From 31 March 2022, the requirement for a public event (and its associated advertising) as part of the pre-application community consultation process associated with planning applications for major developments will come back into effect.
The requirement was suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic, however, with changes in public health advice and the announcement from Minister Swann that that all restrictions will be removed, the Department of Infrastructure “consider its the right time for pre-application community consultation public events to be be facilitated.”
Angus Kerr, Chief Planner and Director of Regional Planning commented “I know that innovative solutions to ensure community engagement have emerged during the pandemic and the Department is keen that these should continue. Following on from the recently published Review of the Implementation of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 and recommendations which will emerge from the work of the Planning Engagement Partnership the Department is considering how we can take this forward as quickly as possible. In the meantime applicants can voluntarily hold an online/electronic pre-application public engagement event and planning authorities can require that such an event is held.”