COUNCILLORS here are almost twice as likely to overturn decisions made by planning officials than councillors elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
Figures contained in an Audit Office report show that members of Causeway Coast and Glens Planning Committee rejected their officials’ recommendation in almost one-in -four applications tabled at monthly meetings.
That compares to a one-in-eight Northern Ireland-wide average.
The borough’s the third highest “overturn rate” in the province and, while auditors singled out no individual council, they conclude that some rates are so high, “immediate action” is required to ensure the system is operating “fairly and appropriately.”
That's because in Northern Ireland, if a planning committee refuses a planning application, then the applicant has a right of appeal.
But where the planning committee grants an application contrary to official advice, there is no right of appeal for objectors.
“We have concerns that this is an area which has limited transparency,” the report states.
For more see this week's Chronicle