Planning Bill must have safeguards legislated for
Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on planning Cathal Boylan has stated that legislation outlining protections and safeguards for minority groups is key to any planning powers being transferred to local government.
Speaking today Mr Boylan said:
“The current planning bill that is in front of the assembly has the capacity to pass powers on the planning process to local councils.
“However, what is absent from this are the adequate protections and safeguards that would ensure the proper checks and balances are in place to protect minority groups within council areas.
“These safeguards are currently out to consultation under the planning reform proposals and would need to enacted in legislative form either in tandem with the planning bill or indeed before any powers are transferred to local government. Alongside this the capacity building for local Councillors must go ahead in order to ensure competence in dealing with these issues.
“This will allow for the radical change that is needed for efficiencies and protections at local government level that would be needed for planning powers to be transferred.”