World Town Planning Day

World Town Planning Day is held annually to celebrate the work of town planners and the contributions they make to their local communities. The World Town Planning Day conference will be held on 8th November. 

A view into local issues with WebEx

It is a 24-hour online global conference where contributors from around the globe will be making presentations via the online conferencing tool WebEx. This year there is no overarching theme for the global conference. Instead, contributors are invited to speak on the issues that are relevant within their communities.

Planning After Brexit

As a town planner working in the border area of the north-west of the island of Ireland what concerns me is the prospect of planning after #Brexit.

  • What shape will town planning in our region take without the tie of the EU to bind us?
  • Will there still be cross-border co-operation in spatial planning for our communities?
  • How will Ireland’s emerging National Planning Framework respond to #Brexit?
  • What is the prospect for the Londonderry – Letterkenny gateway in Northern Ireland’s Regional Development Strategy? 
  • Without EU Regulation, will local planning authorities on either side of the border still consult with each other on planning proposals that have transboundary impacts?

These are some of the questions I intend to address in my session for World Town Planning Day, 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday 8th November.

Transboundary Planning

This topic follows my presentation at the Irish Planning Institute’s National Planning Conference in April 2016: Transboundary environmental impact assessment and planning for wind energy projects (Slides)

In my experience, there were significant delays in getting planning consent. These delays posed a great risk to projects, and to governments achieving their renewable electricity targets.

I want my fellow planners to know about the challenges planners face when working across borders. It requires a good understanding of the planning systems in both jurisdictions, where planning guidance and policy often conflict, consultation procedures and timelines are unclear, and access to information across boundaries is disjointed. 

With #Brexit looming, and the prospect of untying of EU Regulation, I see a need for continued and even greater co-operation across borders for spatial and strategic planning to ensure a sustainable future for our communities.

Join me at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday 8th November! Celebrate town planning and the work of town planners. Follow on twitter @wtpdonlineconf

#wtpd2016 #proudofplanning #planning #planningtheworld


What does a town planner do?

When I tell people I’ve started my own business as a Consultant Town Planner, I’m often asked questions like “Oh, what is it you do?” or “Isn’t that what the Council does?” It seems there’s some confusion about what town planners actually do.

My reply is simply that use or development of property or land always involves either having to apply for planning permission or knowing whether it is exempted or permitted use or development. This is what we as town planners do.

Here at LJM Planning and Development Consultants, we provide advice and assistance for individuals and businesses to get planning permission. With my advice and assistance, someone can have greater success at getting planning permission or winning an appeal when permission is refused.

Town planning in a complex system

Local development plans set out how our communities will develop over time and the policies that guide development. As a consultant town planners, we work on behalf of land and property owners to promote sites in the development plan. We make submissions to calls for sites for housing and employment land and review and comment on draft plans and policies.

Town planning is also about interacting with the planning consenting process either objecting to or supporting proposals for development in your community. We work on behalf of businesses, homeowners, and community groups to review planning proposals that may potentially affect them or their property. After those reviews, we make submissions to planning authorities on their behalf.

Legislation and regulations govern the activities of planning. The system of planning is run by multiple levels of government and by independent bodies for planning appeals and essential infrastructure. With sound knowledge and experience of the legislation and procedures, we can manage our client’s planning projects through this complex system.

Are you looking for some advice? If you’re a land or property owner looking wondering what potential your assets have, contact us. We love a good challenge, so don’t hesitate to get in touch even if you’ve been refused planning.

Series on Town Planning

This post is the first in a series where we’ll walk you through the planning process. Subscribe to our blog for updates.

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Your Chance to “IMPROVE” Planning

Derry City and Strabane District Council want your views on planning applications in their area by launching an innovative new programme of public consultation, IMPROVE. They are seeking feedback from the public on certain planning applications which they feel are on key or prominent sites.

They would like feedback on how proposals look, making it easy for everyone to get involved. All you have to do is follow the link below, have a look at the proposal and simply respond “yes” or “no” on whether or not you are happy with this design or appearance. You can add more feedback or detailed comments if you wish. Please note that any feedback is informal and does not represent a formal submission on the application (either in support or objection). Formal feedback can be provided through the usual planning process.

A Series of Planning Applications

The first application featured in the Improve project is the proposal for 39 apartments (4 storey building) at 8-10 Victoria Road, Derry. The site is just south of Bassets plumbing centre and Dawson Hinds furniture unit, and would be prominent from many views across the city, in particular from the Craigavon Bridge, Foyle Valley Railway Station and along Victoria Road.

One application will be featured on the website each week. The applications coming up in the next few weeks are as follows:

  • Strabane Academy, w/c 24th October 2016
  • Factory Girls, Guildhall Square, w/c 31st October 2016
  • 44-52 John Street, w/c 7th November 2016
  • Café Roc, Strand Road, w/c 14th November 2016

Get Involved Early

Often people only get involved in the planning process when it is too late, when development is taking place or after applications have been granted. This is your chance to get involved at an early stage in the process, without making a formal submission on planning applications.

As Chartered Town Planners, we have vast experience in providing opinion and advice concerning planning applications. Please contact us with any queries.