Ministers attend British-Irish Council on planning

The British-Irish Council has held a joint ministerial meeting on to explore ideas on spatial planning and housing matters.

The BIC, established under the terms of the Good Friday peace agreement, plays an important role in developing positive links between its eight member countries including the Isle of Man.

Ray Harmer MHK, Minister for Policy and Reform and Tim Baker MHK, Minister for Infrastructure joined the meeting that was hosted virtually.Ministers from the eight member countries discussed their own work and the challenges and opportunities they face with housing and planning.

A joint publication on the challenges associated with an ageing population, ‘Creating an Inclusive Future Vision for our Ageing Populations’, was also endorsed.

Minster Harmer told B365: ‘The challenges presented by an ageing population do not neatly fall within one work sector or another.  ‘Having had political responsibility for Housing and now Spatial Planning, I understand that there are so many obvious cross-overs and working on the document has naturally brought together officers across the Isle of Man Government as well as in the context of BIC which can only help us in our policy endeavours going forward.  

‘This work will come into its own when dealing with vital policy questions in the review of our Island Strategic Plan next year, and as we begin to think through the content of our new National Housing Strategy.’

The next meeting for each of the two work sectors will take place in 2023. E