PPS 14 Court ruling could be devastating for our countryside – Ford

Alliance Leader David Ford has slammed the High Court decision to overturn the PPS 14 planning policy which is aimed at protecting the countryside. He stated that the decision was nothing to do with the function of PPS14 itself and that the ruling will put the natural landscape of many rural areas in jeopardy.

David Ford said:”This ruling throws open the doors for anyone and everyone to build on our countryside. Bungalow blight across Northern Ireland now seems a realistic prospect.

“The High Court found no fault with PPS 14 itself. The reasons for this decision were because of a lack of consultation and that the legislation was proposed by the wrong department – issues which were both the fault of the NIO.

“It is well established in planning that you cannot have lengthy pre-consultation, because a six month delay in introducing PPS 14 would have meant an application for a bungalow in every other field around the countryside.

“Since the detail within PPS 14 is substantively right, the Minister Conor Murphy must ensure that its principles come into to play legally as soon as possible.

“There simply must be restrictions put on building in rural areas to protect our landscape. There are not only environmental concerns – such a blight would also have an adverse affect on tourism locally. The Minister must act as a matter of urgency on this issue.”


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