RTPI NI welcomes the Review of the Implementation of the Planning Act (NI) 2011. The changes introduced in Northern Ireland in 2015 as a result of the Planning Act represented a significant step forward in the design of the planning service to deliver sustainable development for and with communities. However, after six years, now is a good time to review how the system is being implemented and where improvements can be made. This does not mean that the planning system in NI is broken but, like any system or policy, review enables adaptation to changes which may have happened since the spatial planning system was first designed. Reflection is a positive activity.
The consultation focuses on the legislation and, whilst there are changes which could usefully be implemented, other improvements which would add value do not require legislative or regulatory changes and these should also be explored. Planning is an important public service and, if properly implemented and resourced, can deliver positive outcomes across public services and reduce the negative impact of development. It is essential that planning, as a valuable public service, has the confidence of the public and across all communities in Northern Ireland. We would welcome the opportunity to support the Department for Infrastructure and Councils, along with our members in Northern Ireland, to support the review of planning in NI.
The full response can be viewed here.