Fnal countdown to huge changes in planning process

DUP Councillor Gordon Lyons
DUP Councillor Gordon Lyons

An enormous amount of work has been undertaken by Mid and East Antrim Council over the past few months to ensure a seamless transfer of crucial planning powers.

The scale of effort required was explained by Councillor Gordon Lyons, Chairman of Mid and East Antrim Council’s Planning Committee, which will aim to provide the highest standards of efficiency and transparency.

He said: “Planning is one of the areas in which people will notice significant change in local government. This is not change for the sake of it, but change so that we can do things better. From 1st April the Council will have responsibility for planning matters and I hope that people will find this a more transparent, but most importantly, a more efficient way of doing things.

“I want Mid and East Antrim to have a planning system that directly benefits local people, our businesses, our environment and our economy. We want to use these new powers for maximum advantage. I believe that we have put in place a system which reduces red tape and speeds up the planning process - a system which people can have confidence in.”

Mid and East Antrim Council will also have responsibility for investigating alleged breaches of planning control and deciding on what enforcement action, if any, should be taken while the Department of the Environment will continue to oversee regional policy.The Area Planning Office will remain at County Hall and more information will be available before 1 April.