Processing Planning Applications

A half day seminar on Thursday 13 October 2011 at 9.30 to 12.30 in Malone House, Barnett Demesne, Belfast.

In anticipation of Local Government Reform, Planning Service ceased to be an agency on 1 April 2011. Its functions have now been absorbed by the core of the Department and within the Planning and Local Government Group. Planning functions have also been reorganised to anticipate the transfer to councils.

The newly formed Local Planning Division has operational responsibility for the development plan and development management functions that will, in due course, transfer from the Department to councils.  The six former Divisional Planning Offices have been reorganised into five new Area Planning Offices to reflect Council groupings that may emerge from RPA.

This seminar will provide an update on the restructuring of the Area offices, the processing of planning applications and issues such as streamlined consultation arrangements and resources. It will also provide an update on the current Development Plan programme.

Strategic Planning Division has also been formed to take forward the responsibilities which will remain with the Department including the management of planning applications across Northern Ireland for large scale investment proposals such as those designated under Article 31 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.  The seminar will provide an update on the restructuring of the Division and the processing of major applications.

The Planning Portal has been fully operational since December 2010, and provides the citizens and planning agents with access to comprehensive online planning application information.  Applicants (or anyone) can follow the progress of an application and view all of the documents relating to the application, including site plans, maps, case officer reports, consultations, decisions and representations.  The next step in the development of the Planning Portal will be to provide a facility to submit and pay for planning applications electronically.

The seminar will also provide a short demonstration on the Northern Ireland Planning portal and update on current progress and accessibility.


9.30      Introduction – Ian Maye, Deputy Secretary Planning and local

Government Group

9.40      Processing Planning Applications – Fiona McCandless, Director of Local Planning Division

10.10    Restructuring & Processing Major Applications – Anne Garvey, Director of Strategic Planning Division

10.30    Q&A

11.00    Tea/ Coffee

11.20    Planning Portal – Caron Alexander, Planning Programme Manager

11.50    Q&A

12.30    Close

Places cost £36 including VAT (PSS £30 including VAT) – payment by cheque only to Royal Society of Ulster Architects