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Northern Ireland round-up: Watchdog criticises housing body over land deals and planning conflicts; Storey to consider brownfield site plans for new-build homes

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 2 January-8 January, 2016

Watchdog criticises housing body over land deals and planning conflicts

A former senior member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) was involved in ‘fundamental’ conflicts of interest over land deals, the NI Audit Office has highlighted in a report just published.

The Planner

RTPI to streamline routes to Chartered membership

The RTPI has announced that it is streamlining the ways that professional planners can achieve Chartered membership.

The Planner 

Storey to consider brownfield site plans for new-build homes

Social development minister Mervyn Storey has suggested that housing associations could be given access to brownfield sites to increase new-build housing activity.

Belfast Telegraph

£1bn needed as secret drainage report warns Belfast on brink of collapse

A near £1 billion cash injection is needed to revamp Belfast's archaic drainage system and prevent the city becoming a social and economic backwater, a report has warned.

Belfast Telegraph

Wrecking ball to raze historic Orpheus building in Belfast as campaigners call for law change to save city’s heritage

Heritage campaigners have called for changes to the law to protect historic buildings in Belfast threatened with demolition to make way for a University of Ulster development. At risk are a number of properties including the award-winning Sunflower Bar, a popular live-music venue.

Belfast Telegraph

New planning fees regulations

The Department of the Environment has made the Planning (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, which came into operation on 31 December 2015. The regulations correct a drafting error in the Planning (Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and clarify how fees for mixed development applications should be calculated.

Northern Ireland Planning Portal

Durkan announces ambitious plans to improve rivers and lakes

Environment minister Mark H Durkan has announced ambitious plans to improve the quality of the province’s rivers and loughs.

Northern Ireland Executive 

Artnz Belting plan new £40m health hub in Derry’s Pennyburn site

A German company that was one of Londonderry’s largest employers has drawn up plans for a 7,000 square-metre multi-use healthcare facility on the site it once occupied.

Belfast Telegraph

Coastal erosion forum established

Regional development minister Michelle McIlveen has established a new forum to deal with the issue of coastal erosion.

Northern Ireland Executive