Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Local accountability central to planning decisions

28 October, 2005

Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson Philip McGuigan commenting on the consultation document on planning announced today, has said that reforming the planning service must not equate to removing all local input into planning issues.

His comments come after Jeff Rooker's announcement today on proposed new planning laws.

Mr McGuigan said:

"I think we are all agreed that the planning service needs overhauled. The purpose of this should be to make its decisions more transparent, understandable and more accountable.

"What we don't want to see is a planning bureaucracy, were the opinion of local people and their elected representatives are discarded. Recent experiences of the imposition of Area Plans and changes that forbid site meetings have left a bad taste in people's mouths.

"This is particularly true in the case of rural planning. I understand completely the need to protect our rural environment but this can and should be compatible with protecting our rural way of life." ENDS

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