Northern Ireland planning reforms out for consultation

Northern Ireland planning reforms out for consultation

Proposed changes to Northern Ireland’s planning regulations have been put out to a public consultation.

The Department for Infrastructure is consulting on proposed revisions and changes to the Planning (Development Management) Regulations (NI) 2015 is launched as part of its planning improvement programme (PIP) aimed at speeding up the planning system.

This consultation proposes changes in three areas:

  1. a review of the classes of development to ensure they reflect current and future development trends and that the associated thresholds take a balanced approach to community consultation in planning applications for major development.
  2. proposals to make pre-determination hearings discretionary for councils which will help focus resources and reduce delays in issuing planning decisions for some planning applications; and
  3. proposals to introduce online/digital methods into the pre-application community consultation (PACC) process, to enhance accessibility and encourage participation in the planning process by a broader range of people.

The consultation, which can be accessed online, will run for 12 weeks until 3 March 2024.

“Following the closure of the consultation, the responses will be considered, and should there be an absence of Ministers, any final decisions will be taken in light of the decision-making framework at that time,” the Department said.

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