Department’s bid to dispel ‘myths’ of planning

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK

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New measures have been unveiled to enhance transparency and dispel some of the ‘myths’ about the planning process.

The Department of Infrastructure will provide a quarterly update on the number of planning applications dealt with and the length of time taken to reach a decision. The information will be available on the government website.

Statistics for the 12 months to the end of September 2014 show 1,551 planning applications were determined of which 87 per cent (1,339) were approved.

Some 70 per cent (1,091) were determined within eight weeks and 88 per cent (1,373) were determined within 13 weeks.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne said: ‘Publishing statistics online will give people an insight into the performance of our planning division.

‘I believe it will also help to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that exist around planning. There is a view that the system sometimes puts the brakes on development or is a long and drawn-out process. The reality is very different. The vast majority of applications are approved and most are determined within two months.’

Other measures to improve the openness of the planning system have included allow members of the public to speak at planning committee meetings and on online service to enable people to view planning applications and officer reports.

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