Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2007/2008

Date: 09 April 2008



Present: Mr Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr Billy Armstrong
Mr Cathal Boylan
Mr Trevor Clarke
Mr David Ford
Mr Tommy Gallagher
Mr Samuel Gardiner
Mr Ian McCrea
Mr Alastair Ross
Mr Peter Weir

In Attendance: Ms Patricia Casey (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr William Long (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Sean McCann (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Chris Corr (Clerical Officer)

Apologies: Mr Daithi McKay

The meeting commenced in public session at 10.36 a.m.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above

2. Minutes

Agreed – the draft minutes of the meeting on 3 April were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

Draft Public Authorities (Reform Bill):

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the OFMDFM Committee to respond on this issue.

Local Government (Contracts) Bill:

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the DOE asking for clarification on the possible use of accelerated passage for this Bill.

Chairperson’s Presentation to DOE Corporate Services Division:

The Chairperson briefed members on the presentation he delivered to DOE Corporate Services Division on Friday 4 April.

Agreed: That the Committee write to thank Department (Mr Peover).

4. Briefing by Prof. Greg Lloyd and Planning officials on programme for reform of NI Planning System

Professor Greg Lloyd and Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the programme for reform of the Northern Ireland planning system.

Mr Gallagher left the meeting at 11.26a.m.
Mr Weir joined the meeting at 11.28a.m.

Agreed: That the DOE forward the emerging proposals document to the Committee when it is finalised.

Mr Boylan left the meeting at 11.55a.m.

5. Departmental briefing on MOT pass/fail rates and DVA loss of data

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on MOT pass/fail rate and the loss of data by DVA.

Agreed: That the DOE forward ongoing 6 monthly MOT pass/fail rates to the Committee along with figures for re tests.

Agreed: That the Department report back on any further losses of data and provide Committee with a copy of their Action Plan.

6. Correspondence

1. Members noted a letter and request from Advice NI that the Committee consider becoming a subscriber to the organisation.

2. Letter from DRD Clerk to Committee Clerk regarding expansion at the George Best City Airport.
Agreed: That this correspondence is forwarded to the DOE for comment.

3. Letter from Sustrans regarding ‘Rural Safe Roads to School’ project and request to brief Committee.
Agreed: That Sustrans are invited to a future Committee meeting.

4. The Water Abstraction and Impounding (Licensing) Regulations (NI) 2006.
Agreed: That the Committee wait until the end of the consultation before considering making any comments.

5. Response from the Department to Committee request for further information on current position of ‘Nitrates Action Programme (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2008’ and ‘PPS20 – The Coast’.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the DOE asking for more specific information on PPS20 and its current status.

6. Members noted a letter from the Department informing the Committee that DVA public consultation on proposed changes under EU directive 2003/59 is now closed.

7. Letter from Gordon Best of the Quarry Products Association requesting an opportunity to brief the Committee and for a Committee Member to visit one of their worksites.
Agreed: That the Committee visit Quarry Products Association offices at a future meeting.

8. Members noted a letter from the Minister announcing intention to make decision on planning application for a park and ride facility in the near future.

9. Response from Department regarding Committee request for further information on Department’s compliance with ‘Northern Ireland Better Regulation Strategy’.
Agreed: That a letter is sent to the DOE asking for more specific information on the Regulatory Impact Assessment.

10. Members noted an e-mail from Dr. Jung Sook Kim inviting Committee to the ‘Third Annual Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance’, to be held Oct 19-22 in the Philippines.

11. Members noted a letter from the Department regarding public consultation paper on the ‘Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (NI) 1999’.

12. Members noted a letter from the Department regarding addendum to PPS 7.

13. Members noted a Letter from the DARD Clerk regarding correspondence for the Coalition for Environmental Protection.

14. Members noted an e-mail and documents from Tom Wilson of the Freight Transport Association regarding VOSA campaign.

15. Members noted a letter from Maggie Smith of the Planning and Environmental Policy Group regarding ‘DCAN 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunications Equipment’.

16. Members noted the ‘ Review of Old mineral permissions: Environmental Impact Assessment’ Consultation Paper

17. SL1 – Proposal from the Department outlining legislation to enable the disclosure of vehicle insurance information to the PSNI.
Agreed: That the Committee considered the proposed legislation to enable the disclosure of vehicle insurance information to the PSNI, and had no objections to the proposal.

Publications/Conferences/Press Releases:

18. Members noted the following DOE News releases –

“Belfast skip firm fined £2,500 for waste offences”

“Planners give advice on how to extend your home”

“Foster issues new guidance for telecoms equipment”

“Co. Down companies fined £500 for waste offences”

“Foster promises better protected seas in marine bill”

“Minister announces final RPA proposals to NILGA”

“Foster announces new powers for councils”

“Report shows improvement in water services discharges but further investment required”
‘Foster’s Taxi Bill arrives at final destination’

7. Any Other Business

The Chairperson, in Mr Boylan’s absence, raised an issue relating to DOE funding and seat belts.

Agreed: That the Committee are content that the DRD Committee pursue this issue.

8. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 17 April 2008 at 10.30am in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.32p.m.

Patsy McGlone
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
17 April 2008

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