Planning Permission: Craigavon

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent estimate he has made of the time taken to process planning applications in the Craigavon planning office.

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also Scotland Office), Scotland Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (also Scotland Office), Northern Ireland Office

I am aware of the significant workload pressures in all six divisional planning offices, especially Craigavon, which have resulted in increased processing times for planning applications. This has been exacerbated by a recent and unprecedented loss of experienced planning staff. The situation is assessed on an on-going basis and various modernisation and reform measures, which continue to be implemented, are expected to help performance over the next year. In addition, an extensive programme of recruitment/promotion has just been completed to allow staff vacancies to be filled and this should also lead to an improvement in processing times.

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