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Coronavirus causing planning approval delays in NI

The Northern Ireland Executive has revealed that planning applications in the second quarter of 2020/21 were up 42 per cent on the previous quarter. When compared to the same period in the previous year, applications were up 12 per cent.


A total of 3,288 planning applications were received, of which 3,255 were for local applications.

Of the majority of local planning applications, the average processing time was up was up by 4.6 weeks of the same period last year to 18.4 weeks, falling short of the 15-week target.

However, caution must be used when interpreted these statistics, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact on working life and the construction industry.


Micheál O’Sullivan, Director and Senior Environmental Consultant at OSM, said, “It is fantastic to see the construction industry getting back on its feet again following the wave of coronavirus pandemic.

“Is it unfortunate, though understandable, how processing times for such large caseloads are taking longer than usual.

“Having previously worked within NIEA, they have stringent standards in order to ensure the safety and feasibility of all projects. For an outsider, it can be hard to navigate this system efficiently, which is why we enjoy using our regulatory knowledge to progress environmental assessments for our clients’ applications with minimal fuss.”


To get help with any environmental assessments required for your planning applications, contact the team at OSM here.

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