“people within the system must not be allowed to resist that because of their own prejudices..”

Not content with lobbying his own departmental officials, on behalf of individual planning applications, the Northern Ireland Environment Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, has now publicly criticised Planning Service for refusing a planning application for what would have been Belfast’s tallest building – the 109 metres tall, 37 storey, Aurora tower. From the iol report

The East Antrim Assembly member, who is also a Belfast City councillor, said if he had the power to the make the call on the Aurora he would have definitely given it the green light. “There are still those within the planning system who see their role as being totally divorced from the well being of the economy,” he said.

“They see their job as just ticking boxes, interpreting policies and quoting policies and don’t think they’ve a role in generating jobs, giving people a livelihood or generating economic growth. “Some professional planners are so inside their own boxes that they don’t see the wider picture. “There are currently millions of pounds of investment from private developers held up in the planning system.”