Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Profile for GwenK9

This user has not yet written a description

Latest posts from GwenK9 (see all)

GwenK9 has posted 2 times (0 in the last month).

‘That’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Got Us Into’: Sinn Féin, the DUP and the Planning Bill

Sun 20 October 2013, 8:29pm

Tweet We now have a new contender to add to the collection of misjudged, irrational and counter-productive legislative initiatives; the 2013 Planning Bill. This began as a relatively well-intentioned attempt to tweak the current planning system in advance of handing over most planning powers to the new local authorities in 2015. However this has evolved […] more »

The NI Planning Bill 2013: A goldmine for lawyers, a field day for objectors and a mess for the rest of us?

Fri 1 February 2013, 8:00am

Tweet Planning law isn’t something that usually excites a lot of people, but hidden away in the Planning Bill, published on Monday 14th January is something that should arouse even the most flaccid of neo-liberals. Taken for granted by most of us, the planning system should act on behalf of all of us to ensure […] more »

Latest comments from GwenK9 (see all)

GwenK9 has commented 2 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Planning Bill: Or how OFMdFM dropped the ball on their end of the Downing Street economic pact?
    on 23 October 2013 at 5:01 pm

    The issue of the legal advice that SF and DUP supposedly got from the Attorney General (AG) is an interesting point. While Minister Durkan has published his legal advice, the one secured by SF and DUP in support of these amendments has not been made public. Durkan’s appears to align with the dominant view, so I suspect a bit of smoke and mirrors if Peter Weir and Cathal Boylan still insist that they have advice that said the Amendments were within the law. My suggestion is that SF-DUP’s legal advice may have said that it is within the law to PASS these clauses, but it would certainly say that it would be illegal to ACT on them. If this is the case, then both MLA’s have not been entirely upfront and only a release of their advice would clarify. Indeed, Peter Weir has noted that a further vote in the Assembly would be needed to operationalise either of these late amendments and he has sought some protection in this.

    So, if the Bill had been passed by the Assembly, we would have had a lame duck law which no one could have done anything as to operationalise it would have been illegal. How absurd is that?

    Nevertheless, it may have still been of use to SF-DUP as a threat to whoever held the Environment portfolio.

    If this is the case, SF-DUP have been using the legislative process and the costs involved, entirely for party political purposes, signalling yet another blatant abuse of our democratic institutions. Can we please claim costs? And can we see the AG’s advice to clear this up?

    Go to comment

  2. Comment on Countdown to revelations about planning practices
    on 31 August 2011 at 10:17 pm

    The problem with Cynic, as with many other people in NI, is that they think that development – any development – is a good thing. Somehow they’ve fallen for this notion that the more development we have the richer we get. WRONG! Many forms of development can actually leave this place economically weaker and less resilient for the future. The big supermarkets that we welcomed as a sign of normality as the Troubles ebbed away themselves result in leaking huge amounts of money out of the region in terms of profits and money to forgien suppliers, in return for a few low paid jobs. There are so many other examples of this – the urban sprawl that has been so badly planned that now thousands of us spend increasing proportions of our dwindling income on petrol to get to places of work… the homes not connected onto the main sewer system that leak into the watefrcourses and cost us thousands in clean up very year…. there are plenty of other really bad examples, and yes probably a few good ones too. The future state of our settlements and countryside, the fabric of our society, should be central to the very notion of politics – but somehow it isn’t, is it? That’s because many people have fallen for the development dream, just like Cynic. The dominant debate on planning here is less than shallow, ranging from NIMBY to NeoCon. Every civilised society needs a strong NGO community to ask the questions that developers and the politicans (that they fund) are shy of asking. I say well done to FoE for starting this debate; they’ve given us a chance to say what we think of planning, so let’s see what the survey says, but I bet it won’t be pretty reading. If it is a thumbs down for planning it can be added to the “official” condemnation of the planning system by the NI Select Affairs Committee, the NI Planning Commission and the NI Audit Office. How bad can it get before we claim our towns, cities and villages as our own?

    Go to comment

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
27 queries. 1.587 seconds.