Regional Planning

The Department is responsible for the review, monitoring and implementation of the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) 2035 which was published in March 2012.

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS)

The RDS is a long term plan which aims to deliver the spatial aspects of the Programme for Government.  In doing so it recognises the important role of Belfast in generating regional prosperity and that Londonderry is the focus for economic growth in the North West.  To ensure all areas benefit from economic growth, the RDS reflects the Programme for Government approach of balanced sub-regional growth and recognises the importance of key settlements as centres for growth and prosperity.  It also complements the Sustainable Development Strategy and informs the spatial aspects of the strategies of all Government Departments. 

The RDS has a statutory basis and is material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.  Local councils must take account of the RDS when drawing up their Development Plans.  

Publication of Revised Housing Growth Indicators (HGIs) 2012-2025

Housing Growth Indicators provide an estimate of future housing need in Northern Ireland.  The indicators are used to designate housing land as part of the local development planning process.  

Revised HGIs

HGIs were first produced in January 2005 to cover the period 1998-2015 and were subsequently revised in March 2012 using updated data to cover the period 2008-2025 as part of revised Regional Development Strategy 2035. 

To take account of the new local Council boundaries implemented during 2015 and updated household projection data, the Department has recently undertaken a review of the existing Housing Growth Indicators published in the Regional Development Strategy 2035.  These revised figures provide an estimate of the new dwelling requirement for the region from 2012–2025. 

The revised figures have been calculated using the following data sources:

  • NISRA Household Projections
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive House Condition Survey
  • Data from Land and Property Services Publications
    • Building Control new dwelling completions data
    • Housing Stock Data – NI Domestic Valuation List
  • NISRA Central Survey Unit Combined Survey Sample

A Steering Group composed of statisticians, researchers and policy staff from relevant areas was set up to oversee the project.  The Steering Group reviewed and agreed the methodology for the 2012 based Housing Growth Indicators on 17 November 2015 and the Department consulted local councils on the revised draft Housing Growth Indicators in January 2016.  

The Department formally adopted the revised HGI figures on 29 April 2016. The revised figures for each council can be found on page 12, column ‘G’ of the methodology paper.

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