Planning Portal

Ministerial Statement: Quality Initiative
The Fundamental Principle - Sustainability

I should like to begin with a word about the fundamental principle that determines our approach to the planning of development. We must strive to ensure that development is sustainable.
By this I mean that development to meet the needs of our generation cannot be regarded as “sustainable” if it compromises the ability of the next generation to meet its needs.
It is, of course, natural for us to seek a higher standard of living. But the sustainability principle means we must do so in a way which protects the environment and safeguards all that is precious to us – and to succeeding generations.
The document I published last year, “Transportation in Northern Ireland – The Way Forward”, was a first step towards the goal of a sustainable transportation strategy. It suggested that we should aim to manage the growth in car journeys and to encourage alternative modes of travel which have a less harmful environmental impact.
Sustainable development was also one of the principles underlying the housing policy consultation document “Building on Success” which I published just before Christmas. Sustainable residential development should encourage walking and cycling and provide attractive and useable open space.
So the objective of sustainable development underpins today’s announcements.
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