Mallon encourages the public to get involved in planning

Date published: 17 May 2021


Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon is encouraging the public to get involved in planning.

DfI Minister Nichola Mallon
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon

The Department and Community Places are co-hosting a virtual “Planning Your Place: Getting Involved” community engagement event on Tuesday 25 May.  Speakers from across Europe will present at four online sessions. They will use examples to demonstrate the importance of community engagement in planning, the range of methods that can reach out and involve local communities in decisions that impact them, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has increased creativity and innovation in community engagement.

This event is part of the work of the Planning Engagement Partnership, established by Nichola Mallon, Minister for Infrastructure, last October to look at how to improve community engagement in planning, and help to improve the planning system experience for users. The comments and ideas that are discussed at the online sessions will help shape recommendations to enhance community engagement, which will be presented in a Report to the Minister.

Minister Mallon said:

“Planning decisions are at the heart of every local community and therefore can have an effect on everyday life within that community.  Over the last year, every one of us has been more community based as result of the pandemic and this has perhaps provided an opportunity for us to think more about where we live and the facilities around us and how those impact on our lives. The planning system is in place to ensure that the right things in terms of roads, hospitals, schools, houses, shops are built in the right places. 

This event will give people a chance to hear from speakers from across Europe about the importance of communities getting involved in the planning process. It is also an opportunity to share comments and ideas about how to improve community engagement in planning, here in our place. Improving community engagement in planning is of huge benefit to society as a whole – to our communities, the economy and the environment.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department for Infrastructure and Community Places are co-hosting this event with the support of the Planning Engagement Partnership.
  2. The overall purpose of the Planning Engagement Partnership is to enhance the quality and depth of community engagement in the planning process at both the regional and local planning authority levels. The Partnership will prepare a final report, including a series of recommendations for improvement, to be presented to the Minister by the summer. More information on the work of the Planning Engagement Partnership and the online event on the 25 May is available at: Planning Engagement Partnership (PEP).
  3. The Department chairs the Partnership and is being assisted by Community Places, an independent and not-for-profit organisation with 30 years’ expertise in planning, community planning and engagement. More information on this organisation is available at: Community Places.
  4. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.  Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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