§ Lord Skelmersdale
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was (a) the shortest and (b) the longest time taken from initiation to result of a planning application in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years.
§ 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, dated 20 June 1997.
I have been asked to reply to your recent Question about decision times on planning applications in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years.
The shortest and longest time taken from initiation to determination of planning applications in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years is as follows:-
Year Shortest time taken (days) Longest time taken (days) 1992 6 1,641 1993 18 2,301 1994 10 2,575 1995 14 1,966 1996 20 1,716
While the length of time taken to determine the "longest" applications would appear to be excessive I should explain that three of the five applications 172WA involved related to mineral/quarry operations which by their nature tend to be complex and generally take longer to determine given the associated environmental issues. A combination of factors led to delays in determining the applications, for example in most cases there were delays by the applicant/agent in submitting the necessary information to enable the application to be progressed, others were held in abeyance either at the applicant's request or to await the determination of related applications which were material planning considerations. In one case the delay in determining the application was for reasons of prematurity pending the review and adoption of the development plan for the area.