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Regional development strategy 'not working', says report

A CLIMATE change, transport and planning strategy for Northern Ireland is not working, it has been claimed.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RISC) has called for the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) to be better linked up with other government documents - because a decade after its original publication, the strategy is not delivering.

In its submission to a public consultation on the strategy, RICS said that the percentage of journeys made on public transport has declined, while the percentage made by car has increased and that while populations in small villages, hamlets and open countryside have increased, the population in the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area has fallen.

With regard to climate change, RICS says that Northern Ireland is significantly lagging behind the rest of the UK in terms of the rate at which it is reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

RICS Northern Ireland director, Ben Collins described the document as having "significant implications" for Northern Ireland, adding: "We need joined-up government, with departments working together to deliver on these important cross-cutting issues."