Current Planning Legislation

Planning legislation may be viewed on the government's legislation website (www.legislation.gov.uk). However the links below provide quick access to the current legislation governing or relating to the planning system in Northern Ireland. Please note, the government's legislation website may not always be up to date and users are advised to always read the outstanding changes section in the primary legislation. The Department will continue to publish new legislation as it is made.

The Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (Planning Act) is the principal piece of planning legislation in Northern Ireland. It received Royal Assent on 4 May 2011 and it underpins the reformed two-tier planning system which commenced with the transfer of the responsibility for the majority of planning functions from central government to district councils on 1 April 2015.  

Not all legislation relating to planning is made by this Department.  For example, the Executive Office has the power to make rules for regulating proceedings before the Planning Appeals Commission and the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is responsible for The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 and the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004.

Primary Legislation

Local Development Plans

Planning Control

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

Planning Appeals and Inquiries

Planning Fees

Miscellaneous

Commencement Orders

EU Transposition of Directives

In European Union law, transposition is a process by which the European Union's member states give force to a directive by passing appropriate implementation measures. Transposition is typically achieved through either primary or secondary legislation. The European Commission closely monitors that transposition is timely, correctly done and implemented, so as to attain the results intended.  The legislation below transposes certain directives into Northern Ireland planning law.

Links to the prevailing EU Directives are contained within the legislation. For example, Regulation 2(2) of The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 contains a link to Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014.

Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment

Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora

Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006

Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the Landfill of Waste 

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