The Planning System: Preparing Policies
The Department has a statutory duty, laid down in Article3 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991, to formulate and co-ordinate policy for securing the orderly and consistent development of land and the planning of that development. The Department is required to ensure that such policy is in general conformity with the Regional Development Strategy.
The Department’s planning policies are normally issued through Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) and PPS 1: General Principles advises that:
“Planning Policy Statements set out the policies of the Department on particular aspects of land-use planning and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents will be taken into account in preparing development plans and are also material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.”
Planning Policy Statements are one of number of planning documents taken into account in making decisions on planning applications. Information on the other planning documents that are used in the decision making process is available in Information Leaflet 7: Hierarchy of Planning Documents and Their Role in Making a Planning Decision.
The preparation of PPSs involves the following key stages: