Lo outraged at power grab by DUP and Sinn Fein in planning laws

Alliance Environment spokesperson Anna Lo MLA has expressed her outrage at the DUP and Sinn Fein for submitting a number of amendments that would give OFMDFM extra powers over planning laws.

The amendments would give OFMDFM powers to declare any area an economically significant planning zone and thus control development in that area. They also want to limit the ability of people to appeal planning decisions in the high courts.

Anna Lo MLA said: “I am outraged at the bare faced cheek of the DUP and Sinn Fein to think that this is any way acceptable. They have done this to take powers away from the Environment Minister and give them to their own Ministers in OFMDFM.

“I support economic development, but I fear that under their proposals, they could make any area an economically significant planning zone and thus environmental and social well-being concerns will be ignored.

“There should be a balance between economic development, environmental protection and social well-being. These amendments would damage that balance.

“By attempting to reduce a person’s ability to appeal a planning decision in the courts, they are seeking to deny people their democratic rights.

“I would call on them to withdraw these amendments. They are not in the best interests of our planning system or our environment.”


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