The Lagan Valley Island Civic Centre will be the headquarters for planning services in the new Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
Planning and council staff will be based in Lisburn, it was confirmed this week, with the council hoping that the location will make it easier for Lisburn people to access services.
Planning staff currently work for the Department of the Environment, which has responsibility for this service up until April 1, but will transfer to the new council in six weeks’ time.
The Presiding Councillor, Councillor James Tinsley, said: “The transfer of some government powers to councils is part of the local government reform programme. From 1st April councils will control localised planning, which includes planning applications decision-making for householders and businesses in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.
“The aim is to make it simple for people to ask a question on planning or to receive advice. The council will listen to the local area and ultimately deliver more effective and efficient local authorities.
“From April 1 Planning Staff will work for the new Council and will deal with localised planning for the area,” he said.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee for Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Cllr David Drysdale visited the new planning offices with Cllr Tinsley, the chief executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson and the new director of development and planning, Mr Colin McClintock.
Mr Drysdale said: “I am really impressed with the new office space and would like to welcome the Planning team for Lisburn and Castlereagh to the area.
“It is significant that come Vesting Day, April 1 that the planning team will be in place to meet the needs of the local area and to deliver enhanced services to the local community and businesses.”
Dr Donaldson said: “Councils will take steps to allow our services to be tailored to local people.
“We will be working to make the planning process accessible for local people to participate.” The Planning Service is working to ensure that its normal planning service is maintained, in the interim, until the new Lisburn & Castlereagh Council comes into being.
You can contact the Planning Service for Lisburn and Castlereagh on T: 0300 200 7830 (NI Only) or T: 028 91 513101.