Planning Portal

New Local Planning Offices -January 2015

Published on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 by planning.reform@doeni.gov.uk.
New local planning offices will open in both the Lisburn & Castlereagh and Antrim & Newtownabbey Councils in January 2015.
In preparation for the transfer of the majority of planning functions to the new 11 councils on 1st April 2015, a new local planning office will open in both the Lisburn & Castlereagh and Antrim & Newtownabbey council districts in January 2015.  The details of the changes are as follows:
From 19 January 2015 planning services for the new Lisburn and Castlereagh council area will be delivered from:
Local Area Planning Office
Island Civic Centre
Lagan Valley Island
The Island
Lisburn
BT27 4RL
From 26 January 2015 planning services for the new Antrim and Newtownabbey council area will be delivered from:
Local Area Planning Office
Mossley Mill
Carnmoney Road North
Newtownabbey
BT36 5QA
The arrangements for contacting planning staff at these new offices will remain the same as at present.  Therefore members of the public will continue to telephone NI Direct in the first instance via 0300 200 7830 (NI only) or (028) 9151 3101.
For more information about these changes and what they mean for you, please read our Q&A section below.
Why is the move taking place?
The purpose of the move is to prepare the way for the transfer of planning functions from DOE to Lisburn & Castlereagh and Antrim & Newtownabbey Councils; the project is a joint DOE/Council venture.
Responsibility for the majority of planning functions will formally pass from DOE to the 11 new councils on 1 April 2015.
What does the move involve?
A group of staff are being moved from existing DOE Local Planning Offices into the Island Civic Centre, which is part of the new Lisburn & Castlereagh Council, and Mossley Mill, which is part of the Antrim & Newtownabbey Council.  They will carry out their normal planning functions in their new offices while working alongside future council colleagues.
The idea is to have staff and all practical arrangements in place before planning formally transfers to councils on 1 April 2015.
DOE remains responsible for these staff and the delivery of planning services until 31 March 2015.
How are people affected by the change and what are the benefits?
There is no change to the way planning applications are determined as a result of these office relocations.  The experienced staff involved will work to ensure continuity of service.
Applicants will be able to lodge, pay for and seek advice about planning applications as they do so at the moment, however, the services for those residing in these two new council districts will be provided from the new locations.
In addition to providing a more convenient service, this brings planning closer to many people in these council areas.
I already have an application in the system.  What happens to it?
All applications already submitted that fall within the new Lisburn & Castlereagh council area will move to the Island Civic Centre with the planning staff.  Similarly, applications submitted for the new Antrim & Newtownabbey council area will move to Mossley Mill.  Planning officers will continue to process these applications as normal.
What planning powers are transferring to Councils on 1 April?
The powers transferring to Councils on 1 April 2015 will include:
  • Developing a local plan which will set out what the council area should look like and how land should be used and developed;
  • Making decisions on the majority of planning applications; and
  • Investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining what enforcement action should be taken.
What will the Department be responsible for post April 2015?
The Department will retain responsibility for deciding regionally significant and called-in applications.  It will also set regional planning policy and legislation and provide oversight and guidance for the system.
What are the important dates?
  • 19 January 2015 - Date planning office opens in Island Civic Centre, Lisburn
  • 26 January 2015 - Date planning office opens in Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey
  • 1 April 2015 - Date responsibility for planning functions formally transfer from DOE to the 11 new councils
More Information
If you are unsure which new council area you are in, you can find out at www.nidirect.gov.uk/newcouncils
Further information about the transfer of planning in general can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/planning-reform

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