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This publication contains the written answers to questions tabled by Members. The content of the responses is as received at the time from the relevant Minister or representative of the Assembly Commission and has not been subject to the official reporting process or changed in any way.

Friday 11 September 2009

Written Answers to Questions


e-Pic Project

Mr J Shannon asked the Minister of the Environment (i) if any staff within the Planning Service have been held responsible for the significant delays and cost overruns in the management of the e-PIC project; and (ii) have any staff involved with the project been disciplined, demoted, transferred, or dismissed, in connection with the failure to meet targets for the implementation of the project.

(AQW 8102/09)

Minister of the Environment (Mr S Wilson): There have been many factors which caused delay and cost overruns on the ePIC project, in particular the complexity of the solution required to support planning in Northern Ireland. A high level of unavoidable personnel turnover within the Planning Service and within the consortium of contractors, at earlier stages of the project, was also a factor. None of the difficulties which caused delays and cost overruns is directly attributable to staff involved in the project and no staff have been disciplined, demoted, transferred or dismissed.


Mr D O'Loan asked the Minister of the Environment if a dwelling approved on a farm under draft PPS21 must be of a certain size, design or type; and to detail the criteria used for these factors.

(AQW 36/10)

Minister of the Environment: Draft PPS 21 does not specify the size, design or type of dwelling which will be acceptable on a farm. However, Policy CTY 13, which deals with the integration and design of buildings, states that a new building will be unacceptable where (among other things), the design is inappropriate for the site and its locality.


Mr D O'Loan asked the Minister of the Environment when a complete, detailed PPS21 will be in place.

(AQW 37/10)

Minister of the Environment: I will discuss the finalisation of PPS21 with the Executive Subcommittee on the Review of Rural Planning Policy. The final version will be put in place after it has been agreed by the Executive.