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Northern Ireland round-up: Data migration issues delay roll-out of new planning; Planning applications in Northern Ireland increased in 2020

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 26 June-2 July, 2021

Data migration issues delay roll-out of new planning IT scheme

Data migration issues look certain to delay the introduction of Northern Ireland’s new IT planning system, originally expected to be phased in from late 2021 to early 2022. Roll-out will be some months later.

The Planner

Planning applications in Northern Ireland increased in 2020

A total of 12,833 planning applications were submitted to local authorities in Northern Ireland in the 2020/21 financial year, according to a statistical release by the Northern Ireland Executive.

The Planner

127 new homes approved at Limavady (pdf)

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has approved reserved matters for a 127-home development on land that includes the former Gorteen House Hotel site at Limavady proposed by Roehill Properties Ltd.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

Narrow Water Bridge funding boost

The Irish Government has announced €3 million in funding to kick-start work on a key north-south infrastructure project, the cross-border Narrow Water Bridge between the Mourne mountains and the Cooley peninsula which has planning permission but has been mired in budgetary problems.

Irish News

Belfast office block approved

The city council planning committee has backed a £10 million office development providing 3,720 square metres of floor space in a nine-storey building close to Belfast’s law courts and Victoria Square shopping centre.

Irish News

Refusal of capital office block appealed

Developer Domus UK is appealing against the city council’s refusal of its proposed seven-storey city centre office block in Belfast’s Linen Quarter.

Belfast Telegraph

Casement Park s76 backed by city council

Belfast City Council has been accused of “rubber stamping” the redevelopment of Casement Park – but excluding local residents – when a special meeting of its planning committee backed a draft section 76 planning agreement negotiated between the Department for Infrastructure and Ulster GAA. The department is overseeing the contentious scheme as a proposal of regional significance. The agreement includes the appointment of a stadium manager, travel plan coordinator, event safety manager and traffic management contractors.

Irish News

Carryduff Lidl proposal

A new Lidl supermarket with parking for 200 vehicles has been proposed for the Carryduff Shopping Centre under proposals submitted by the discount retailer to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Belfast Telegraph

Digital infrastructure contract

Telecoms provider Fibrus has been awarded a £23 million government contract to improve digital infrastructure across the 10 local authority areas beyond Belfast. The project could result in hundreds of public sector buildings having access to hyperfast broadband.

BBC News

City centre housing urged for capital

The Belfast Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission has published a report calling for housebuilding at scale in the city centre as part of reshaping how the capital looks with more social and green space, a café culture and more sustainable transport.

Belfast City Council

Armagh bid to be UK City of Culture 2025

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed to submit a bid for the historic city of Armagh to be UK City of Culture 2025.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Portstewart flats

Proposals have been unveiled for redevelopment of the former York Hotel site in Portstewart with 15 luxury flats.

Irish News

Row over Portaferry tree-felling

A petition objecting to plans by Ards and North Down Borough Council to fell 14 mature trees to make way for an enlarged car park at its Portaferry Exploris Aquarium has attracted almost 52,000 signatures.

Irish News

Population growth stalls

The population of Northern Ireland last year grew by its slowest rate in more than 20 years, according to figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, which highlighted an increase of just 0.1 per cent growth in a population of 1.89 million.

NI Statistics and Research Agency

Poots climate bill panned

Proposed climate legislation tabled at the Northern Ireland Executive by agriculture and environment minister Edwin Poots has been described as a “pale imitation” of a more ambitious private member’s bill that has already secured the backing of the assembly.

Irish News

BBC scales back its NI HQ upgrade

The BBC has significantly scaled back the budget for the planned upgrade of its listed Belfast headquarters, which will now involve an expenditure of £44 million rather than the original figure of £77 million.

Irish News

Barge hotel approved for Coleraine marina

The owners of the Crannagh Marina located on the Lower Bann between Coleraine and Portstewart have secured planning approval from Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council to moor a Norwegian barge at the facility, which will be converted into the first floating hotel on the island of Ireland, providing 36 cabins, a restaurant, and a function room.

Irish News

Ballymena Showground redevelopment

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has begun consulting on its proposals to redevelop facilities at the Ballymena Showground involving new spectator stands, which would nearly double capacity at the facility to 6,500 as well providing offices, a new fitness centre, floodlighting, a new enclosed multisport pitch and a dedicated fanzone.

Insider Media

Carrickfergus conservation area project

Three historic buildings in Carrickfergus’s conservation area are being refurbished into flats and two retail units, owing to a £2.4 million townscape heritage initiative funded by The National Lottery, the property owners, and the local authority, Mid and East Borough Council.  

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

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