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09/10/2020

Mallon proposes PDR changes

Words: Roger Milne
Nichola Mallon / Northern-Ireland-Assembly

Nichola Mallon, Northern Ireland's infrastructure minister, has announced plans to make changes to the permitted development rights (PDR) regime to benefit businesses and give greater protection to the environment.

Under these proposals the following would no longer need planning permission (subject to certain limitations):

  • upgrades on mobile phone masts and antennas;
  • shopkeepers extending property and loading bays; and
  • recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

However, as part of the package, PDR for petroleum (oil and gas) exploration would be removed.

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee will scrutinise the changes before they come into force.

Mallon said: “Extending permitted development rights further will promote growth, allowing businesses to meet their aspirations for improvement and expansion.”                     

She insisted that the changes would encourage the growth of the electric vehicle market, guarantee better coverage for mobiles and broadband and make it easier for business owners to make improvements like adding loading bays “with safeguards to protect neighbours and ensure that development is of an appropriate scale and character”.

Image credit | Northern Ireland Assembly

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