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Northern Ireland round-up: Mallon insists rural planning policy is unharmed by withdrawn advice note; Climate legislation stand-off

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 16 October-22 October, 2021

Mallon insists rural planning policy is unharmed by withdrawn advice note

A defiant infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon maintained this week that the abrupt withdrawal of a planning advice note on development in the countryside does not undermine strategic planning policy on rural development.

The Planner

Agreement signed between RTPI and BAME Planners Network

The RTPI and the BAME Planners Network have signed a memorandum of understanding that sets out how the institute will collaborate with the network over the next three years to ensure the profession is as diverse as the communities it represents.

The Planner

East Belfast flats scheme

Plans for a 116-flat development at a prominent east Belfast bonfire site on land at London Road and Lismore Road have been unveiled by developer DLL Properties.

Belfast Telegraph

PAC upgrades its digital presence

The Planning Appeals Commission has begun work on a new IT system and an upgraded customer portal and is canvassing views on what features would be welcome on the website and the online application service.

Planning Appeals Commission

Safeguarding water supplies

NI Water has completed a £13 million investment at its Drumaroad Water Treatment Works, which will improve the security of the water supply for 540,000 customers in large areas of County Down and  Belfast.

NI Water

Climate legislation stand-off

Environment minister Edwin Poots has written to Clare Bailey urging the Green leader to shelve her climate change bill in a bid to guarantee assembly time for his legislation, which has less ambitious carbon targets. However, the stand-off over Stormont’s carbon reduction plans looks set to continue as the South Belfast MLA has insisted that her private member’s bill is “the best option for delivering the legislative framework for tackling climate change”.

Irish News

D-day looms for contentious waste project at Mallusk

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon is expected to make a decision shortly on whether to allow contentious proposals for a waste-to-energy facility to be built at the Hightown Quarry site in Mallusk, north of Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph

Bessbrook recreational facilities boosted

Residents of Bessbrook and beyond will be able to enjoy the benefits of new facilities at the Derrymore Estate, Bessbrook, County Armagh, following a total investment of more than £600,000 from local and central government in play areas, car parking, toilets, walking trails and viewing areas.

Northern Ireland Executive

Cinema lined up for Belfast’s CastleCourt

Irish movie chain Omniplex has confirmed plans to open a nine-screen luxury cinema in the former Debenhams unit at Belfast’s CastleCourt.

Irish News

Narrow Water bridge pledges

Campaigners behind the cross-border Narrow Water bridge project have been assured by infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon and heritage minister Darragh O’Brien that construction work on the cable bridge and new and enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure will start in earnest in 2023.

Irish News

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