Planning Portal

'Reform of the Planning System in Northern Ireland: Your chance to influence change' consultation paper including a draft Equality Impact Assessment at a strategic level

Published on Mon, 6 Jul 2009 by
The Department of the Environment has published a consultation paper entitled 'Reform of the Planning System in Northern Ireland: Your chance to influence change’ which sets out the Department’s proposals for the reform of the planning system in Northern Ireland in the medium to longer term.  The Department has also produced a draft Equality Impact Assessment at a strategic level.
This consultation ended on Fri, 2 Oct 2009 at 4:09pm

The wide-ranging proposals outlined in the consultation paper, which will impact on almost every aspect of the planning system, combined with the transfer of responsibility for the majority of the functions to local councils in 2011, represent the most far-reaching changes to the planning system in over 30 years.
The paper sets out a wide range of measures the Department proposes to take to reform the planning system in relation to functions such as development plan, development management and planning policy.  The paper also sets out certain related issues on which the Department is seeking views, including criminalisation of development without planning permission, developer contributions and enhancing the capacity of the planning system.  The paper also outlines the changes the Department proposes in order to bring about the changes required to implement the decisions taken under the Review of Public Administration (RPA), which will see the majority of planning functions returning to local government.
The Department is committed to ensuring that Section 75 principles and best practice are mainstreamed into the planning reform programme.  A draft Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) at a strategic level has been prepared by the Department and has been published alongside the consultation paper.
The Department wishes to consult as widely as possible on the proposals contained in the consultation paper and the findings included in the draft EQIA at a strategic level.
Full details of how to respond to this consultation are included in the paper.  Please note that while the Department will accept written responses by post, we would encourage recipients to download and complete the ‘Online response document’ and return it via e-mail to
Please note that the ‘Respondent Information form’ must also be included with all responses to ensure that we handle your response properly.
Responses are sought by Friday, 2nd October 2009.
A number of stakeholder consultation events, which are open to all, will be held at 11 venues across Northern Ireland during the first 3 weeks of September 2009.  Details of these events, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the consultation paper proposals for reform of the planning system, are provided in the ‘Planning Reform Consultation Event Flier’ in the ‘Documentation’ section below


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