29/04/2010

Protest Follows Planning Service Cuts

Protest action takes place today as the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has become the latest body to criticise the NI Planning Service's bid to redeploy as many as one in three of its employees.

It said this will have a very significant effect on the capacity of Northern Ireland to move towards economic recovery, by severely impacting the capacity of the service to process planning applications from businesses and developers.

RTPI members are also set to join a NIPSA trade union protest outside all Divisional Planning Offices and Planning Headquarters at lunchtime today, Thursday 29 April.
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Commenting as the protests loomed, Ann Skippers, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute said: "News that a third of the staff of the Northern Ireland Planning Service will be shed is a massive blow to the hardworking staff of the agency, and it is doubly disappointing that many Planning Service employees, and the RTPI, were only made aware of the plans from reports in the media.

"This comes just weeks after (Environment) Minister (Edwin) Poots highlighted the key role that the Service plays in managing and facilitating development and economic growth in Northern Ireland," she added.

(NS/BMcC)

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