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Replacing PPS 14 – a new debate on rural planning

28 November, 2007

Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan, who is the Vice Chairperson of the Assembly Environment Committee, took part in a debate at the Stormont Hotel on Wednesday morning to discuss what new policy should replace the draconian PPS 14 which threatened to decimate the rural way of life.

Environment Minister, Arlene Foster, has stated a replacement policy will be in place within six months after a court case ruled the policy unlawful as to how it was implemented.

Present in the debate along with Cathal Boylan were Patsy McGlone, (SDLP), Tom Elliott, (UUP), David Ford, (Alliance), John Woods, (Friends of the Earth) and key note speaker, award winning architect Jane Burnside.

Jim Wells (DUP) was due to participate in the debate but after the first two speakers had given their opening statements he informed the organisers that he would not be able to take part.

Speaking about the need for a new post PPS-14 debate on rural planning Mr Boylan said:

"Sinn Fein believe that any new policy must reflects the needs of the rural community to remain in the countryside in a balanced, responsible and environmentally aware system which is sustainable and affordable.

"There are a number of important issue that need to be fully debated out, including;

  • The possibility that an Architectural review panel is required
  • The requirement for Environmental issues to be at the forefront of any new policy
  • The need for an enforcement to be more effective
  • That the principles of any new planning procedures be included in any training for those who will be key to implementing it, ie planners, architects and agents

"We need to get this new policy right because it will have an impact for future generations." ENDS

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