Assembly Committee Queries Department Approach To Planning

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 07 July 2010

Reference: ENV 13/09/10

The Assembly Committee for the Environment today expressed its disappointment at the Department of the Environment’s refusal to make clear and detailed plans for the Planning Service before proceeding any further with redeploying Planning Service staff.

Committee Chairperson, Cathal Boylan MLA, said: “In May the Committee asked for a detailed financial and resource plan from the Department before 2 July 2010 because we were concerned that the Department was going ahead with its redeployment of Planning Service staff without enough thought about the delivery of frontline services.

“The Department’s response states that it cannot produce these plans until after mid September 2010 and that it is to go ahead with its redeployment of staff as planned.

“This is of great concern to the Committee. We consider it unwise to make significant staffing changes now, and then assess the ability to deliver the service at a later date as this might risk some decisions being reversed. We will be watching carefully to see that every opportunity is taken by the Department to ensure the Planning Service continues to deliver a high standard of service, and one that is value for money.”

Ends

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