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Durkan instigates strategic planning policy reviews

Words: Roger Milne

Environment minister Mark H Durkan has issued a call for evidence on strategic planning policy for development in the countryside and, separately, renewable energy, to eventually feed into the new Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS).

He has stressed that submissions should relate to regional strategic policy for development in the countryside rather than local policy, which will be brought forward through Local Development Plan (LDP) policies.

The minister explained that the key issue was how strategic planning policy should assist “sustainable development to support a vibrant rural community, without compromising the natural and built environment, and other assets of acknowledged importance”.

In the case of renewable energy the issues under scrutiny revolve around how to facilitate development in appropriate locations and how can strategic planning policy can help to address potential amenity issues to do with wind, solar, water, geothermal energy and biomass schemes.