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Council Planning performance acknowledged in new report

24 September 2021
Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Department has performed highly in the DfI Northern Ireland Planning Statistics 2020/21 Annual Statistical Bulletin, members of the Planning Committee were informed at their monthly meeting at the Guildhall this week.
 
The report, which is a statistical publication collated by NISRA, provides finalised activity and performance figures for 2020/21 and contains detailed information and analyses across all 11 of the local Councils and is available to view online at -  https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-irelandplanning-statistics-april-2020-march-2021
 
According to the report, Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Service experienced the highest number of Local Applications across Northern Ireland, accounting for 14.9% of applications and is one of only three local Councils who met their Local Target during the pandemic.
 
Head of Planning with Council, Maura Fox, explained that Derry City and Strabane District Council also received the highest reduction in 12 month cases in NI from 26.2% to 18.2%, a reduction of 8%.
She added that Council still remained the second highest approval rate in NI, with a figure of 98.6%.
 
The Planning Chief said it had been a good year for the Council's Planning team, who worked tirelessly during the pandemic to provide this essential service and also to deal with an increase in applications.
 
She said improvement in the enforcement target was particularly noteworthy, as well as the work being done to address historic cases and a backlog of applications that can sometimes easily eschew other good performances due to the low overall numbers.
 
Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Cllr Kieran McGuire, who chaired yesterday's meeting, acknowledged the important role of Council Planning officers and praised the ongoing progress in the processing of applications despite the current limitations and challenges.
 
He said while these were unique and challenging circumstances, every effort was being made to continue to make positive progress with all Planning services. He reassured the public that Council acknowledges the importance of the service and remains committed to move forward with decisions and processes as best they can.
 
Members took the opportunity to extend their thanks to all the staff in the Planning section for their ongoing commitment and hard work throughout the pandemic and the important role they have played in allowing regeneration and development to continue during this difficult climate.
 
To view the committee paper – click on this link - http://meetings.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com/documents/s36049/Item%2012%20-%20Annual%20Performance%20Managament%20Statistics%202020%202021.pdf
 
Details of the report are available to read in full here -
https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-planning-statistics-april-2020-march-2021