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Assembly Committee Puts Pressure on Department to Plan Carefully

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 27 May 2010

Reference: ENV 11/09/10

The Assembly Committee for the Environment today (Thursday 27 May) called on the Department of the Environment 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: “The Committee was very concerned to hear that the Department is proceeding with its redeployment of Planning Service staff without appropriate plans. It is essential the Department demonstrates how the Planning Service will continue to deliver on the ground with reduced staff before it proceeds any further. As a result the Committee has requested a detailed financial and resource plan before 2 July 2010.

“The Committee has also asked the Department to consider releasing funds due to the Planning Service, estimated at £4.8 million. Currently the funds are held by the Department until the Planning Service completes the necessary work on submitted planning applications. Obviously, releasing these funds early would have a significant and positive impact on the immediate financial burden facing the Planning Service.”

Ends

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