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Northern Ireland round-up: Major Belfast development blocked by councillors; Housing Executive shake-up

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 31 October-6 November, 2020

Major Belfast development blocked by councillors

Contentious proposals for a £55 million mixed-use scheme in Belfast, comprising a number of office blocks and retail units, was refused this week by city councillors against the advice of officers.

The Planner

Housing executive shake-up

Communities minister Carál Ní Chuilín has committed to reforming the Housing Executive in moves that would see it investing in housing stock, able to borrow to increase the supply of social housing and ultimately start building new homes again. The minister also promised to develop a housing supply strategy to provide a framework for delivery of the right volume of homes to meet changing housing needs and demand, and which would put mixed tenure at the heart of housing policy.

Northern Ireland Executive

Mallon considers infrastructure moves

The Department for Infrastructure has confirmed to The Planner that infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon held a meeting this week with executive colleagues about last week’s CBI NI report, which proposed a major shake-up in the way regionally significant applications are handled. The document also called for an independent infrastructure body, which echoed the central proposal in the recent report from the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Infrastructure.

Northern Ireland Executive

Maghera business park plan called in

The Department for Infrastructure has decided to intervene over Mid Ulster District Council’s proposed approval for the development of a business park in Maghera on land owned by the council. The department will now determine the scheme.

Mid Ulster District Council

Cookstown convent flats conversion bid

A listed disused convent in Cookstown could be converted into 15 flats under proposals submitted to Mid Ulster District Council.

Belfast Live

Energy policy warning

Stormont should create a single department to oversee energy or jeopardise the delivery of its main policy targets, warns a report seen by The Irish News.

Irish News

Marble Arch Caves Geopark consultation

Cavan County Council and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have launched a public consultation exercise in respect of the boundary and branding for the cross-border Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Derry-Belfast rail line study

The Department for Infrastructure has commissioned a feasibility study into the introduction of half-hourly train services on the Derry-Belfast railway line, as well as the viability of establishing additional halts with park-and-ride facilities at Strathfoyle, Eglinton/City of Derry Airport and Ballykelly.

Northern Ireland Executive