 31 cases, of which only 10 remain (from a total of 60 that were in the system in 2011). Most of these applications are close to being concluded.”