Single Strategic Planning Policy Statement Durkan appeals to public to influence planning changes

Durkan appeals to public to influence planning changes

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has called on the public to contribute their views to help shape the new planning policy framework.

In February, the Minister launched a public consultation on the single Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS). The consultation closes on 29 April 2014. The SPPS is a clear expression of how the new planning system will work. It consolidates over 20 separate planning policy statements into one, provides much shorter and clearer policy on issues such as building in the countryside, tourism, transport, telecommunications and housing. The consultation provides an opportunity to influence changes to this new planning system.

Mark H Durkan said: “Planning and Local Government Reform is not just about doing things differently, it’s about doing things better by giving councils some powerful tools to shape their areas and communities. 

“Achieving the benefits associated with the reform and transfer of planning functions to local Councils will involve everyone – Government, Councils, developers and communities. Working together, we have an exciting opportunity to create and shape what our local communities will look like for many decades to come.

“This is why it is important for people to have their say on the new policy. I encourage everyone to contribute their views to this important consultation through our digital online interactive portal.”

Development of this strategic policy document represents another important building block in the countdown to planning and local government reform. From 1 April 2015, Councils will be responsible for drawing up their own development plans and making the majority of planning decisions. This new approach to planning will allow local people to influence and make decisions on local business development, infrastructure provision, job creation and economic competitiveness and how their area will grow and develop.

The SPPS is expected to be published in final form by end of 2014.

The Department of the Environment is piloting an interactive online portal to gather consultation responses. This contemporary approach will make it easier for members of the public to submit their views.

For more details please visit


Information taken form Planning NI Website

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