Sinn Féin MLA Liz Kimmins has expressed frustration at the lack of action on Extensions to planning permission as the COVID-19 crisis has halted work on sites across the north.
The Newry and Armagh MLA stated:
“During this crisis I have continually raised the concerns of many people whose planning permission is due to lapse.
“Planning renewal costs have been reduced but the fact is people’s planning is at risk of expiring, through no fault of their own, and they should not have to pay.
“I have urged the Minister for Infrastructure to look at quickly progressing legislation to address this.
“Planning permission has been extended in Scotland and measures have also been taken in the south.
“The problem of lapsing planning permission during the crisis can be addressed as seen in other jurisdictions. However, we have seen no progress by the Department of Infrastructure on this issue in the north.
“I have repeatedly asked the Department to state how many planning permissions are at risk of falling, but I have received no response.
“There is a growing frustration that the issue of planning permission is just being ignored despite the impact it is having on people.
“The Department needs to consider bringing forward legislation on extending planning permission, including looking at the possibility of it being retroactively applied to deal with those that have already lapsed during COVID-19.”