Northern Ireland Planning Service

Information Leaflet 7: Hierarchy of Planning Documents
What about the impact of planning decisions on Human Rights ?

The Human Rights Act 1998 Opens link in a new browser window incorporated provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. The general purpose of the ECHR is to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to maintain and promote the ideals and values of a democratic society. It sets out the basic rights of every person together with the limitations placed on these rights in order to protect the rights of others and of the wider community.
The specific Articles of the ECHR relevant to planning include Article 6 (Right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time), Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence), Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (Right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions and protection of property).
The Department is satisfied that its processes and practices are compatible with the ECHR. The planning system by its very nature respects the rights of the individual whilst acting in the interest of the wider community. It is an inherent part of the decision-making process for the Department to assess the effects that a proposal will have on individuals and weigh these against the wider public interest in determining whether development should be allowed to proceed. In carrying out this balancing exercise the Department will of course wish to be satisfied that it has acted proportionately.
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