DFI Roads

Part of Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Linda Dillon Linda Dillon Sinn Féin 12:15, 6 December 2021

An issue that is causing serious problems in my constituency is DFI Roads' response to the planners. It is causing serious delays with the planning of individual homes and businesses. A particular case in my constituency, where there will be a massive investment by the council and a new school build, has been put at severe risk because of DFI Roads' failure to respond. I understand that that is due to a lack of human resource to respond to a number of planning applications.

Today, I call on the Minister to look at what resource is available and at future resource planning. This is not an issue within the Planning Service or the council. It is down to the failure of DFI Roads to respond to planning issues. It is impacting on people who are building their homes. We have just heard about the importance of a home and people being able to stay in their rural communities. It is also important for us to develop businesses in a very rural constituency — a constituency that needs all the economic investment that it can get and, most importantly, a new school build for our children. Other Members have talked today about the importance of our children and young people. It is important that they have a proper educational setting as a starting point. I call on the Minister, if she is listening today, to please look at what resource is available. I am not sure whether it is a wider issue across the North. I have not heard about it in other constituencies, but it is an issue in my constituency.