Independent and not-for-profit with 30 years' expertise in planning, community planning and engagement


Friends of the Earth Event - An Evening with Michael Meacher

Friends of the Earth has organised an Evening with Michael Meacher which will be held on Thursday, 14 October 2010 from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm in The Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast. Michael Meacher has been a Labour MP for 40 years and is a former UK Minister for the Environment. In his address, Michael will reflect on his 40 years in parliament, and offer an insight into how Northern Ireland can move towards greater sustainability, fairness and the urgent need to develop a low-carbon economy. His address will be followed by questions from the floor. For further information please contact Friends of the Earth - telephone 9023 3488 or email

5 October 2010

Planning and Housing in the Countryside - Workshops for Community Groups

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 Community 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.

The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, 6 October 2010, at Peter Morgan’s Cottage, Finnis, Dromara from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm - If you would like to attend the workshop please telephone TADA on 3839 8888 or email or telephone Community Places on 9023 9444 or

 Additional dates will be published here as they are confirmed.

1 October 2010

PPS 7 Addendum Finalised

The final version of the Addendum to Planning Policy Statement 7 - Safeguarding the Character of Established Residential Areas - was published on 10 August 2010. This follows consultation on the draft version of the document which concluded in March 2010. The finalised policy is of interest to groups and individuals who want to secure better new development in residential areas.

The addendum contains policies that:

  • set minimum sizes for new build houses, flats and apartments;
  • set additional criteria for the conversion of existing buildings to flats or apartments;
  • require the density of new residential development to be not significantly higher than that found in the established residential area; and
  • encourage the use of permeable paving in new developments.

The full version of the finalised addendum can be downloaded from Planning Service's website.

23 August 2010

Free Planning Advice - Loughgiel and Castlewellan

The next two in our series of Planning Advice Sessions will be held on:

  • Wednesday, 11 August 2010 from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm in The Millennium Centre, Loughgiel and on
  • Wednesday, 18 August 2010 from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm in The Lodge, Castlewellan.

The advice sessions will provide information on all planning issues including houses in the countryside, making and objecting to a planning applications, planning enforcement and complaints. Anyone with a query is welcome to call in and we will provide follow-up advice to everyone who needs it. Appointments are not needed but it would be helpful if people could let us know if they will be calling in by telephoning us on 9023 9444.

3 August 2010

Planning Workshop on PPS 21 - Sustainable Development in the Countryside

The Minister of the Environment recently published the final version of Planning Policy Statement 21 (Sustainable Development in the Countryside). It contains policies that will be used to assess planning applications for housing in the countryside - for example - houses on farms, conversions and social and affordable housing.

Community Places working the the Rural Community Network has organised a workshop for groups who are interested in learning more about PPS 21. It will be held on Thursday, 29 July 2010 from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm at the Rural Community Network's offices, 38a Oldtown Street, Cookstown. If you would like to attend the workshop please telephone Community Places (9023 9444) or email us ( or telephone the Rural Community Network (8676 6670).


6 July 2010