Planning Portal
PLEASE NOTE: From 8 May 2016 central government planning functions transferred to the new Department for Infrastructure (DfI). Therefore any reference on this website to the planning powers of ‘the Department’, ‘Department of the Environment’ or ‘DOE’ should now be read as the Department for Infrastructure.
The planning system makes sure the right things are built in the right places, be it houses, shops, parks, community centres or energy plants. But it is also about the ability to shape and change the character, look and feel of the places where we live, work or visit. Responsibility for planning in Northern Ireland is shared between the 11 local councils and the Department for Infrastructure (the Department).
The 11 councils are responsible for:
  • Local development planning – creating a plan which will set out a clear vision of how the council area should look in the future by deciding what type and scale of development should be encouraged and where it should be located;
  • Development management – determining the vast majority of planning applications;
  • Planning enforcement – investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining what action should be taken.
The Department is responsible for:
The majority of queries relating to the planning process and planning applications should be directed to your local council’s planning office where experienced officers will be able to advise you.
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