Northern Ireland

Planning applications: Only one NI council met processing target

Wind turbines Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Renewable energy applications fell by 39% when compared with the previous year

Only one Northern Ireland council met the statutory 30-week average target for processing major planning applications last year.

The detail is contained in an annual statistical report published by the Department for Infrastructure.

Major applications are defined as those that have important economic, social and environmental implications for a council area.

Only Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council met the target.

At Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, the average time taken was more than 70 weeks.

Turbines

The time taken to process a decision is calculated from the date on which an application is deemed valid to the date on which the decision is issued or the application is withdrawn.

Overall, there were 12,220 planning applications received in Northern Ireland in 2015-16, a fall of 5% on the previous financial year.

The number of renewable energy applications, which are mainly for wind turbines, fell by 39% when compared with the previous year and were down by three fifths when compared with 2011-12.

The total number of applications, across all types of development, is still more than 60% below the pre-crash peak.