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Northern Ireland's new planning IT system delayed until end of summer 2022

Words: Roger Milne
IT delays / iStock-1300966961

The new regional planning IT system has hit more glitches and won’t be up and running until the end of the summer, the Department for Infrastructure confirmed to The Planner this week.

Originally the new system, which is set to replace the existing Northern Ireland Planning Portal, was scheduled to be operational by now.

“The department is continuing to work closely with the supplier and participating councils to develop and configure the new IT system. It is anticipated that it will go live across participating councils at the end of the summer,” explained a departmental spokesperson.

The Department for Infrastructure and the 10 participating councils – Mid Ulster has decided to go it alone with its own custom-built IT system – jointly awarded a contract for the new system to Terraquest for £14 million back in June 2020.

The new modernised planning IT system has been designed to facilitate a more responsive and efficient planning service across both local and central government, including bringing key services like the submission of applications online.

In July last year, The Planner reported that roll-out of the IT would be delayed. In a letter seen by The Planner, Julie Thompson, a deputy secretary in the Department for Infrastructure, said there were “still some significant challenges in delivering the new planning IT system”.

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Image credit | iStock