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There are likely to be significant changes to planning legislation on the horizon since the NI Assembly’s recent announcement that ROMPs legislation will be commenced in the coming months.
Department for Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, has announced that she will commence the Review of Old Mineral Permissions legislation, known as ROMPs, early in the next mandate, despite provisions to allow for this having been in place since 2006.
ROMPs, contained in Schedule 2 & 3 of the Planning Act (NI) 2011, will bring about significant changes for the quarrying industry and local councils alike. The legislation introduces a requirement to review old mineral planning permissions and initiating periodic review of other mineral planning permissions.
Concerns of councils, as to the additional burden reviewing hard rock quarries as required by the implementation of the legislation, were addressed by Minister Mallon who confirmed that her officials will work together with councils in considering a phased approach and introducing a fee for ROMPs applications, as appropriate.
Minister Mallon acknowledged that for the effective commencement of ROMPs, additional legislation will be necessary; as such, further delay with their introduction is inevitable.
New legislation may be introduced early in the next mandate and it will be interesting to see how when this is progressed by the next administration. Powers to introduce ROMPs have been in place since 2006 but not prioritised to date.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised above, please feel free to contact our Planning & Environment team.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.