Amend the Planning Bill

Latest update 25.06.2013 10:03

Northern Ireland has stunning special places: the cliffs and beaches of the North Coast, Fermanagh’s lakelands, the Mountains of Mourne, the Sperrins, cities like Belfast and Derry with their fine architecture and the country’s only World Heritage Site – the Giant’s Causeway.

Such places could be under threat from a Planning Bill which is currently going through the Northern Ireland Assembly. Together with other a range of organisations, we are supporting the ‘Amend the Bill’ campaign to call for politicians to make changes to protect some of the country’s most special places for generations to come; and to deliver a better planning system for everyone.

 

So far more than 4,800 messages of support have been sent to politicians across Northern Ireland.

Heather Thompson, our director for Northern Ireland said: 'The Planning Bill contains two clauses which focus on economic development which could result in planning applications which aren’t in the best interests of communities and the environment, being approved. We should all welcome the introduction of a more effective system of planning. However we need one that ensures a fair and balanced approach to economic, environmental and social issues, and supports economic development which takes all three into account.

'The Bill also presents an ideal opportunity to bring in protection for World Heritage Sites and their settings in Northern Ireland, which includes the Giant’s Causeway and the countryside immediately around it.

'With the Bill currently in front of the Northern Assembly, it is vital that people speak up now in order to protect our special places for everyone that enjoys them today as well as future generations.'

The Planning Bill reaches an important milestone when it goes to Consideration Stage on 24 June 2013. At this point it is debated on the floor of the NI Assembly.