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30/04/2021

Department for Infrastructure urged to consider third-party appeals

Words: Roger Milne
Third party appeal / Drozd Irina, Shutterstock_1791139073

Northern Ireland’s second-largest planning authority has suggested that the Department for Infrastructure’s (DfI) review of the planning legislation should include consideration of introducing third-party appeals.

Derry City & Strabane District Council’s submission to the DfI review, seen by The Planner, argued that: “Consideration should be given to opening the debate for the introduction of legislation to allow for third party appeals. It is timely now that the introduction of third-party appeals is considered, and a mechanism put in place that third parties or applicants should exercise their right of appeal in advance of proceeding other existing routes such as Ombudsman’s Office and Judicial Review.“

Currently third-party rights of appeal are not a feature of any of the UK mainland planning regimes although there have been recent unsuccessful campaigns, which would have seen community groups allowed to appeal decisions.

However, third-party appeals are part of the planning regime in the Irish Republic, just across the border from Derry and Strabane.

Like other submissions to the DfI review, the council has called for a significant overhaul of the development plan process, which it complains is “far too cumbersome” as well as requiring consultation with “literally hundreds of bodies”.

Derry City & Strabane District Council said the existing multi-stage and two-part local development plan (LDP) “needs to be completely reviewed”.

“It is far too cumbersome, and it will take at least 10 years to prepare and adopt each LDP, with a resultant lack of timely strategic direction for statutory public service providers, developers, community and voluntary sector economy and members of the public as well as the considerable cost of preparation."

Last week, The Planner reported that Belfast City Council thought Northern Ireland’s planning system needed fundamental reform, while RTPI Northern Ireland called for a digitally focused overhaul of the entire planning service as well as a significant increase in resources.


Read more:

NI planning regime needs fundamental reforms, suggest Belfast CC and RTPI


Image credit | Drozd Irina, Shutterstock

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