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Former Scots chief planner reviews Belfast planning service

Words: Roger Milne

Belfast City Council has commissioned Scotland’s former chief planner Jim Mackinnon to carry out a ‘high-level review’ of how the capital’s planning service has managed the transition from central to local government.

In a statement sent to The Planner a spokesperson for the council insisted: “This is not about complaints. It is about ensuring that we provide the highest-quality service to customers and support the growth of the city.

“Mr Mackinnon is an extremely experienced planner, having previously been chief planner for Scotland, and has been commissioned to do this work over a period of seven days.”

In April 2015, 11 local authorities assumed responsibility for processing local and major planning applications and dealing with enforcement cases. They also took on responsibility for drawing up local development plans.

Under the two-tier planning system the Department of the Environment retained responsibility for processing regionally significant schemes.

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