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Northern Ireland round-up: Lack of water infrastructure funding is blighting development; New Belfast build-to-rent project in prospect

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 31 August-6 September, 2019

Lack of water infrastructure funding is blighting development, warn builders

Northern Ireland’s construction industry has given its starkest warning yet that failure to invest in water infrastructure is holding back housing and other development as well as contributing to the recession facing the sector.

The Planner

Spending Round: Cash for decarbonisation, air quality and biodiversity

Chancellor Sajid Javid has committed £90 million to help decarbonise the UK, improve air quality and increase biodiversity in his one-year Spending Round.

The Planner

New Belfast build-to-rent project in prospect

Proposals for a £25 million build-to-rent development in east Belfast will be submitted this autumn involving a 151-unit complex on Scrabo Street south off the Lagan Bridge, it has emerged.

Belfast Telegraph

Moves to keep major capital scheme alive

The trust behind the Odyssey complex in Belfast has moved to keep alive a major redevelopment scheme – involving around 800 flats, two hotels, as well as retail space, offices, cafés, bars and car parking.

Belfast Telegraph

Newry public realm makeover  

A new public realm scheme has been announced for Newry as part of the Department for Communities’ commitment to the £1.7 million regeneration of the city centre. It will focus on improving and enhancing the streetscape at the lower end of Hill Street and John Mitchell Place, and the adjoining streets of O’Hagan Street, Mill Street and St Colman’s Park.

Northern Ireland Executive

Glider boosts Belfast public transport patronage

Passenger numbers have increased by 30 per cent in parts of Belfast in the first year of the city's new Glider bus service, according to Translink.

BBC News

PAC annual report

Andrea Kells, chief commissioner of the Planning Appeals Commission, has said that the organisation has achieved significant improvements against a backdrop  of reduced resources according to the agency’s latest annual report, which also highlighted that expected casework in respect of local development plans had yet to materialise.

Planning Appeals Commission

Concern over state of Crumlin Road courthouse development

Belfast City Council has expressed concern over continued delays in Liverpool-based Signature Living Group’s plans to save the city's historic but crumbling Crumlin Road courthouse and turn it into a luxury hotel.

Belfast Telegraph

Green power target reached early

A Stormont target for electricity from renewables has been reached a year ahead of time, it has emerged. The latest energy statistics show that in the 12-month period up to June this year, 44 per cent of power came from green schemes, chiefly wind, which meant the 40 per cent goal by 2020 has now been exceeded.

Northern Ireland Executive

Antrim homes proposal

Banbridge-based Lotus Homes has revealed proposals for 90 new homes on land next to the Holiday Inn Express hotel on Antrim’s Ballymena Road.

Belfast Telegraph

Derry economy shows growth

An independent report, undertaken by Ulster University for Derry City and Strabane District Council, has highlighted that the local economy is showing signs of picking up. It shows falling unemployment and the growth of jobs in sectors like health and social work, manufacturing and professional and scientific occupations.

Derry City and Strabane District Council