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Northern Ireland round-up: Sperrin mine project heads for public inquiry; Mid Ulster goes it alone over new planning IT system

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 27 June-3 July, 2020

Sperrin mine project heads for public inquiry

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed that a public inquiry will be held into the planning application for the Dalradian mine project in the Sperrin Mountains.

The Planner

Mid Ulster goes it alone over new planning IT system

Mid Ulster District Council has confirmed to The Planner that it is going it alone and not participating in a new Northern Ireland planning IT system, the contract for which has just been awarded.

The Planner

Dismantling planning system will lead to failure of ‘build, build, build’ agenda, warns RTPI CEO

RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills has written an open letter in response to government statements made this week in relation to the profession. Here’s the full text of her letter.

The Planner

Planner Live Online: Health considerations must drive post-Covid planning, say experts

A comprehensive rethink of the principles that drive planning will be necessary if we are to create healthier neighbourhoods, towns and cities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Planner

Planner Live Online: Local control over transport spending will accelerate a green recovery

Local authorities should not have to be competing for small pots of ring-fenced money within a fragmented transport funding landscape.

The Planner

Johnson outlines ‘new deal’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “new deal” will see funding brought forward to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The Planner  

Green light for Derry developments

Derry City and Strabane District Council approved two development proposals this week: the redevelopment of the former Café Roc Bar and NightClub on Derry’s Strand Road to provide 27 self-contained apartment flats for active over-55s, and the demolition of buildings in the Rossdowney area of the Waterside and their replacement with a convenience shop, off-licence, hot food units and petrol filling station.

Derry City & Strabane District Council

Communities minister confirms housing priorities

Communities minister Carál Ní Chuilín has confirmed that increasing housing supply across all tenures and building more affordable homes are her top priorities. Her comments, in a keynote speech to a sector conference, came as she allocated £10 million to enable Co-Ownership to reopen to new customers. Co-Ownership is the department’s main delivery partner for affordable housing. 

Northern Ireland Executive

Belfast entries transformation

Seven of Belfast’s historic entries are getting a makeover as part of the city council’s regeneration plans. Work is under way to transform Castle Arcade, Crown Entry, Wilson’s Court, Joy’s Entry, Pottinger’s Entry, Cole’s Alley and Winecellar Entry.

Belfast City Council

New advice on social distancing in public places

The Department for Communities has published new guidance on measures to assist social distancing in public spaces.

Northern Ireland Executive

PAC holds first remote hearing

The Planning Appeals Commission has conducted its first remote hearing this week facilitated via the Sightlink platform in a move that confirmed that this is a suitable method for conducting sessions where there are a small number of parties and issues. 

Planning Appeals Commission

Further Carrickfergus seafront flats proposed

A second development of seafront flats has been proposed for Carrickfergus that could see 16 new homes provided in two buildings on Belfast Road.

Belfast Live