Northern Ireland

News and in-depth analysis of town planning changes, significant decisions and appeals, housing, retail, town centres and economic development in Northern Ireland.

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News round-up

‘Government’s flagship investment zones will create slums of the future, planning experts claim’

A report highlighting fears over the impact of proposed investment zones on development and the planning system, including one commentator arguing that they will cause “total chaos”, leads our daily round-up of planning news across the media.

What The Papers Say

‘Planning needs to be fixed for levelling up to be a success’

A national newspaper article arguing that planning remains fundamental to the process of economic development and revival leads today’s news roundup.

The Belfast Chinese consulate is in a listed building with a conservation area - image: Bridge (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Judge rules that Chinese consulate immune from council's injunction bid over security wall planning dispute

Belfast City Council's attempt to prevent a security wall being unlawfully built around the city's Chinese consulate has been thwarted by diplomatic immunity, but a High Court judge has warned the People's Republic that if it breaks the law the government can take the "nuclear option" of shutting the consulate down.

Judge blasts planning authorities for lack of enforcement action against mining firm despite 'repeated breaches'

A High Court judge has dismissed a legal bid to instigate planning enforcement action against a mining operator, but has expressed "grave concern" over the lack of enforcement action by planning authorities against the firm despite its "repeated breaches of planning control".

Government officials have 'examined feasibility of bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland'

Civil servants have explored the feasibility of constructing a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland after the idea was floated by Boris Johnson before he became Prime Minister, according to reports.

Bradley promises legislation to unblock Northern Ireland major decisions impasse

The UK government has announced it will introduce legislation to allow civil servants in Northern Ireland to resume making major planning decisions in the absence of a functioning executive.

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Northern Ireland In Depth

How a new era of strategic planning is unfolding in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's local authorities are grappling with the practical implications of new plan-making responsibilities bestowed upon them following a local government shake-up last year.

What Northern Ireland's reshuffle means for planning

Commentators hope that a new department handed control over planning in Northern Ireland will improve planning for infrastructure but say the minister must ensure councils make the most of their planning powers.

Why Northern Ireland planning changes could slow approvals

Last month's transfer of planning powers to councils in Northern Ireland could cause a slowdown in planning approvals as officers and new planning committee members get to grips with the system.

Will Northern Ireland's new 'super councils' be ready to take on their new planning responsibilities?

As local government in Northern Ireland is reformed, there is concern over new councils' readiness for the decentralised planning powers they will assume.