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Minister tables Bill making changes to planning process

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, at a press conference (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Legislation intended to make it easier to change the use of buildings was tabled in the House of Assembly.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, told MPs that the Development and Planning Amendment Act 2022 would amend the Development and Planning Act to allow some orders to be subject to negative resolution procedures, allowing them to come into effect without being signed off on by Parliament.

“The proposed amendment will allow for an expedited legislative process which provides the flexibility to make new use classes orders or any future changes to any such orders, where required,” he said.

The Bill will also revoke the Development and Planning (Use Classes) Order 1975, which he said was “extremely out of date”, and lay the groundwork for an updated Order which would eliminate the need to apply for planning permission for some changes of use.

“For example, under the 2022 Order, a real estate office could be changed to a bank or doctor’s office without the need to apply for planning permission,” Mr Roban said.

“The 2022 Order also represents a necessary first step for further future changes.

“A future change currently being developed will allow for ‘permitted changes of use’ to be introduced wherein planning permission will not be required to change between classes in certain limited instances.”

Mr Roban said that the legislation had already been factored into upcoming plans, including the City of Hamilton Plan 2022 Consultative Draft, which he said would be published once the amendments were approved.

“With this upcoming draft in mind, for example, under the forthcoming amendments, a restaurant in the City of Hamilton could be changed to a shop without the need to apply for planning permission,” he said.

Mr Roban said the Bill and associated Orders were “critical to the development of future planning policy” and streamlining measures within the Department of Planning.

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Published November 21, 2022 at 7:41 am (Updated November 21, 2022 at 7:41 am)

Minister tables Bill making changes to planning process

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