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Last edited 13 Apr 2020
Northern Ireland planning policy
In Northern Ireland, the Department of the Environment has a statutory duty laid out in Article 3 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 to produce policy for securing the consistent planning and development of land. The policy must generally be compliant with the Regional Development Strategy. Policies are currently provided as Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) which are used to inform planning application decisions.
During 2013, a series of stakeholder discussions were held and the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) was developed which, once finalised, will consolidate and replace the existing Planning Policy Statements.
 Existing Planning Policy Statements
Planning Policy Statements contain policies on land-use and other technical matters. They set out the main details that require consideration for all types of development and are relevant to the preparation of development plans.
There are currently 23 statements available from the Planning Portal site. Planning Policy Statement 1: General Principles sets out the guiding principles that the Department of the Environment follows in formulating decisions on planning applications.
The Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland covers the towns, villages and countryside outside Belfast and Londonderry. It provides the objectives and policies for appropriate land use and development. The strategy is gradually being replaced by the Planning Policy Statements, however, the document still remains in force for topics not covered by statements.
 Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland
A draft Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland was published in February 2014 and consultation closed in April 2014. The consultation draft is accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report, a Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment and an Equality Impact Assessment.
The draft strategy consolidates separate policy documents into a single document and provides new policy in relation to town centres, retail and fracking . It outlines a series of reforms with planning functions being devolved to the district level councils in 2015.
In 2015, the 11 district councils became responsible for local development plan functions, development control and enforcement. They also took on functions such as drawing up local lists of buildings of architectural or historic interest and neighbourhood renewal.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Building control Northern Ireland.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- National Planning Practice Guidance.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Northern Ireland building regulations.
- Northern Ireland construction output Q4 2019.
- Planning (Wales) Bill.
- Republic of Ireland updates to planning and development.
- Scottish planning policy.
 External references
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