Environment Minister announces the opening of a new Planning Office for Lisburn and Castlereagh Council
Published on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 by firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new Local Area Planning Office opening on 19 January 2015 will see Lisburn people having planners on their doorstep for the first time.At present DOE Planning for the Lisburn and Castlereagh areas operates from Rathkeltair House, Downpatrick and Bedford House, Belfast.
From Monday 19 January 2015, experienced Planners from DOE Area Planning Team will relocate to Lagan Valley Island, the headquarters building for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. From there they will work alongside future council colleagues while ensuring a normal planning service is maintained for the area covered by the new council.
This marks another important step in the preparation for the transfer of planning to councils on 1 April 2015.
Welcoming the move Minister Durkan said: “Planning reform is about bringing forward improvements to the planning system, improvements that will bring planning closer to the public and make it easier for the public to access and participate in the planning process. This is part of the wider local government reform programme which will ultimately deliver local councils which are more effective, more efficient and more responsive to the needs of their local business and community.
"All 11 new councils need to be ready to assume their new responsibilities when planning functions are formally transferred to them in April. The opening of the Local Area Planning Office for Lisburn and Castlereagh Council in the Island Civic Centre is another tangible step forward in this preparation.”
Presiding Councillor James Tinsley said: “The new Council is delighted to welcome DOE Planning staff and we hope this will improve service delivery and transform the nature of interaction between the public and planning service on all planning matters. We are looking forward to a productive working relationship as the new council assumes responsibility for this service.”
All planning applications and queries for the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area should be directed to this new planning office from 19 January. All applications already in the system for the new council area will transfer along with the planning staff and planning officers will continue to process these as normal.
If you are unsure which new council area you are in, you can find out at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/newcouncils
Notes to editors:
1. Planning functions transfer from central government to local government on 1 April 2015. From this date councils will be responsible for drawing up local development plans, making the majority of planning decisions, and shaping how their area grows and develops in ways that respond to the needs of the communities they serve.
2. Further information about the transfer of planning in general can be found at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/planning-reform
3. Further details are also available at http://www.planningni.gov.uk/common_news_new_local_planning_offices_29122014.htm
4. To contact the planning office, members of the public can telephone as they do now using NI Direct number 0300 200 7830 (NI only) or 02891 513101.
5. For media enquiries contact the DOE Press Office on 028 9025 6058. Out of office hours contact the Executive Information service Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.