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Northern Ireland round-up: Report suggests PAC takeover of DfI’s responsibility for regionally significant schemes; Wind farms blown away

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 24 October-30 October, 2020

Report suggests PAC takeover of DfI’s responsibility for regionally significant schemes

Former Scottish chief planner Jim MacKinnon has proposed that the Department for Infrastructure should no longer have responsibility for handling and deciding regionally significant applications in Northern Ireland.

The Planner

Wind farms blown away

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has refused planning permission for what would have been the Province’s largest array – a 33-turbine project earmarked for a site wholly within the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Planner

Further town centre funding

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced £11.6 million for town and city centres to support them in their recovery from Covid-19 with funding for initiatives like pocket parks, cycle paths and pedestrian walkways, small-scale environmental improvements and converting vacant properties for temporary uses. 

Northern Ireland Executive

Cross-border greenway makes progress

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, in conjunction with the contracting authority Monaghan County Council, has announced its intention to apply to develop a 12.2 kilometre cross-border greenway from Monaghan Town to Middletown, County Armagh.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon  Borough Council

Belfast LDP hearing details

The Planning Appeals Commission has published the examination agenda and the remote hearings protocol for the initial public hearing sessions of the independent examination of the Belfast Local Development Plan (LDP), due to be held between 16-27 November.

Planning Appeals Commission

Lidl lines up Carryduff location

Discount retailer Lidl is hoping to open its 40th outlet in Northern Ireland after purchasing a site in Carryduff from Kilmona Property.

Irish News

Belfast port connection

BT and Belfast Harbour have teamed up to deliver a 5G private network designed specifically to achieve the highest levels of ultra-fast mobile connectivity, coverage, reliability and security across the port’s main operational areas. The plan is for the network to go live early next year in the UK and Ireland.

Irish News

Derry and Strabane rated as best area for homeworking

The Derry and Strabane area has been ranked as the best place to work from home in Northern Ireland, and the fourth best in the UK, according to the so-called Remote Working Index compiled by uSwitch.com.

Derry City & Strabane District Council