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Northern Ireland round-up: Belfast biogas plants hits the buffers; Social housing boost

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 17 April-23 April, 2021

Belfast biogas plants hits the buffers

This week Belfast City councillors have again deferred a decision on contentious plans for a £40 million biogas plant at the capital’s Giant’s Park.

The Planner

Task force launched for digital planning

An independent panel has been launched with the time to promote an integrated digitally informed approach of town and country planning.

The Planner

Jobs and affordable homes are key to building back better, suggests report

The provision of affordable housing and jobs will define how the UK will build back better from Covid-19, according to a report.

The Planner

Government seeks 78% reduction in emissions by 2035

The UK Government has set an ‘ambitious’ target to reduce emissions by 78 per cent compared with 1990 levels as it looks forward to hosting COP26 in November.

The Planner

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

Northern Ireland’s planning system needs fundamental reform, the country’s largest planning authority has told the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).

The Planner

Social housing boost

The Department for Communities has reported that 2,403 new social homes were started in 2020/21, nearly 30 per cent more than the target, while over the same period a total of 1,318 social homes were completed (against a target of 1,200).

Northern Ireland Executive

New factory for Strabane

A Donegal engineering firm plans to spend £2 million building a new factory at Strabane business park, which will be more than twice the size of its existing 1,300-square-metre facility in Letterkenny.

Irish News

Another Derry Lidl shapes up

Discount retailer Lidl has confirmed plans for a new 2,080 square metre store at the Crescent Link Retail Park on the outskirts of Derry.

Belfast Telegraph

Kincora Boys’ Home set for demolition

Developer Hagan Homes has lodged proposals to demolish the notorious former Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast and replace the Upper Newtownards Road building with nine flats. Three members of staff were convicted in 1981 of sexual abuse of boys in the home.

Belfast Telegraph

Ebrington officer’s mess set to become offices

The former officers’ mess in the former Ebrington military base in Derry is to be transformed into grade-A office space in a £1.5 million investment by the site's developers.

Irish News

Belfast Hills woodland deal

The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, has acquired a 98-hectare site in the Belfast Hills next to Cave Hill Country Park and plans to open the woodland to the public for free once restoration works are completed.

Belfast Live

Derry concern over Donegal asphalt plant project

Members of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s environment and regeneration committee have agreed to write to Donegal County Council to object to a planning application for an asphalt plant on the Inishowen peninsula.

Belfast Live

Ballynahinch bypass progress

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed her intention to make the direction order for the 3.1-kilometre Ballynahinch Bypass project, which will include a new footway/cycleway along its length and a park-and-share facility at its northern end.

Northern Ireland Executive

Milestone for cross-border water clean-up initiative

A €35 million cross-border project – known as the Shared Waters & Loughs Legacy scheme (SWELL) – to improve water quality in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle by overhauling wastewater treatment has reached its halfway stage with completion of four upgrades on the Northern Ireland side of the project. Four schemes on the Irish side will now be progressed. The initiative is bankrolled by the EU.

NI Water