Planning Portal

Planning Controls Over Demolition Tightened

Published on Wed, 1 Dec 2004
Environment Minister, Angela Smith, MP, announced the introduction of new planning controls over demolition today.
Angela Smith said: "From today, planning permission is required for the demolition of any building within an Area of Townscape Character or an Area of Village Character.
"This is a major change for our planning system and underlines the great importance I attach to the protection of built heritage in Northern Ireland. There is also a consequent need to reinforce local identity in these areas. I want to ensure that sensitive planning controls will operate so that new building proposals respect the appearance and qualities of each area and do not detract from their distinctive character.
"To accompany these new controls on demolition in distinctive townscape areas, my Department has issued new draft planning policy for public comment. I would particularly welcome the views of people living in such areas to help inform the production of the final policy."

Notes to Editors

  1. Article 18 of the Planning (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 brings demolition within the meaning of development for planning purposes. This Article comes into operation on 1 December 2004. For the time being, however, only buildings in Areas of Townscape or Village Character will be subject to this new regime.
  2. This is achieved by specifying in a departmental direction, under Article 11(2)(f) of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991, those buildings whose demolition does not come within the meaning of development for planning purposes and those buildings that do.
  3. Those buildings whose demolition is already controlled such as historic monuments, listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas will continue to be subject to their specific control regimes.
  4. DOE's new policy to accompany this legislative change is contained in a Consultation Draft Addendum to Planning Policy Statement 6 'Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage' entitled 'Areas of Townscape Character'. It sets out the Planning Service policies for new development, the control of advertisements and demolition within Areas of Townscape and Village Character. It aims to ensure that development proposals respect the appearance and qualities of each townscape area and maintain or enhance their distinctive character.
  5. DOE will be undertaking consultation on the Draft Addendum to PPS 6 for a period of four months ending on 31 March 2005.
  6. Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) set out DOE policies on particular aspects of land-use planning and other planning matters and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents are taken into account as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and appeals.
  7. A copy of the draft Addendum to PPS 6 can be obtained from Planning Policy Section, 2nd Floor Millennium House, 19-25 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BN.
  8. The consultation draft Addendum to PPS 6 and the departmental direction referred to in paragraph 2 can be accessed on this website.
  9. For further News Media information contact Brian Kirk, DOE Press Office Tel: 028 9054 0013, e-mail:
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