The Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) exists to champion the provision and maintenance of the highest standards of design quality in architecture and the built environment in Northern Ireland. The MAG’s main roles are to advise the DCAL Minister on the development and implementation of the Architecture and Built Environment Policy; review progress on certain key priorities as identified by MAG; advise Government on policy implementation; conduct Design Reviews of pre and post planning applications; and implement those actions set out in the Policy. The MAG also contributes its expertise in the areas of advocacy, communication and education. I am one of 8 Members of the MAG, and was asked to co-author this paper for the MAG.This paper was prepared to give the MAG position, and advise the DCAL Minister, on DOE proposals for Planning Reform in Northern Ireland. The paper emphasises the importance of place-making, and tasks the reformed planning system to enable place-making through embedded design expertise in development plan, and determination of design quality in development control (akin to existing consultant Conservation Architects, and also embedding MAG Design Review within planning process). The paper offers a vision statement for a reformed planning system: a proactive and continually responsive management system which operates in the public interest for quality places and creative design. The paper requests that landscape character areas be revised to be inclusive of both urban and rural landscape, and thus that urban (townscape) and rural landscape management guidelines are prepared for each LCA. These management guidelines should inform the strategic District level area plan, and similarly provide robust strategies for local (not site-specific) development masterplans. The involvement (not ‘consultation’) of the local place-communities in the preparation of annually-reviewed guidelines would be ensured through planning management, ensuring transferrable local input between local place-plans, and District level area plans. It is suggested that Place-Communities equate broadly to electoral wards, both in population and land-size. The paper also requests that sustainability be made a firm planning policy requirement.
|Publisher||Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Oct 2009|