Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
The Context: Consultation Responses Background

The Department received a total of 109 responses during its consultation process, including the report on the rural clinics. The respondents were not constrained by the main issues identified in the leaflet and they submitted wide ranging, constructive and detailed comments. Over 900 separate suggestions were made for future planning policy, practice or procedure. There was no consensus expressed. There was, however, a strongly held view that planning policy placed too much emphasis on centralisation and channelling people into larger settlements. There was also concern that the present rural planning policy was inappropriate to Northern Ireland and that insufficient distinction was made between the circumstances in different parts of the country. Some groups and individuals were in favour of relaxing planning restrictions on rural development. Others emphasised the importance of facilitating economic activity. Yet others saw conservation of the natural and man-made environment as the top priority.
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