Alliance Leader says Foster must not move away from strong planning laws

Alliance Leader David Ford has said that the revised PPS 14 must put in place strict planning rules in order to protect the countryside. He said that the Minister must not take the easy option by allowing bungalow blight to begin. His comments come after Arlene Foster outlined the Executive’s “emerging findings” on PPS 14.

The South Antrim MLA said: “The Minister must take a tough line on planning to stop our countryside being destroyed through over-development.

“Bungalow blight poses a real threat to our picturesque rural areas. Strong measures are need as soon as possible because once a house is build there is little chance of that area ever returning to its previous state.

“The central principle of PPS 14 must be maintained. Our scenery is our tourism meal ticket. The Minister must not put our magnificent countryside at risk.

“There are grounds for some modest relaxation, for example on special personal circumstances or farm diversification, but these must not become a Trojan horse to destroy the principles of PPS 14.

“Obviously there must be pragmatism within the policy, but it must provide a robust protection mechanism against those who would destroy our rural areas to their own ends.”


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