Planning at Stormont?
Northern Ireland’s environment minister
Mark H Durkan dropped the Planning Bill,
describing it as “bad law”
This angered the DUP, who are allegedly said to be the only party backing this deal.
They described it as an “antidemocratic decision“.
“Defying the democratic will of the assembly severely damages the credibility of the SDLP,” DUP chief whip Peter Weir warned.
“Despite a majority of nationalists and unionists being in favour of this legislation Mr Durkan is allowing party politics to cloud his judgment and defy the will of the assembly.”
What sort of a barrister is Mr Weir if he’s advocating majority rule to pass anti-EU legislation?
Peter Weir, called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1992, former editor of the Ulster Review, member of Queen’s University Senate since 1996 and of the University Convocation
refused to support the Belfast Agreement of 1998,
saying in one television interview that the only positive comment he could summon for the Agreement was that it was “very nicely typed”
He belongs to the Orange Order
and the Royal Black Preceptory.
Translation from Orangespeak to standard English:
No defiance, please Mr Durkhan, We’re Loyalists here. We’ll make allowances just this once for a temporary lapse on your part but please remember that in each and every circumstance , Croppies must lie down!!
What is the Planning Bill?
Introduced in January 2013 by Alex Attwood it was supposed to streamline the planning system and speed up decision making.
It was part of The Stormont Executive’s commitment to their joint development plan, a new package of proposals to rebalance the NI economy and secure a shared future for all its people,a pact that was signed in Downing Street.
The Republic of Ireland’s only role was to send tourists up North.
In June most MLAs knew little about what was being proposed in two last-minute amendments but voted for them anyway
These amendments (if they had proven legally tight) would have handed absolute power to the DUP and Sinn Fein to:
set Enterprise Zones exactly where they wanted them (and reap the maximum political advantage);
wave through almost any economic project that took their (or their political backer’s) fancy;
and defy the courts and by extension ordinary citizens any legal redress against OFMdFM decisions in this regard.
Were the amendments an attempted power grab?
A cooked-up opportunity to control exactly which communities and which developers get the plum economic opportunities and which don’t?
Were they introduced to satisfy the request of any particular company?
What’s Mr Cameron going to do once he learns the pact he signed has already gone the way of so much else in Northern Ireland?
Would all this happen in London or Dublin? Edinburgh or Cardiff?
(to be continued)