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Mar, 2015

Local Government & Planning Reform Back to basics – What are the benefits?? March 2015

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  The reform of local government will see the reduction of 26 councils to 11.  The 11 new councils will take over on 1 April 2015.   Council Responsibilities and functions A number of key functions such as planning, urban regeneration, local economic development and local tourism, will be transferred to the new ‘super councils’ allowing them to shape their areas and communities.   Planning • Councils are to be given more power at a local level, as they will lead and facilitate a community planning process. This will enable […]

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Approval for unauthorised building received May 2014. Dep’s ref: L/2014/0025/F.

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Retrospective application approved for unlawful building constructed to rear of applicant’s home.  Applicant approached C.McILvar Ltd after receiving an enforcement letter from local planning office regarding an unauthorised building erected in backyard.  The Department where seeking removal of  structure immediately and breach of planning control rectified.  C.McILvar Ltd advised client to seek retrospective approval for unlawful build.  Application approved, despite numerous neighbour objections, in under 3 months from submission.  Building saved from demolition.

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Environment Minister congratulates new Chief Planner

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Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan has congratulated Fiona McCandless on her appointment as Chief Planner in the Department. Fiona, who is from Derry, is currently the Director of the Department’s Local Planning Division. She will take up the post of Chief Planner on 28 April 2014. The post of Chief Planner will be central to ensuring that the reorganisation and transformation of planning is delivered effectively. The role will also be vital in ensuring that the Department continues to deliver its remaining role and responsibilities after the majority of planning […]

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Durkan welcomes North’s first £6million solar farm

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced approval for the North’s first large-scale solar farm in Downpatrick. Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced approval for the North’s first large-scale solar farm in Downpatrick.The planning application by BNRG Northern Power for a 27acre 5.1MW photovoltaic solar farm and sub-station will be capable of generating electricity to power over 1,500 homes during its proposed 30-year life span. The development represents an investment value of over £6 million. Mark H Durkan said: “This is good news for renewable energy in the East Down area. […]

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Planning rules eased to help reduce home heating costs

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced a boost for people seeking to save on their energy bills. From 10 March homeowners will no longer need planning permission for installing, altering or replacing air source heat pumps in homes. These pumps absorb heat from the outside air and help save money by reducing heating costs. They are also better for the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using a sustainable energy source. Mark H Durkan said: “This really is a win-win, a boost for the environment whilst removing red tape […]

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Highest levels of satisfaction from users of the planning system in 14 years – Durkan

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has welcomed a report that reveals the highest levels of satisfaction from users of the planning system since 2000. The NI Planning Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012/13 report published today, details improvements in satisfaction with overall service from users of the planning system. Much has been achieved but there is still much more to do. High levels of satisfaction were expressed with regard to handling queries, quality and clarity of advice, quality and timeliness of information received from DOE Planning and satisfaction with professionalism of planning staff. Commenting […]

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