David Ford, who is a member of the Assembly’s Environment Committee said: “I am glad that Mrs Foster has finally taken responsibility for this matter, but she must now act quickly to the void left by the removal of PPS 14.
“With the current uncertainty, we have seen thousands of planning applications submitted by people eager too take advantage of the situation.
“Without such planning laws our countryside is left unprotected. Arlene Foster must not allow a bungalow blitz to take place. Some modest changes to deal with individual circumstances may be needed, but we do not want to see a scattergun approach to planning that turns our countryside into some kind of suburbia.
“Northern Ireland’s breathtaking scenery is our meal ticket for the future. We must protect our spectacular landscapes and maximise their vitally important tourism potential.
“The High Court did not find any flaws within PPS 14 itself. Their decision came about because of inadequate consultation and that the wrong department brought forward this legislation – the blame for both problems can be laid squarely at the door of Direct Rule Ministers.
“The Minister must not allow the uncertainty created since the High Court ruling in early September to continue. She must take action before it’s too late to give our countryside the protection it deserves.”