Planning Portal

Pilot Planning Service Scheme to Speed up Process

Published on Mon, 7 Feb 2005
A further move in our commitment to speed up the planning process has been announced with the start of a pilot scheme to return all invalid planning applications.
The move to return invalid applications follows on from the Modernising Planning Processes Consultation Paper where it received huge support. Almost a quarter of all planning applications submitted do not include sufficient information, or correct fee to allow the application to be processed. Time spent on these incomplete applications creates lengthy delays in the planning process and impacts on all of our customers.
In order to address the problem, the Belfast Divisional Planning Office will commence a pilot scheme on 14th March to return incomplete planning applications together with the planning fee and an explanation of the reasons for return. This pilot will be monitored and reviewed after 2 months before it is rolled out across the remaining planning offices.
This action is not intended to leave customers high and dry. In advance of the pilot, planning application forms were re-designed to make them more user-friendly and the 'Guidance Notes for Applicants' were revised to better inform everyone making an application of the information required. A checklist for applicants was also introduced last year to further assist customers in completing the application process. It is believed this will speed up the planning process and improve the overall quality of applications. Help is available from the re-designed application forms and revised 'Guidance Notes for Applicants'.
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