Real need for strong planning laws now – Lo

Alliance MLA Anna Lo has called on Environment Minister Sammy Wilson to get on with creating strong planning laws along the lines of PPS 14 to protect the countryside from a bungalow blitz. She says better planning laws are needed in both rural and urban areas. Her comments come in relation to the three-month stalemate during which time the Stormont Executive has failed to meet and has fallen out over planning issues, amongst other things. Anna Lo is set to propose a motion in the Assembly tomorrow calling for planning policy to protect the character of residential areas.

Anna Lo said: “There needs to be stringent measures put in place on planning to adequately protect the environment. I am proposing a motion in the Assembly tomorrow which aims to ensure that residential planning laws are strong enough to protect the character of neighbourhoods and allow for mixed housing.

“We are keeping the pressure on the Environment Minister to deal with the current planning chaos that exists and we will continue to push the Executive to get back to work. Our countryside remains one of our most valuable tourism resources. In order for this asset to be protected, PPS 14 must be implemented quickly. This measure is essential in order to make sure that we will not suffer a bungalow blitz.

“Obviously, we will take into account the need of people who live in the countryside, but we can not allow over-development as it would seriously damage the environment.

“We plan to talk to the other main parties in the coming weeks to address the Executive’s failure to tackle segregation and to get them to do more to protect the environment through appropriate planning measures.”


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