Frustrations that planning applications sit in the system “for a considerable amount of time” – Armagh I


A Portadown councilor has expressed frustration that planning applications which have been with planning staff from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​Borough Council for a long time are struggling to make it to committee.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee on Wednesday, September 7, Councilor Darryn Causby praised planning staff for the progress made in reducing the number of requests on the delegated list.

However, the DUP representative also expressed frustration at a number of nominations, specifically referring to one in Gilford over a petrol station, being removed from the committee’s schedule at short notice.

“I appreciate that there has been pressure on workloads and we have seemed like some movement on the delegate list and that is to be welcomed,” said Cllr Causby.

“However, I note that there are some requests in the system for a significant period that were scheduled to come to this committee and were withdrawn on short notice.

“I will be explicit and name Gilford and the Gilford service station and just say that I am deeply frustrated that I cannot get a resolution to this planning request.

“If additional information comes in, it should be appended to a report rather than being taken off a timeline and not fed into this forum.”

Plans for £2m EuroSpar service station in Gilford – creating 30 jobs – ready to go

Emphasizing that he is neither for nor against this particular request, Cllr Causby explained that his frustration was due to the fact that a number of requests are often removed from the agenda of the planning committee due to the late submission of evidence.

“These decisions are up to the elected members, we know this application meets the criteria to come here anyway and I would like her to do so as soon as possible to close the application and remove it from the planners office,” he said. .

“The sooner we get it back here the better, it’s gone on far too long and I don’t give an opinion on the app or express one in any way shape or form, I don’t am neither for nor against this application.

“I’m just pointing out that a number of applications have been delayed due to late information. We go long enough now and are experienced enough to pass judgment

“There are several others who are stuck with judicial reviews and I will declare an interest because after lobbying for Portadown Elim Church on behalf of their claim this has now been in the system for far too long but I understand that he is detained by a judicial review which is in progress.

Noting that he had worked on this bid during his tenure as an MP, so he would not participate in any debate or vote on the bid, Alderman Sydney Anderson claimed it had been in the system for “six years now” and said declared to the chamber that should be a sufficient quantity to present it to the chamber.

“The people of Gilford want a decision on this as soon as possible,” Alderman Anderson said.

“It’s been six years now and that should be enough time to sort out the issues and get them to the committee. I’d like to think we could get it running in a lot less time than that.

Telling the chamber he understood the frustrations expressed, committee chair Alderman Gareth Wilson reminded everyone that the request will be dealt with by the committee in due course.

“It has to be concluded by this committee and the members who will review it cannot give an opinion at this stage without taking into account other information to come on this subject and which will come with time,” he said. declared.

“I understand the frustrations and appreciate that Alderman Anderson will not be involved in the decision, but it is important that we respect the workings of the committee and he will return in due course.

“Hopefully as soon as possible in terms of general board operations and I’m glad it’s back in time and being dealt with in a full and transparent manner.”

Alderman Glenn Barr noted the topic being discussed and asked if, given that this is a live application, the meeting should be moved to confidential business.

However, the committee chair said he was happy with what had been discussed so far, but wanted to close the discussion.

“I’m glad we don’t talk about it anymore,” Alderman Wilson said.

“Cllr Causby made his point and he was adamant it’s purely from the performance of the committee in terms of timeliness so I’m glad that’s a reasonable comment.

“I am also pleased with Alderman Anderson’s comments as he will not participate in the discussion on the item and has made his position clear.

“I am less happy with the general discussion of the pros and cons of this part of the meeting, especially since it is a live application and so I would like it not to be discussed. more because we’ll talk about it when the time is right.”

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