Category: Planning / Environment

  • Planning Bill: Final Stage (Assembly)

    Planning Bill: Final Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, Monday 23 March 2011 I declare an interest as a member of North Down Borough Council who has been involved in very many planning applications. The Bill is obviously one of the most important to have come before the Assembly. However, I am concerned about its impact over the next decades and about its late […]

  • Planning Bill: Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Planning Bill: Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, 08 March 2011 I will deal first with third-party appeals. In my election campaign, I said that, if I was elected to the Assembly, I would promote third-party appeals. Therefore, I welcome this amendment. However, I now see that, because of the petition of concern, my vote on the issue becomes irrelevant. Not […]

  • High Hedges Bill: Further Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    High Hedges Bill: Further Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, Monday 07 March 2011 I welcome the amendment. High hedges and trees have been a major issue in my constituency. As a member of North Down Borough Council, I have dealt with many such cases over the past 30 years. Indeed, I was involved in drawing up a number of my constituents’ responses to Lord Rooker’s consultation, […]

  • Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill: Final Stage (Assembly)

    Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill: Final Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, Monday 01 March 2011 I welcome the Bill, which is long overdue. It is time that we had an update to the protection of wildlife. As the Chairperson said, perhaps it does not go far enough. Neverthe­less, there is much in the legislation to welcome. It is important that the Bill will introduce […]

  • Single Use Plastic Bags Bill: Second Stage (Assembly)

    Single Use Plastic Bags Bill: Second Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, 28 February 2011 I have supported a levy on plastic bags for many years and I, therefore, welcome the Bill. I support it not on economic grounds — although something like £4·7 million for the green new deal, to which other Members referred, would be welcome — but on environmental grounds. Indeed, […]

  • High Hedges Bill: Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    High Hedges Bill: Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, 21 February 2011 I too welcome the legislation. High hedges are a very common problem in North Down. In fact, I have been involved in a number of disputes — [Laughter.] Sorry, I have been involved in trying to resolve a number of disputes between neighbours. They are extremely difficult and some people are particularly […]

  • Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill: Further Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill: Further Consideration Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, 07 February 2011 It was 40 years ago when my former colleague the late MP for Bangor Bertie McConnell first introduced such a Bill to the old Northern Ireland Parliament. Although it was passed by the Commons, it was delayed by the Senate and fell when the Parliament was abolished in 1972. My North Down Alliance […]

  • Planning Bill: Second Stage (Assembly)

    Planning Bill: Second Stage (Assembly)

    Northern Ireland Assembly, 14 December 2010 The Planning Bill is probably the most important Bill to come before the Assembly, as it will affect all planning decisions for decades to come. To develop our economy, we need a new planning system, as the present system is not fit for purpose. No one is happy with the […]