Key politicians of the five main political parties in Northern Ireland will debate planning and environmental issues at a special question time event organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute on Wednesday 20 April at Queens University, Belfast.
The event will provide senior politicans a platform to set out their respective manifestos on planning and environmental issues ahead of the Assembly elections on May 5. The confirmed line up is Mr Paul Givan MLA (DUP), Mr Cathal Boylan MLA (Sinn Fein), Mr Danny Kinahan MLA (UUP), Mr Conall McDevitt MLA (SDLP) and Ms Anna Lo MLA (Alliance Party).
The discussion chaired by local broadcaster Ms Wendy Austin, will commence at 7pm and will see audience members drawn from public, private and community sectors, academia as well as other leading figures from the property, construction and environmental communities ask the panel question on a range of pressing issues facing the Planning System.
RTPI NI Chair, Diana Thompson welcomed the timing of the debate that coincides with the recent passing of the new Planning Bill that provides for the transfer of planning powers to local councils and the ongoing proposals to reform local government.
Speaking about the event she said:
"These are extremely interesting days for the planning profession as we undergo a monumental programme of local government reform and fundamental restructuring of the planning system, not witnessed in Northern Ireland over the past forty years when the current framework was created.
The event gives our members and other invited guests the opportunity to engage with our local politicians on the creation of a planning system that drives and delivers sustainable economic development, while protecting our natural and built environment and makes an effective contribution to the well being of our country and its citizens.
The audience comprises a wide cross section and I am looking forward to a lively hustings."