Environment Minister announces the opening of a new Planning Office for Antrim and Newtownabbey Council
Published on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 by firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new Local Planning Office opening on 26 January 2015 will see Newtownabbey people having planners on their doorstep for the first time.At present DOE Planning for the Antrim and Newtownabbey areas operates from County Hall, Ballymena.
From Monday 26 January 2015, experienced Planners from the DOE Area Planning Team will relocate to Mossley Mill. 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 relocation of the Local Planning Office for Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to Mossley Mill is another tangible step forward in this preparation.”
Presiding Councillor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council Mandy Girvan said:“ We are delighted to welcome the planning staff to Mossley Mill and pleased that they will be settled in well in advance of 1 April when the new Council will take on the planning function. The Council is also making provision at Antrim Civic Centre to ensure that members of the public will be able to conveniently access planning services. ”
Councillor Billy Webb, Chair of the Planning Committee commented: “Our Officers and Members have been working very closely with the Planning team and making excellent progress to ensure a smooth transition. We will continue to work together over the next few months to guarantee that Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council is ready for the transfer of planning to the Council on 1 April and this exciting new era.”
All planning applications and queries for the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council area should be directed to this new planning office from 26 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://ww.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 NIDirect number 0300 200 7830 (NI only) or 028 9151 3101.