Planning Service functions for the new ABC Council are to remain at Marlborough House in Craigavon – for now!
But the service will eventually relocate to Banbridge on a date yet to be confirmed, it has been revealed.
With introduction of new arrangements for planning across the province, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council now has its own dedicated Planning Office for the new Council area.
In preparation for the transfer of planning to councils on April 1, the DOE has been increasing the number of its planning offices over the past number of months.
This increase is to align offices with the new council areas so that each will have its own planning office prior to transfer.
Some work has transferred from the Planning Office in Marlborough House, Craigavon, to these new offices, leaving the staff and work of the office solely dedicated to the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area.
Welcoming this change, Minister Mark H Durkan said: “Planning reform is about bringing forward improvements to the planning system – improvements that will bring planning closer to the public and make it easier for the public to access and participate in the planning process.
“This is part of the wider local government reform programme which will ultimately deliver local councils which are more effective, more efficient and more responsive to the needs of their local business and community.
“All 11 new councils need to be ready to assume their new responsibilities when planning functions are formally transferred to them.
“Having a dedicated planning office for the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council area is another important step forward in this preparation and will help deliver a smooth and seamless transfer on 1 April.”
Presiding Councillor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Councillor Darryn Causby said: “The fact that ABC will have its own dedicated planning office is good news for all our ratepayers and it’s even better that they are staying, for the time being, in their established offices in Marlborough House.
“The Planning Office will eventually relocate to Banbridge, details of which will be published closer to the time. However, for now, normal service is maintained – good news for our ratepayers.”
All planning applications and queries for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area should be directed to Marlborough House, Craigavon.
Planning services for the area will continue to be delivered from Marlborough House after planning transfers to the council until the relocation to Banbridge.
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