South Tyrone bucks the trend as planning applications halve
PLANNING applications across Northern Ireland have hit a new low - but Dungannon people are lodging more plans than anywhere else.
Whereas there has been a huge drop in the number of homes getting planning permission across the province, planners were inundated with 1,327 planning applications for the South Tyrone area in the last year, the most for any district in the North.
A total of 1,247 local applications were approved, a success rate of 92% which is roughly the Northern Ireland average.
The latest Quarterly Development Management Bulletin figures show that for the period October – December 2011, just over 3,300 applications were received across Northern Ireland, which is well under half the level of four years ago when over 7,500 applications were received and a decrease of 10 per cent compared with the same period in 2010.
Over the same period, planning applications for residential development fell by over a quarter while commercial developments, which include retail and office developments, continued to fall sharply with a drop of 54 per cent compared with the third quarter 2010, from 337 applications to 155.
The figures show that staff at the local planning office in Omagh have been busier than anywhere else.
As well as residential and commercial applications, the submitted plans included proposals for wind farm and single wind turbines,
Dungannon District currently has the highest number of wind farms of any council area in Northern Ireland. There are five wind farms sited in the local district, with Coleraine District the next highest with four.
Last year four out of five applications involving renewable energy were approved.
Environment Minister Alex Atwood has welcomed the sharp increase in renewable energy applications.
“I put a strong emphasis on the contribution that renewable energy makes to the environment and economy of the North and I am pleased to note that applications for renewable energy have more than doubled in the last four to five years.
“Approval rates are high, with four out of five renewable applications approved. including every one of the applications for hydroelectric projects, biomass and anaerobic digesters. “This is all good news for developing our green economy, a key objective of mine. Renewable electricity and technology is our single biggest economic opportunity and our aim is to be world leader in carbon reduction.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South west
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Wind direction: South west