04/03/2005

Pilot planning service scheme to speed up process

The DOE Planning Service has announced a further move to speed up the planning process, with the start of a pilot scheme to return all invalid planning applications.

From 14 March, the Belfast Divisional Planning Office will return incomplete planning applications, together with the planning fee and an explanation of the reasons for return.

A spokesperson for the Planning Service, said today’s announcement was “another positive step forward in our programme of modernisation”.

“Almost a quarter of all planning applications submitted do not include sufficient information, or correct fee to allow the application to be processed,” the spokesperson said. “Time spent on these incomplete applications creates lengthy delays in the planning process and impacts on all of our customers.

“This action is not intended to leave customers high and dry. In advance of the pilot, planning application forms were re-designed to make them more user-friendly and the “Guidance Notes for Applicants” were revised to help make applicants aware of the information required by Planning Service.”

A checklist for applicants was also introduced last year to help in completing the application process.

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