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Comber Residents Launch Community Plan

De Wind/Cherryvalley Area Residents' Association in Comber celebrated the launch of a Community Plan for the area in Scrabo Garden Centre on 21 January 2011. 

Over the course of the past year Residents' Association members worked hard - with each other and with representatives from key statutory agencies and voluntary organisations - to develop the Plan. Community Places  facilitated the process  through a series of planning workshops to identify objectives and actions for improving life for all residents in the area.  These all fed into the Community Plan and include: improving the physical environment across the housing areas; improving access to and links with existing facilities and services in the area and increasing the take up of health and wellbeing opportunities by residents. The planning workshops also enabled participants to discuss and agree the main issues and identify priority actions and who would take the lead in implementing them.

Community Places will continue to support the Residents' Association as it works towards implementing the Plan over the next while and will help it monitor progress on achieving the objectives. 

27 January 2011

Consultation on DSD Draft Budget and Concordat

The Minister for Social Development, Alex Atwood, has organised a series of meetings to discuss the impact of the Draft DSD Budget with voluntary and community organisations. Each of the meetings will also include consultation on the draft Concordat on relationships between government and the voluntary and community sector. The Concordat sets out shared commitments on how Government and the community and voluntary sectors can work together. The consultation will run for six weeks until 23 February 2011 and dates are as follows:

  •  Wednesday, 26 January 2011 (Clinton Centre, Enniskillen from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm);
  •  Thursday, 3 February 2011 (Rural Community Network, Cookstown from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm);
  •  Wednesday, 9 February 2011 (Ballybot House, Newry from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm); and
  •  Thursday, 10 February 2011 (Spectrum Centre, Belfast from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm).

 Further information is available at on the Department's website.

24 January 2011

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