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Scale of NI decision backlog revealed

Words: Roger Milne
Backlog / iStock_000005510636

More than 160 key decisions and regulatory policy issues have piled up since the collapse of Stormont because there are no ministers to make decisions, a series of Freedom of Information requests by The Belfast Telegraph has revealed.

In respect of the Department for Infrastructure, schemes waiting for ministerial decisions include:

  • three wind farms with between four and 33 turbines
  • proposals for an underground compressed air storage facility at Islandmagee
  • a fish farm at Kilkeel
  • a tourist development at Gublusk Bay
  • several waste projects
  • a 16-storey office block earmarked for a site at Belfast’s City Quays.

Research by The Planner has shown that also in limbo are:

  • proposals involving the reporting on the implementation of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011
  • the removal of existing permitted development rights for some oil and gas exploration
  • an uplift in planning fees and reviews of strategic planning policies for both energy and the countryside.

In some cases, legislation has been held up, waiting on ministerial approval, for more than 600 days.

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