NI Planning System

The planning system makes sure that the right things are built in the right places, be it houses, shops, parks, community centres or energy plants. It provides the ability to shape and change the character, look and feel of the places where we live, work or visit.

Responsibility for planning in Northern Ireland is shared between the 11 local councils and the Department for Infrastructure (the Department).

Role of the Councils

The 11 councils in Northern Ireland are responsible for:

  • Local development planning – creating a plan which will set out a clear vision of how the council area should look in the future by deciding what type and scale of development should be encouraged and where it should be located;
  • Development management – determining the vast majority of planning applications;
  • Planning enforcement – investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining what action should be taken.

If you have a query relating to a local planning application in your area or regarding the planning process, please contact the council’s planning office where experienced officers will be able to advise you.  Contact details for the councils’ planning offices are available on the nidirect website, a link to which is provided below.

Please note: Details of current planning fees for Northern Ireland are specified in legislation, links to which are provided on our Planning legislation page. An explanatory note for applicants which helps to explain the current fees including when reduced fees or exemptions may be applicable, has also been provided and is available from our Planning Fees page.

Role of the Department

The Department is responsible for:

If you have a query relating to a regionally significant or 'called-in' planning application or about planning procedures or initiatives being progressed by the Department, please contact us.

Submit or view planning applications online

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)

You can use the Planning Portal to submit planning applications to the Department and 10 of the 11 councils.  (Mid Ulster District Council has its own system)

The Planning Portal allows you to:

  • Submit a planning application
  • Search, track or comment on an application
  • Make an enforcement complaint
  • Request a Regional Property Certificate

Further information and links to the portal are available on our Planning Portal page.

Making a complaint about our service

We take complaints and allegations of wrong-doing very seriously and place great importance on what our customers have to say. We understand that our level of service must meet high standards in all that we do, and if we fall short of these there should be processes in place to allow you to raise your concerns or make a complaint.

If you are dissatisfied about the service you received from the Department or the action we took or failed to take, please let us know. A link to the Department’s complaints procedure is provided below. Any issues you raise will be dealt with in a professional and expedient manner.

If you have a complaint about the service you received from one of the local councils, please refer to that council’s own complaints procedure in the first instance.

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