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Mid Ulster Planning Service Receives Positive Report

Planning agents using the Mid Ulster District Council Planning service have given their seal of approval, some eighteen months after a new Planning Portal was introduced. As part of the Council’s drive for continuous improvement, a recent survey by the Council’s Planning service gathered the thoughts and views of the agents who engage with the planning team and system on a regular basis, with overwhelmingly positive results. 

A total of 121 agents were asked to feed back on four key themes: Processing times; the ICT computer system/public access portal; transparency and decision making; and communication. 

Of those who responded to the survey, 81% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the overall performance of the service. Only 3.7% of agents were dissatisfied with processing times, with over half those surveyed either satisfied or very satisfied with their experiences.  

69% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the ICT computer system, with some improvements in form functionality suggested. Almost all (96%) of respondents use the Public Access Portal with 88% finding the tools to track and receive updates on applications useful. Over 70% of respondents said that the stand-alone Mid Ulster Planning Portal was either better or much better than the regional Planning Portal used by other local councils. 

89% of agents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the communication they received when engaging with planning staff. When asked if the advice given by planning staff was helpful, 88% agreed. 

Speaking on the results of the survey, Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Séan McPeake said,

“As part of Council’s obligation to seek continuous improvement, it’s important that we find out how users of our systems and processes feel about them. Planning can be a complex and sometimes lengthy process, so it’s key that we ensure that those engaging in the process can do so easily, and that they are given a sufficient level of advice and responses to queries and issues. 

He continued, “The recent survey reflects positively not only on the changes we have implemented in the past 18 months, but also on the planning team who have ensured a smooth transition to new and improved ways of working. We will take the learning from this survey and continue to improve.”

For more on Planning in Mid Ulster, see: