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Northern Ireland round-up: Watchdog censures Stormont department over failure to enforce Belfast airport planning agreement; Lough Neagh hearing requested

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 3 February-9 February, 2018

Watchdog censures Stormont department over failure to enforce Belfast airport planning agreement

The Department for Infrastructure’s predecessor has been criticised by Northern Ireland’s public service watchdog for failing to monitor late-night flights into the George Best Belfast City Airport, in line with the 2008 planning agreement the Stormont department was meant to enforce.

The Planner

RTPI: Invest in infrastructure in coastal cities

The RTPI has said that infrastructure investment in the UK ports and coastal cities would help to mitigate Brexit’s impact on the economy.

The Planner

RTPI launches online ethics tool

The RTPI has launched a new bite-size online learning module on professional ethics to provide members with more clarity and support in this area.

The Planner

Lough Neagh hearing requested

The Department for Infrastructure has confirmed to The Planner that it has written to the Planning Appeals Commission requesting that it holds a public inquiry into a planning application for sand and gravel extraction from Lough Neagh at the same time as it arranges an enforcement appeals case already waiting to be heard by the agency.

Northern Ireland Executive and BBC News

Councils need wider powers claim

Jim Mackinnon, former chief planner for the Scottish Government, has argued in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph that Northern Ireland’s councils should have increased devolved powers over areas, such as roads, to ensure the planning process is improved.

Belfast Telegraph

Housing starts dip

Latest housing bulletin from the Department for Communities covering the period July-September 2017 recorded 1,723 new dwelling starts – a 14.9 per cent decrease compared with the same quarter in 2016.

Northern Ireland Executive

Belfast airport improvements announced

George Best Belfast City Airport has announced a £15 million infrastructure investment, which will include a major upgrade of its departure lounge, central security area and baggage screening facilities, as well as a 30 per cent increase in retail space in the current terminal building.

Insider Media

North coast hotel upgrade

The Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae, a popular north coast facility, has announced expansion plans after securing a loan from Barclays Bank.

Belfast Newsletter

New name for key Belfast rail station

Belfast Central train station is to be renamed Lanyon Place from September. The new name recognises the 19th century architect Sir Charles Lanyon, who designed much of Belfast, including the nearby Customs House.

Belfast Telegraph