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Review of green energy and countryside development in NI launched

Words: Roger Milne

Northern Ireland infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard has announced a review of planning policies on renewable energy and countryside development.

The review will involve external consultants who will provide specialist research and advice on technologies and their impacts, including wind turbines and solar farms.

This exercise should be completed in 2018.

Hazzard said: “I want to continue to improve our planning system and to make sure that it is effective and efficient and that it operates in the wider public interest.

“The Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) is a key component of the planning system and it is vital to ensure that current policy is sufficiently robust and appropriate for communities across the north.

“The recent response to a call for evidence endorsed the need for review. My officials are now progressing this work.”

He stressed there would be opportunities for public consultation next year.

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