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Government Planning Proposals - A Corporate Approach 26 April 2007

The Council of Ministers has agreed that in future a more corporate approach be initiated with regard to planning applications across Government. The following procedure was agreed by the Council of Ministers:

  1. the Department or Board promoting the planning proposal should liaise fully with all those Departments which might reasonably wish to comment on the same prior to submitting the planning application with a view to ensuring that the latter were content with the proposal. (It was expected that this prior consultation would provide an opportunity for most differences to be highlighted and resolved by negotiation);
  2. if it appeared, following this liaison, that a satisfactory resolution could not be secured through negotiation and adverse comment in the form of an objection or a request for some onerous condition amounting to a rejection to be attached to any approval was likely to be made by another Department, the promoting Department would refer the matter to the Council of Ministers. (In such a case, if Council considered that the matter was properly to be determined by it and did so, then Council’s determination would be regarded by the Departments concerned as established Government policy);
  3. the planning application then submitted by the promoting Department and any subsequent comments from the Departments concerned would be required to reflect the established Government policy, as determined by Council (though this determination would take account of overriding statutory responsibilities);
  4. in any case where a Department proposed to submit an adverse comment by virtue of an overriding statutory responsibility, that Department would advise the promoting Department and Council in advance of the submission of the adverse comment on the application.

The Council of Ministers also agreed to stress that no Department or other agency of Government should submit a planning application until after all relevant consultations, particularly, but not only, with the statutory consultees, have taken place; and to remind all agencies of Government that they should then seek the advice of the Director of Planning and Building Control to ensure that the development proposal is not deficient in any way before it is lodged as a formal application for consideration by the Planning Authority.

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