There should be a legal requirement for neighbours to be notified of planning applications, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan’s department has said.
The Department of the Environment yesterday published a consultation document on legislative changes necessary before planning powers transfer to the new ‘super councils’ in less than a year.
The lengthy document deals with numerous aspects of planning policy.
At present, the planners voluntarily write to neighbours where there has been a planning application. However, the consultation document said that “if the system was to continue on a non-statutory basis there would be scope for confusion and variation in practice within and across council areas.
“The department believes there are clear benefits to the planning system if the current process was to continue ...[under] a clearly defined and unambiguous statutory requirement.”
A copy of the consultation can be accessed online at www.planningni.gov.uk or by phoning 02890 540642.