Northern Ireland Planning Service

Understanding Planning Legislation: 'The General Development Order'

The Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993

The GDO, unlike the Use Classes Order, is concerned with development that does require planning permission. However, the GDO (Article 3 and Schedule 1) grants planning permission for classes of development described as permitted development (often referred to as ‘permitted development rights’) subject to exceptions, limitations and conditions specified in the Schedule.
Generally, permitted development rights are applied to relatively minor non-contentious development where it is considered that, subject to the specified exceptions, limitations and conditions, do not need to be subject to the planning application process.
Permitted development rights are a long-standing part of the development control system and reduce the regulatory burden of the planning system. They:
  • reduce the need for developers/operaters to seek planning permission for minor development which would clog up the planning system;
  • reduce the number of planning applications made to the Planning Service, so allowing it to concentrate on larger or more contentious development proposals which are subject to public scrutiny;
  • generally help improve efficiency in the planning system.

Further information