NORTHERN Ireland’s planning service is not fit for purpose. So says the Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee. Who would have thought it!
After years of public inquiries, lengthy delays in getting approval for a conservatory and a postcode lottery on waiting times, the planning service has been long the butt of criticism.
But, the saddest and funniest part of the report from the committee is the delay in the Planning Service project to enable people to make planning applications online.
The project is overdue and is some stupid percentage over-budget.
The old saying is that one should not seek to re-invent the wheel. Should the officials in the planning service used that new fangled tool ‘Google’ they may have stumbled across www.planningportal.gov.uk.
On this site you can make an online planning application, check building regulations and even learn about developing a ‘greener’ home.
Sort of like the thing Northern Ireland Planning Service wanted to develop.
If senior officials got bonuses for overdue projects, think what they would have got had they delivered on time by speaking to colleagues in England. Someone should raise this with the Environment Minister before planning is devolved to local councils.