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Northern Ireland round-up: Mallon proposes PDR changes; NI Audit Office starts its review of planning

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 3 October-9 October, 2020

Mallon proposes PDR changes

Nichola Mallon, Northern Ireland's infrastructure minister, has announced plans to make changes to the permitted development rights (PDR) regime to benefit businesses and give greater protection to the environment.

The Planner

NI Audit Office starts its review of planning

The NI Audit Office has confirmed that it has begun a review of planning in Northern Ireland. This will cover the period since April 2015, when responsibility was split between 11 planning authorities and the Department for Infrastructure.

The Planner

Spending review should be used to build resilient communities

The government should empower local authorities and local economic partnerships (LEPs) to lead the redesign of the built environment through the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

The Planner

Johnson makes pledge on new green ‘ambitious targets’

The prime minister has allocated £160 million to upgrade ports as he commits the government to increasing the UK’s offshore wind capacity to meet new green “ambitious targets”.

The Planner

Capital office row

Proposals for a 14-storey office block in the Market area of the capital next to Lanyon Place station have angered locals. An earlier consent for a scheme on the site was quashed following a High Court challenge.

Belfast Live

High-speed rail links study

The governments on both sides of the Irish Border have agreed to progress a feasibility study into high-speed rail connectivity between Derry, Belfast, Dublin, Limerick, and Cork.

Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government 

Coleraine houses approved

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has approved plans for 55 new homes in Coleraine proposed by the O’Kane Group.

Insider Media

Ballymena housing backed

Officials at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have backed proposals for 66 homes on farmland at Galgorm, Ballymena.

Insider Media

Crumlin conversion blocked

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has refused proposals to convert a former flour and woollen mill owned by Ark Housing Association in Crumlin into three-bedroom town houses because of concerns about access.

Belfast Live

Belfast ultrasound facility proposed

An American anti-abortion healthcare provider has submitted proposals for an ultrasound clinic in Belfast city centre, which would involve converting office space on Great Victoria Street.

Belfast Telegraph

Portadown community hub project

A local church has submitted a planning application to locate a community hub at the rear of the Toymaster store on Portadown High Street.

Belfast Live

Derry fire station change-of-use agreed

Derry City & Strabane District Council has approved a change of use application for the listed former Londonderry Fire Station building on Northland Road to become bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

Derry City & Strabane District Council

Refusal for Bangor seafront flats 

A plan to demolish church buildings on Bangor seafront to make way for a four-storey block of 17 flats has been turned down by Ards and North Down Borough Council on visual and amenity grounds.

Belfast Telegraph