Developers and industry stakeholders attend City Hall event for consultation on Belfast’s future development
20 Sep 2018
Developers, architects and planning industry stakeholders were at City Hall this morning to share feedback on the Belfast Local Development Plan draft Plan Strategy and Developer Contributions Framework.
Belfast City Council unveiled the document in August as a framework for guiding decisions on how the city will grow to meet ambitious targets laid out in the Belfast Agenda - and from today (Thursday 20 September) it is open for formal consultation.
The Local Development Plan seeks to guide investment in Belfast, setting out how the city should develop in the future. The draft Plan Strategy sets out the overall aspirations for the future growth of the city and policies to be used in assessing development proposals.
At City Hall today, stakeholders also heard about why council is consulting on the draft Developer Contributions Framework which is guidance used when assessing relevant planning applications across Belfast and to manage the impacts of new development on the city, its infrastructure and environment.
Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: "Once in place, the Local Development Plan will guide all planning decisions so that's why it's vital that people engage in the formal consultation process.
“We formally opened our consultation today, with an event engaging developers and planning industry stakeholders alongside an open session for our residents, businesses and statutory partners.
“The plan will have implications for everyone living in Belfast and not just developers. Therefore, before we finalise this part of our plan, we want to gather the views of all those involved in and impacted by planning decisions."
The event in City Hall today was also open to the public, providing an opportunity to find out about the Local Development Plan and the draft plan strategy, with council staff on hand to answer any questions on the consultation.
Drop-in consultation events are being held in communities across Belfast where people can learn more about the draft plan strategy and have their say. The next one is at Olympia Leisure Centre on Tuesday 25 September (6pm - 8pm).
The draft plan strategy for the Belfast Local Development Plan sets out the ambitions and policies for housing, infrastructure and sustainable growth in Belfast, and follows extensive consultation with residents, businesses and statutory partners last year. Among the priorities for the plan strategy is a focus on inner Belfast and providing new homes in the city centre, maximising the potential for development in accessible locations and support for more sustainable proposals that recognise the realities of climate change.
Councillor Matt Garrett, chair of Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee, said: "This is a significant milestone in the delivery of the Local Development Plan and gives a sense of the kind of city we’re seeking to create – global and forward thinking, but with a focus on ensuring everyone feels the benefits of our ambitions.
“Inclusive growth has been key to our work since we gained new powers under Local Government Reform in 2015, and this draft plan strategy outlines some of the ways we plan to achieve this, from identifying the need for nearly 32,000 new homes to ensuring we can accommodate the investment required to fulfil our goal of bringing 46,000 extra jobs to Belfast.”
The draft plan strategy is now available to view online and in person until 15 November, with residents, developers and statutory partners able to share their feedback from today.
Councillor Matt Garrett added: "The draft Developer Contributions Framework is designed to bring greater transparency and certainty to the planning applications process. It also aims to clarify for the development community and residents the main circumstances when the council may use planning agreements to secure developer contributions for wider planning purposes.”
To join in the conversation on Twitter, follow @belfastcc and use #BelfastLDP. You can also sign up for reminders about the LDP process at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/LDP