New Planning Roles for Northern Ireland Councils

Posted on 31st October, 2013

DOE(NI) has published guidance on councils' new responsibilities for community planning, which is to commence from April 2015. The guidance contained within the Councils’ Community Planning Foundation Programme provides the information to help councils prepare for this new duty. In the built environment, this will include changes to the carrying out of planning, urban regeneration and housing legislation.

Supporting the preparations, Environment Minister Mark Durkan said: ‘Community planning involves integrating all the various streams of public life, such as the services and functions that are delivered in an area, and producing a long term plan for the future direction of that council district. Councils will work with their local communities, and statutory bodies and agencies, to promote the well-being of their area and improve the quality of life of its citizens.’

Community planning is an integral part of the local government reform package that will also see Northern Ireland’s 26 councils reduce to 11 and a number of functions transfer from central to local government. The Councils’ Community Planning Foundation Programme (all 88 pages of it) is available to view and download from the Local Government Reform section of the DOE website: http://www.doeni.gov.uk/index/local_government/local_government_reform.htm

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