Planning Staff, Brian Wilson North Down Councillor, first Green Party MLA in Northern Ireland

Removal of 300 Planning Staff

Removal of 300 Planning Staff by Green Party MLA Brian WilsonAssembly member Brian Wilson has condemned a decision by the Environment Minister to redeploy 300 Planning Service staff.

Mr. Wilson, a member of the Environment Committee has described the decision as short sighted: “Minister Poots’ decision to get rid of so many skilled and experienced planners is premature, short sighted and defeatist. It will inevitability lead to severe problems when the economy picks up again. The Minister appears to have forgotten what it was like a few years ago when there was a shortage of qualified planners, leading to a massive backlog in planning applications. Surely the Minister could have redeployed these planners to other areas of the Planning Service, such as Area Plans, including BMAP which is years behind.”

Mr. Wilson MLA said: “It is ridiculous of the Minister to get rid of experienced planners when there is still work to be done and whose skills are likely to be required in the future when there is a resurgence in economic activity.”

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