With local government in Northern Ireland due to take full responsibility for planning matters as of April next year, a delegation of councillors and officials from Mid-Ulster District Council last week visited North Ayrshire to learn from local planners.
The two-day visit involved meetings about planning procedures, including codes of conduct, training and preparation of reports. The Irish delegation also attended last week’s meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s Planning Committee to see the process in action.
Cllr Marie Burns, North Ayrshire’s SNP Cabinet member for Economy and Employment, said, “It was a really useful exercise, not only for Mid-Ulster District Council but also for ourselves. It’s always helpful to get input and build relationships with other local authorities.
“Our procedures are well established and ensure the planning process runs smoothly. We hope Mid-Ulster took a lot from the visit and that it gave them plenty to work on as they move forward.”
Cáthal Mallaghan, Presiding Councillor (Chair) of Mid-Ulster District Council, noted, “As we prepare to take on a new role in planning next year, the opportunity to see an established committee in operation and to meet and talk to the councillors delivering the service, was invaluable.
“North Ayrshire councillors and staff were generous with their time, and their willingness to share their expertise and experience was greatly appreciated by the entire Mid-Ulster delegation.”