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17 May 2006 : Column 1015W—continued

Planning

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning applications were received by the divisional planning office of each borough and district council in Northern Ireland in (a) the month preceding 16 March and (b) each of the preceding three months. [71324]


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David Cairns: The following table details the total number of planning applications received by the Planning Service for each Northern Ireland borough and district council area for each month between November 2005 and February 2006.

District council area November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006

Antrim

96

75

80

99

Ards

101

88

71

96

Armagh

87

99

109

115

Ballymena

108

90

82

105

Ballymoney

64

51

49

61

Banbridge

100

95

114

113

Belfast

192

169

198

180

Carrickfergus

32

19

11

23

Castlereagh

46

38

41

39

Coleraine

100

98

90

110

Cookstown

109

71

86

174

Craigavon

87

81

86

83

Derry

74

85

78

88

Down

110

89

102

95

Dungannon

143

142

171

390

Fermanagh

184

203

188

334

Larne

44

31

32

32

Limavady

61

64

39

46

Lisburn

103

121

96

106

Magherafelt

85

106

88

86

Moyle

38

37

34

29

Newry and Mourne

234

245

250

258

Newtownabbey

61

50

37

38

North Down

62

73

58

72

Omagh

129

132

111

296

Strabane

129

59

98

100

Planning Service total

2,579

2,411

2,399

3,168


Roe Valley and Sperrins

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what publicly-funded modernised facilities are available for those using travelling caravans and campers to holiday in the Roe Valley and Sperrins. [69266]

Maria Eagle: The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has provided financial assistance to two sites with facilities for touring caravans and campers in the Roe Valley and Sperrins areas, namely Benone Camping and Caravanning Tourist complex and the Six Towns Cross Community Group’s Touring Caravan and Camping site in Draperstown.

School Building Programme

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the reasons are for the delay in the proposed building work at St. Joseph’s high school, Crossmaglen; and when he expects work (a) to commence and (b) to be completed. [70531]


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Maria Eagle: A feasibility study for a major capital scheme at St. Joseph’s high school, Crossmaglen was submitted to the Department of Education by the school’s Design Team in March 2006 and is currently under consideration. The feasibility study informs the Economic Appraisal which will be completed by the Department. St. Joseph’s High School will not be in a position to compete for capital funding until the Economic Appraisal process is completed and the next phase of capital investment is being announced. No time scales have been set for this. Separate minor works to address security issues at the school are being addressed urgently and work is in progress to replace two mobile classrooms and upgrade existing sports facilities.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which schools are affected by the backlog in the school building programme; how many of these are involved in providing partnership initiative funding initiatives; and what steps he is taking to eliminate the backlog. [70558]


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Maria Eagle: Over recent years, the funding made available by Government to the Department of Education for the schools estate has increased substantially. The Department, in conjunction with its education partners, has 146 major capital schemes under development. The Department is using both conventional and public-private partnership (PPP) procurement routes to deliver those projects. With such a high volume of projects in planning, delays have been encountered in some projects, both under conventional and PPP procurement, due to site issues, uncertainty over long-term enrolments and advancing policy in the area of PPP procurement. The Department is currently working with school authorities to expedite progress and overcome the delays experienced.

Details of those projects that have been delayed, together with their procurement route and the reason for delay, are shown on the following tables.

Details of conventional capital projects that have been delayed
Project Announced Reason for delay

St. Clares/St. Colman’s Primary Schools, Newry

2000

Problems with acquiring a suitable site and issues with Roads Service, together with a review and reduction of the long-term enrolment (LTE) figure have caused delays in the project.

St. Eugene’s Primary School, Londonderry

2002

Difficulty in finding a suitable site to decant to while extension/refurbishment works are ongoing has caused delay.

Drumragh Integrated College, Omagh

2002

Problems in satisfying the Planning Service and Roads Service requirements has resulted in the need to purchase third party land to provide acceptable site lines. This has caused delay in progressing the scheme.

East Lisburn Primary Schools

2003

Site acquisition and Planning Service/Roads Service issues have caused delay.

Suffolk Primary School, Belfast

2003

The initial plans for the new school were to an incorrect specification. The enrolments at the school have fallen and as a result the requirements of the scheme have to be reviewed.

St. Teresa’s Primary School, Lurgan

2003

Difficulties in acquiring a site have caused delay.

St. Joseph’s Primary School, Newry

2003

Planning has been suspended while the enrolment position is reviewed.

St. Patrick’s Primary School, Saul

2003

Difficulty in obtaining Planning Office and Roads Service approval.

Holy Family Primary School, Magherafelt

2003

Issues relating to the site and appropriate positioning of school on site have caused delay.



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17 May 2006 : Column 1020W
Details of PPP projects that have been delayed
Project Announced Reason for delay

Holy Cross College, Strabane

2001

The need to review and agree an appropriate long-term enrolment (LTE) caused delay. Further delay was caused while a decision on the treatment of ancillary services (such as cleaning) was awaited. The Secretary of State has now decided that cleaning services should be excluded from the contract and remain with the public sector. The Department is currently considering representation from the Trustees concerning the removal of cleaning from the contract.

Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College

2001

The need to review and agree an appropriate LTE caused delay. Further delay was caused while a decision on the treatment of ancillary services (such as cleaning) was awaited. The Secretary of State has now decided that cleaning services should be excluded from the contract and remain with the public sector. The Department is currently considering representations from school authorities concerning the removal of cleaning from the contract.

Derry Diocesan PPP Project

2001

Problems in acquiring a suitable site for one of the schools, and achieving agreement on the use of that site, caused delay. This has now been overcome and the project is at Invitation to Negotiate(1) stage.

Coleraine College

2001

The removal of schools from the project due to falling enrolments and the need for the North Eastern education and library board to examine the overall requirement for secondary provision in the area has caused delay.

Lagan College/Tor Bank Special School

2002

Problems in agreeing a lease with the National Trust (Lagan College occupies a NT site) on the use and maintenance of the site have caused delay. These problems have now been overcome and the project is at Invitation to Negotiate(1) stage.

Down and Connor/De La Salle PPP Project

2002

Change in the scope of the project for two of the schools involved from extension refurbishment to new build has caused delay. This has now been resolved and the project is at Invitation to Negotiate(1) stage.

Belfast Strategic Partnering Project

2003

A change in the scope of the project and the need to redraft project documentation to take account of new procurement methods has caused delay. This project is now at Invitation to Negotiate(1) stage.

(1) Invitation to Negotiate is a stage in the procurement procedure under which the client invites a selected number of tenderers to negotiate the terms of a public-private partnerships contract.


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