New Planning Portal

A new Planning Portal will be launched 5th December 2022 for 10 of the 11 Councils in Northern Ireland and the Department.

Mid Ulster District Council provides its own online service for anyone wishing to submit or comment on a planning application in the Mid Ulster area.  For more information, please go to the Mid Ulster District Council website (https://www.midulstercouncil.org/planning)

The 10 Councils and Department have been working collaboratively to develop and configure a new IT system with TerraQuest, the company contracted to deliver and support the system going forward. This work is almost complete and has involved engagement with key stakeholders including Staff, Consultees, Agents and other organisations in order to ensure that the IT system provides the essential functionality needed to support the wider planning system. 

This is the largest joint IT project between central and local government to date in Northern Ireland and will see benefits for all users as we seek to drive planning online in this digital age.

Key benefits include:

  • Ability to submit planning applications and comments online as well as requests for Regional Property Certificates and to report breaches of planning control (enforcement complaints)
  • Linked front and back-office allowing for improved efficiency by streamlining administrative processes
  • Improved validation and workflows to better manage workloads
  • Improved Consultee interface
  • Better user experience from an intuitive modern interface, making it easier for users to engage with the planning process

Progress Update

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is almost complete and has involved staff from both the Councils and the Department. It has helped to identify any bugs or issues that need to be addressed before the new system goes live December.

A programme of user training is currently being delivered and will continue up to and beyond the systems launch. Demo videos of the online submission and public register sites as well as the new Consultee Hub will be made available shortly.

Transitional Arrangements

As part of the preparations for this, the current system will close over the weekend of 18th – 20th November 2022 to facilitate data extraction.  It will become available again on Monday 21st November but will be limited to read only access for most users.  This includes Planning staff and Consultees and means that there will be reduced capacity to process cases during the transition period as no updates will be permitted to the current system. 

Any new applications received by the Councils or the Department during this transition period will be held and checked offline but will not be advertised, neighbour notified or new consultations issued until the new Planning Portal is up and running in December.

The only exception to this will be for Regional Property Certificates.  Arrangements are being put in place to continue to process requests for regional property certificates that have been logged on the current system in advance of the closure.  Consequently the cut-off date for the receipt of property certificate requests by the Regional Property Certificates Unit in Enniskillen is 5pm on 16th November. Any requests submitted after this point, will be held offline and will not be uploaded or consultations issued until the new Planning Portal is operational in December.

The current Public Access website will continue to be available to the public to view applications during the transition period but it will no longer accept online comments or track applications from 18th November onwards.  Instead customers can submit their comments to the Councils or Department via e-mail or by post. Contact details are available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/planning-offices-ni.

In addition, Public Access user details will not be transferred.  Therefore, if you currently have a Public Access account, this will close and the details will be deleted when the website is taken offline.  Should you wish to use the tracking or comment features on the new Planning Portal or to submit an application online, you will need to create a user account upon first use of the new system after it launches. 

Consultees

In preparation for the current system closing, Consultees are being asked to try to close out as many planning application consultations as possible by close of business on 17th November so as to reduce the number of open cases to transfer.  They are also asked to take a record of any remaining open cases so that they can compare this to the ones on the new system when it goes live.  In addition, they have been asked to keep a record of any urgent consultations completed offline during the transition period so that they can close these cases on the new system once it becomes available.  

Planning Portal Newsletter

Updates about the launch of the new system and any transitional arrangements to be put in place will be provided on this website and in the Planning Portal Newsletter.

Copies of the Newsletter are available via the link below.

 

Back to top