Mid Ulster planning committee deliver highest rate of approvals

Mid Ulster councillor Sean Clarke
Mid Ulster councillor Sean Clarke

Mid Ulster has had more applications decided by planning committee than any of the other 10 Councils since powers transferred from the DoE , it has emerged.

Committee chair Councillor Sean Clarke said It has also received the third highest number of applications, has delivered the highest rate of approvals and has achieved its targets for enforcement.

Speaking at Northern Ireland Planning Conference, he said “Prior to 2015 we had a centralised system which failed to adequately recognise local needs.

“To me planning is about balancing material consideration and making decisions in the public interest. It should focus on delivering sustainable development.

“However, I feel there are still opportunities for further improvements. Issues like funding and tailoring Planning policy independent of the plan process for example, should be re-examined.”

During his address, Councillor Clarke described the positive progress Planning hasmade in Mid Ulster since it transferred under the council but said there was still more work to be done.

According to the Chair, the main aim of the Planning Committee for Mid Ulster is to make the planning service more accessible for all in a manner that is fair and transparent and where people are accountable for decisions.

He believes that planning should be used as a positive tool in a proactive way to encourage sustainable development.