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Attwood responds to customer feedback on Planning

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Environment Minister Alex Attwood today responded to the customer satisfaction survey for DOE Planning.
Alex Attwood said: "As planning minister I shall be judged and judge myself on simplifying planning, faster planning, more robust enforcement, more sustainable planning and protection and positive development of our wonderful built and natural heritage. This survey confirms good satisfaction with planning but planning, DoE and I as Minister need to stretch ourselves further.

 

“Given the crucial role DOE Planning plays in making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest, it is very important that we openly ask our customers about the services provided and openly publish those results. I therefore welcome this feedback from customers which will allow DOE Planning to develop an action plan to improve the quality of service which it delivers to applicants and agents.”

 

The survey was undertaken by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

 

The Minister continued: “There is no doubt that there are many positives in the report. Four out of five people considered the professionalism of staff as satisfactory or better. DOE Planning maintained customer satisfaction levels at a time when 200 staff were redeployed outside the organisation, which has been a major challenge. An important tool in getting information across is the planningni website. It is encouraging that nine out of ten people found it satisfactory or better. Further, It is important that there are good information flows in the planning process. More than nine out of ten people rated the information received about planning from staff and DOE publications before submitting an application as satisfactory or better.

 

“There is much more though that can and is being done. Since coming to office I have made no secret of the fact that improvements needed to be made especially when it comes to actual decision making. That is why I have stepped in and made some big decisions recently, including the new golf course at Bushmills, and halting a potential Divis mark two in the Lower Falls. That is why I am ensuring that Planning takes more effective enforcement action. I look forward to the next customer survey with interest.”

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