Bradley: Planning Department’s in dire need of more resource
Ms Bradley commented:
“The rationale behind transferring planning powers to local councils was steeped in the understanding that decisions would be taken more in line with the desires and needs of local communities. However, until resource matches demand, applications will remain stuck in a backlog.
“Delays in planning applications are more than merely a slight inconvenience, they have a knock-on effect across communities in terms of building much needed housing developments in areas of need, economic regeneration and community renewal, all of which are dependent upon an efficient planning application process. It is particularly important for many communities across the North who have never benefitted from a peace dividend to reap from more investment in this regard, but until we have a planning system that is fit for purpose, we are unlikely to see more investment in our local communities.
“The SDLP have suggested that one way to ensure councils speed this process up in relation to social housing new builds, especially given the rising homelessness statistics across the North, is to have a dedicated housing planning officer committed to processing planning applications for housing.”