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Northern Ireland round-up: Civil servants give the go-ahead to major Belfast office scheme; County Derry wind farm rebuffed

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 26 January-1 February, 2019

Civil servants give the go-ahead to major Belfast office scheme

Northern Irish civil servants have approved another regionally significant development. It comprises one of the biggest office schemes ever proposed for the capital.

The Planner

Box-ticking prevents proactive planning

Under-resourcing and a box-ticking culture has closed off the space planners traditionally used for reflection, professional discretion and proactive planning, according to a report by the RTPI.

The Planner

Brokenshire wants ‘fresh thinking’ on planning recruitment

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has told an audience of planners that the government must do more to support the profession and give it the respect it deserves.

The Planner

RTPI urges planners to protect ancient woodlands

Planning has a key role in protecting ancient woodland and trees which are threatened by the cumulative effects of inappropriate developments on their fringes as much as permanent loss and damage.

The Planner

£1bn support for UK’s heritage

More than £1 billion of National Lottery money will go towards supporting the UK’s heritage.

The Planner

Construction SMEs grow but concerns remain

Workloads for construction SMEs grew in the fourth quarter of 2018. Despite this, the industry is concerned that it could be held back by a weakening housing market and rising costs.

The Planner

County Derry wind farm rebuffed

Department for Infrastructure civil servants have issued a refusal notice for an 11-turbine wind farm at Corlacky, Swatragh in County Derry proposed by green power developer RES.

Northern Ireland Executive

Magee campus deal

A year later than expected, Ulster University has sealed the deal on the purchase of the former Foyle College site in Londonderry, a key element in the development and expansion of the university’s Magee campus.

Belfast Telegraph

Forestry management initiative

The forest service of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has launched a scoping document in advance of revising its forest management plans for the North West Forestry Planning Area.

Northern Ireland Executive

Gold mine support claims

Dalradian, the company hoping to develop an underground gold and silver mine at Curraghinalt in West Tyrone, insisted this week that the Department for the Economy was ‘supportive’ of the scheme’s potential economic benefits while Invest NI had noted that the project had already brought substantial economic benefits to the area.

Dalradian Gold

Coleraine and Ballymena college proposals

The Northern Regional College has submitted plans for the £84 million redevelopment of its sites in Coleraine and Ballymena to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Belfast Telegraph

Construction industry issues sewerage warning

The construction industry is pressing for extra money to be allocated to NI Water in next year’s Stormont public spending budget to improve the country’s sewerage infrastructure after warning that otherwise development will grind to a halt across large swathes of the province.

Belfast Telegraph

Open space initiative to counter Belfast segregation

Belfast City Council has revealed proposals to spend £4 million on a network of shared open spaces in traditionally segregated communities stretching from Glencairn to Bog Meadows in the west of the city all linked by 12 kilometres of connected paths and cycleways.

Belfast City Council