Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, has announced a review of the region’s strategic planning policy on renewable energy. She said:
“The planning system has played a key role to date in helping to achieve and exceed Northern Ireland’s renewable electricity target and I want to ensure that my Department’s regional planning policy remains up to date, robust and fit for purpose. The planning system is where different and opposing interests often meet and there will be opportunities as the review progresses to hear from everyone who has an interest in this policy area. I want to ensure regional planning policy for renewable and low carbon energy truly furthers sustainable development and delivers in the long-term public interest”.
The Minister emphasised that the review will be informed by extensive public and stakeholder engagement to ensure that the new policy is up to date, fit for purpose and has the support of local communities. Community Places has given advice to a number of community groups concerned about renewable energy proposals (including the proposal for a 33 turbine windfarm at Doraville which the Minister did not grant planning permission for), we thus look forward to the outcome of this review.