Information Leaflet 7: Hierarchy of Planning Documents
Planning Policy Statements
Planning Policy Statements (PPS) contain policies on land-use and other planning matters, for example telecommunications or the built heritage, and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. They set out the main planning considerations that the Department takes into account in assessing proposals for the various forms of development and are also often relevant to the preparation of development plans.
The guiding principle that the Department observes in making decisions on planning applications is set out in PPS 1 ‘General Principles’. This states that development should be permitted, having regard to the development plan and all other material considerations, unless it would cause demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance.
PPSs are gradually replacing the policy provisions of the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland published in September 1993 and each PPS indicates those policies of the Strategy that it is superseding. In the meantime, the Planning Strategy remains in force for those topics not covered by a PPS. For example, it provides the Department’s current policies for tourism development in the rural area. In addition a PPS will indicate if it is taking precedence over the provisions of development plans.
The Department, in conjunction with the Department for Regional Development, is currently working towards the production of a full suite of PPSs by the end of 2005.