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New Regional Development Strategy - Consultation Begins

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS - Shaping Our Future) has been revised and launched for consultation by Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy. The revision has been in the pipeline for a long time and will be of great interest to communities, councils, developers and many others who want to influence where development and economic growth will be directed in the future, how the environment will be protected and where infrastructure investment will go. The consultation document is available from Louise Fitzpatrick (telephone 9054 0186, email and on

The Department's consultation events are:

  • Monday, 24 January 2011, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm, Canal Court Hotel, Newry;
  • Tuesday, 25 January 2011, 10.30 am to 12 noon, Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown;
  • Tuesday, 25 January 2011, 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm, Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh;
  • Wednesday, 26 January 2011, 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm, Waterfront Hall, Belfast;
  • Wednesday, 26 January 2011, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm, Waterfront Hall, Belfast;
  • Thursday, 27 January 2011, 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, The Braid Ballymena Town Hall;
  • Thursday, 27 January 2011, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm, The Lodge Hotel, Coleraine;
  • Monday, 31 January 2011, 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm, The Millennium Forum, Derry;
  • Monday, 31 January 2011, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm, The Millennium Forum, Derry;
  • Tuesday, 1 February 2011, 10.00 am to 12 noon, Downpatrick Cricket Club;
  • Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 11.00 am to 12 noon, The Clinton Centre, Enniskillen;
  • Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, Strangford Arms Hotel, Newtownards;
  • Thursday, 3 February 2011, 10.00 am to 12 noon, Craigavon Civic Centre.
10 January 2011

New Planning and Community Planning Proposals

The Minister of the Environment Edwin Poots has launched new RPA proposals for both Planning and Community Planning. Planning legislation on the transfer of planning powers to local councils has been presented to the Assembly and a wider consultation paper on local government has also been issued. This consultation paper covers Community Planning, the Power of Wellbeing, Governance and a Code of Conduct for the new councils.

The Assembly Environment Committee has called for views on the draft Planning Bill by 14 January 2011. Responses to the local government consultation paper should be submitted by 11 March 2011. Further information on the draft Planning Bill and the local government consultation paper is available from Community Places and on the DoE and Planning Service websites.

5 January 2011

People Power for Positive Planning

Friends of the Earth has asked us to publicise an event it is holding on 5 and 6 February 2011. The event - People Power for Positive Planning - is a residential weekend with training and workshops which will help people to engage with the planning system.

If you would like to attend the event, please call Niall Bakewell at Friends of the Earth on 9023 3488 (or email

7 December 2010

Planning Policies on Tourism and Economic Development

Two new planning policy initiatives have been released by the Department of Environment.

PPS 4 - Planning and Economic Development - has been finalised and is now policy. It sets out planning criteria which must be met by proposals for economic development projects. These include requirements that a proposal for economic development must: be compatible with the surrounding land use; not create a noise nuisance; and have adequate access, parking and manoeuvring arrangements in place.

Draft PPS 16 - Tourism - is now out for consultation. The draft covers issues such as: protecting existing tourism assets from inappropriate development; developing tourism amenities in towns and the countryside; and criteria for developing new hotels and caravan parks. Consultation on Draft PPS 16 runs until 25 March 2011 - if you would like help on how to respond to the consultation please contact Elaine or Louise on 9023 9444.

30 November 2010

Workshops for Community Groups - Planning and Housing in the Countryside

The final version of the controversial planning policy for single houses in the countryside has now been published. To help community groups understand the policy and how it will affect people in rural areas we are organising a series of workshops in collaboration with Rural Support Networks. The new policy is called Planning Policy Statement 21 (PPS 21 - Sustainable Development in the Countryside) and will be used to assess planning applications for housing including houses on farms, conversions, replacements and social and affordable housing and also proposals for farm diversification and community facilities. 

Strabane and District Community Network and Community Places have organised a workshop for groups who are interested in learning more about PPS 21. It will be held on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm in the Diamond Centre, Claudy. If you would like to attend the workshop please telephone Strabane and District Community Network on 8166 2588 or Community Places on 9023 9444 or email

10 November 2010