The claim was made by Michael Boyd, who works as director of environmental services at White Young Green Ireland.

He called for extra funding to be put into the Department of Environment to free up commercial development projects.

Mr Boyd told the Belfast News Letter: “The developers are doing the contaminated land assessments, but because there are inadequate resources within the environment and heritage services, they’re not able to turn these reports around quick enough and it’s causing huge delays in the planning.”

He claimed that developers were being deterred from taking on projects because reports can take a year or more to clear planning.

Earlier this month the Banbridge Leader reported that South Down assemblyman Jim Wells was celebrating a change in policy on brownfield.

Department of regional development legislation means that gardens will no longer be defined as brownfield sites, news celebrated in towns where ‘garden grabbing’ has been a problem.

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