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RTPI NI branch influences policy

17 January 2012

The RTPI NI Branch Chair Diana Thompson and Policy Officer Claire Williamson attended the Environment Committee in Stormont on Thursday 12th January to give evidence as part of a wider stakeholder group on the draft Programme for Government 2012 - 2015.

We set out our detailed concerns to the Environment Committee, highlighting in particular the lack of reference to planning reform and reform of public administration which is acknowledged to be the most fundamental change in over 40 years to the way the Planning System will operate in Northern Ireland.

The opportunity arose to comment that the programme overlooked the planning process in general, omitted the issues of community engagement, development of community plans and the review of the Area Plan structure in its entirety and also the obvious lack of commitment of resources and schedule on the subject of Planning Reform, Review of Public Administration, training and capacity building.  A firm offer of assistance with capacity building was placed with the committee by the branch.

Diana Thompson said "The RTPI welcomes the publication of the draft programme for government but is alarmed by the failure to acknowledge that Planning is central to many of the themes and objectives sought for delivery during this Assembly's current term. We set out our detailed concerns to the Environment Committee, highlighting in particular the lack of reference to planning reform and reform of public administration which is acknowledged to be the most fundamental change in over 40 years to the way the Planning System will operate in Northern Ireland."