New Interim Planning Commission meets today

Date published: 24 February 2023


The first meeting of the interim Regional Planning Commission took place today, 24 February 2023.

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The Commission, recommended by the previous NI Assembly Public Accounts Committee, has been formed on an interim basis to advise and provide support to the important work being taken forward by central and local government to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system.

The interim Commission will be independently chaired by Rosemary Thomas, former Chief Planner for Wales, whose knowledge, skills and experience as an independent senior leader in the planning field, will help guide and support the positive progression of the planning improvement agenda. 

Commenting after the meeting Rosemary Thomas said: “I relish this opportunity, as chair of the interim Commission, to contribute to the improvement of the planning system in NI. I am confident that the skills and experience which I gained in Wales will prove useful, as many of the challenges facing planning across the British Isles are very similar.”

The membership of the Commission, which is being set up on an interim basis, reflects key stakeholder interests across the economic, community and environment sectors, along with senior representatives of central and local government.  The support of the interim Commission will be invaluable in progressing the changes needed to ensure that we have a planning system which supports sustainable development and delivers for everyone.

Notes to editors: 

  1. A key recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee report on Planning in Northern Ireland (March 2022) was that a Regional Planning Commission be established.
  2. Members of the Interim Commission include representatives of CBI; NI Chamber of Commerce; Community Places; Rural Community Network and NI Environment Link. A second representative from the environmental sector shall sit on this Board and will be confirmed before the next meeting. The Department for Infrastructure and Solace are also represented.  The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) will perform the role of secretariat to the group. 
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  4. 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.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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