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Northern Ireland round-up: Green light for Belfast rail station; Fermanagh & Omagh LDP examination in prospect

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 15 May-21 May, 2021

Green light for Belfast rail station

Proposals for the redevelopment of a Belfast railway station were recommended for approval by the city council’s planning committee this week.

The Planner

'Queering' of public spaces would encourage inclusion and accessibility

A report exploring the relationship between queer communities and public spaces recommends rethinking how towns and cities are designed to encourage inclusion for all.

The Planner

Construction contract values topped £9bn in April

Contract awards increased by 58 per cent to £9.1 billion in April compared to March, according to industry analysts Barbour ABI's latest Economic & Construction Market Review.

The Planner

Community planning initiative

The Department for Infrastructure and not-for-profit organisation Community Places are co-hosting a virtual community engagement event next week (25 May) when speakers from across Europe will stress the importance of community engagement in planning, highlight measures to involve local communities, and detail how Covid-19 has increased creativity and innovation. The comments and ideas from the online sessions will help shape recommendations to enhance community engagement in a report that will be presented to infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon.

Northern Ireland Executive

Fermanagh & Omagh LDP examination in prospect

The Department for Infrastructure has appointed the Planning Appeals Commission to conduct an independent examination of the Fermanagh & Omagh District Council’s local development plan strategy.

Planning Appeals Commission

Mallusk waste incinerator row hots up

Ten Northern Ireland MPs have written to infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon to oppose a £240 million recycling plant and waste incinerator project on the edge of Belfast at Hightown Quarry, near Mallusk in County Antrim. The MPs are from Sinn Fein, the Alliance Party and the SDLP.

BBC News

Larne homes approve

Detailed proposals for 112 new homes, comprising a mix of houses and flats, have been approved by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the site of the former St Comgall's College in Larne.

Insider Media

Poots publishes farming roadmap

Agriculture, environment and rural affairs minister Edwin Poots, the new leader of the DUP,  has launched his department’s plan for the next 30 years, a document seen as heavy on aspirations but with few targets and specific policy commitments.

Northern Ireland Executive

Rathlin community e-transport scheme

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has announced that Rathlin Island is to get Northern Ireland’s first community e-transport scheme which will involve both electric cars and electric bikes.

Northern Ireland Executive

Garden centre superstore proposed for Antrim

UK garden centre chain Dobbies has announced proposals for a 10,220 quare metre superstore at The Junction retail park in Antrim.

Irish News

Maxol signals development strategy

Forecourt and convenience retailer Maxol is to invest more than £2 million in its retail network across Northern Ireland and has submitted planning applications to develop  existing sites in Kinnegar, Downpatrick, Braid River, Fortwilliam and Edenderry.

Irish News

Housing strategy under scrutiny

Communities minister Deirdre Hargey has launched a call for evidence to help inform a new strategy to increase the supply of housing across all tenures. In a separate but related development it has become evident that the department missed its target for building new social homes in rural areas by more than 50 per cent in the last year, raising concern that countryside communities are being neglected.

Northern Ireland Executive and Belfast Telegraph

Newry city centre consultation

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has reminded residents and local businesses that consultation on regeneration proposals for Newry city centre, targeting greater footfall and use of buildings in the historic core, concludes at the end of this month. Key projects include a theatre / conference centre, civic and regional hub facilities, public realm initiatives and the six-hectare Albert Basin Park.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Navan Fort considered for UNESCO bid

A bid to secure Navan Fort, near Armagh, one of the most important archaeological sites on the island of Ireland, as a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Status is under way.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council