There is one week left to express your views on the Planning Act (NI) 2011 (“Planning Act”). The Department of Infrastructure is currently undertaking a review of the implementation of the Planning Act and the public are invited to submit comments from 15 February 2021 to 15 March 2021. This is an important opportunity for stakeholders such as planning consultants, councils, developers and the general public to shape changes to the planning system in Northern Ireland.

Background

In Northern Ireland, the planning system was fundamentally reformed in 2015 with the transfer of most planning decision making to local councils. This involved significant legislative change including the enactment of the Planning Act.

Section 228 of the Planning Act requires it to be reviewed and a report published on its implementation. In short, the focus of this review is to establish the extent to which the original objectives of the Planning Act have been achieved and whether there is a need to retain, amend or repeal any provisions.

Key questions

The Department is keen to hear comments on the following questions in particular but any aspect of the Planning Act can be commented upon in this call for evidence.

Q.1. Do you believe there is a need to retain, amend or repeal any provisions of Part 2 of the Act or associated subordinate legislation with regard to the delivery of Local Development Plans?

Q.2 Do you believe there are any improvements which may be made to the way in which local development plans are implemented?

Q.3 Do you believe there is a need to retain, amend or repeal any provisions of Part 3 or Part 4 of the Act or associated subordinate legislation with regard to the Planning and Additional Planning Control?

Q.4. Do you believe there are any improvements which may be made to the way in which planning control is implemented?

Q.5 Do you believe there is a need to retain, amend or repeal any provisions of Part 5 of the Act or associated subordinate legislation with regard to Enforcement?

Q.6. Do you believe there are any improvements which may be made to the way in which planning enforcement is implemented?

Q.7 Do you believe there are any changes to planning procedures in general which could safeguard the system against potential future adverse impacts associated with emergency situations, such as that currently being experienced as a result of COVID-19 pandemic?

Q.8 Do you believe there is a need to retain, amend or repeal any provisions of other parts of the 2011 Planning Act, or associated subordinate legislation?

Next steps

All responses to the Call for Evidence are to be made by 4.00pm on 15 March 2021. Responses should be emailed to the Department at the following address: Legislation.Planning@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk using the response form which can be found at the following link.

The Department will consider the evidence and any recommendations which might involve legislative change will follow the normal policy development process including public consultation in due course.

TLT’s Planning team regularly advises on planning and environment legislation in Northern Ireland. For more information, please contact Andrew Ryan or Sarah Mulholland.

Contributor: Sarah Mulholland

Date published

08 March 2021

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