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Proposals launched aimed at reducing minor planning applications

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Environment Minister Edwin Poots today launched proposals to extend the range of minor developments that can be carried out without submitting a planning application.

The proposals include an extension of permitted development rights ranging from minor householder development to types of industrial, commercial and retail development.

Mr Poots said: “The proposed measures are aimed at eliminating a range of developments that require planning applications while still protecting the interests of neighbours, the wider community and the environment. I want to make it easier for people to undertake minor building works such as small extensions to their homes.

“In particular, these proposals will also contribute to reducing the impact of climate change through the introduction of permitted development rights for renewable energy technologies, for both householder and business use. That way everyone can contribute to protecting our environment.”

The Minister continued: “The extension of permitted development rights will complement the proposed new planning reforms and help promote a speedier and more responsive service to everyone.”

The three proposals launched today relate to micro generation, householder and non-householder permitted development rights. The consultation closes on 22 January 2010. The consultation period has been extended beyond the usual 12 weeks to take account of the Christmas holiday period.

Notes to editors:

1. In Northern Ireland, the Planning (General Development) Order (NI) 1993 sets out what type of development can be undertaken without requiring a planning application. These are referred to as permitted development rights and often relate to minor building work that is non-contentious and has minor impact to neighbours and on the environment.

2. The consultation proposals include an extension of permitted development rights for minor householder development, small scale renewable energy development and for a number of other development types including agriculture, industry, commercial and retail, community and leisure and utilities and minerals.

3. The extension of permitted development rights will reduce the number of planning applications in the system.

4. The three consultation papers are available on the Planning Service website or by contacting Planning Service Headquarters on 02890416966.

5. All media inquiries should be directed to the DOE Press Office on 028 9054 0003. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.