§ Lord Skelmersdale
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many unresolved planning cases there are in Northern Ireland and what were the dates on which the earliest 10 such cases were lodged with the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland).
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs)
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Planning Service under its Chief Executive, Mr. T. W. Stewart. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter to Lord Skelmersdale from the Chief Executive of the Planning Service, Mr. T W. Stewart.
I have been asked to reply to your recent Question about unresolved planning cases in Northern Ireland.
At any given time there are approximately 5,500–6,000 outstanding planning applications at various stages in the planning development control system. The dates on which the earliest 10 such cases were lodged are as follows.
Application number Description Date lodged (1) S/87/0227 Storage of sand stones and bricks 13/03/87 (2) S/87/0984 Extension to landfill site 10/09/1987 (3) B/88/0381 Private car park and relocated entrance 08/12/1988 (4) B/90/0235 Construction of Enterprise Centre 26/07/90 (5) B/90/0162 Retention of warehouse unit 17/05/90 (6) B/90/0162 Construction of car park 02/07/1990 (7) C/90/0465 Erection of 33 dwellings 16/08/90 (8) S/90/1071 Signs and flags 04/10/1990 (9) S/91/0275 Erection of dwelling 21/03/91 (10) S/92/0101 Factory, small business centres, car parking and road improvements 03/02/1992
The reasons why these applications remain undetermined are largely similar to those given in my answer to your earlier Question about determination times. A number are awaiting additional information from the applicant/agent while others involve roads abandonment or access issues which by their nature can be prolonged. The quarry application has associated environmental problems and the application for housing development was held in abeyance initially pending compliance with enforcement notices relating to the removal of toxic waste from an adjacent site and subsequently following liquidation of the original applicant, pending negotiations regarding exclusion of amenity/conservation lands from the application site. While the Planning Service could proceed to determine these applications on the basis of the information available to it, which would usually lead to refusals, its normal practice is to hold applications in abeyance in an effort to resolve specific difficulties, particularly when it is likely that they can be overcome. This approach is normally the most acceptable to applicants.
I do hope you find this helpful.