A new CBI NI report on harnessing the opportunity to reform the Northern Ireland planning system.
CBI NI’s new report, written in partnership with Jim MacKinnon CBE, the former Chief Planner in Scotland, examines the processes for major planning applications in Northern Ireland, with a particular emphasis on regionally strategic planning, and compares them with similar process throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Northern Ireland lags behind its neighbours in terms of long term thinking for strategic infrastructure, and planning has long been identified as a major obstacle to timely and efficient delivery. But the ongoing legislative review into the 2011 Planning Act, and the work of the Ministerial Panel on long term thinking for infrastructure, creates a timely opportunity to level up the system in Northern Ireland. There is scope to do it, but it will require firm, committed and sustained leadership from the Northern Ireland Executive as a whole.
Based on the report’s findings, a series of recommendations have been developed on opportunities to both streamline the planning process and build a new framework for strategic infrastructure development in the longer term. Prompt action on these recommendations is critical to stimulate sustainable economic recovery and growth in the wake of the COVID-19.