Information Leaflet 8: Handling of Major Planning Applications
How will 'Strategic Significance' be Assessed?
The Department will apply Article 31 procedures to proposed developments that raise issues of strategic significance to Northern Ireland as a whole, or to a substantial part of the region. In assessing the strategic significance of proposals the Department will take account of :
- the relationship of the proposal to the Regional Development Strategy (RDS);
- its contribution to the broader policies and objectives of Government;
- any significant implications beyond NI.
(a) Major Economic Developments
The RDS provides guidance on the type of projects of strategic significance that could be anticipated to fall into this category. These might include:
- the development of strategic employment locations
- projects in major economic development corridors, including those which may have the potential to serve extensive cross border catchments
- projects that may comprise a major development package bringing benefits in terms of improvements to regional infrastructure.
(b) Major Infrastructure Projects
Major infrastructure projects comprise proposals for the provision of major transportation and service infrastructure by both the public and private sectors.
In deciding whether to apply Article 31 procedures to specific projects, the Department will take account of the scale of the proposals and their significance in contributing to the implementation of the RDS.