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Boylan concerned with PPS 14 consultation

17 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan speaking after attending a public consultation on PPS 14 at the Armagh City Hotel on Friday 15th February has expressed concern at the consultation process.

Addressing those present he said that in his capacity of Vice Chair of the Environment Committee he could assure them that any new Draft Policy which comes before them would be robustly scrutinized, but he also questioned the consultation process and timeline.

Mr Boylan said:

"The event in the Armagh City Hotel was reasonably well attended, but looking through the list of attendees, most were from statutory or voluntary bodies, there was very little input from the general public, the rural dwellers whom this new policy will affect the most.

"The timing of the event, which was held at 9.30am on a Friday morning, was also a limiting factor.

"This consultation is to last between the 15th and 22nd of February, which is not really enough time to get a consensus.

"I will be raising the matter with the Environment Minister and ask her to consider extending the consultation period and to make it more inconclusive by making ensuring that the meetings are public rather than invitation only.

"Any policy which comes out of this needs to be right in terms of supporting a vibrant future for our rural communities and a sustainable rural environment. We need to ensure that all views are taken on board." ENDS

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