Contract awarded for new Northern Ireland Planning IT System

Date published: 29 June 2020


The Department for Infrastructure and 10 councils have jointly awarded a contract for a new regional planning IT system.

Image for Planning Portal - Award of Contract

TerraQuest has won the contract to deliver the modern, user-friendly system on behalf of the Department and ten local councils, as well as providing on-going support for the new system until at least 2030.                

The new system will replace the existing Northern Ireland Planning Portal (NIPP) which is reaching the end of its operational life. A joint investment of £14m will be made in developing the new planning IT system for Northern Ireland, benefitting both customers and staff. The new modernised planning IT system will facilitate a more responsive and efficient planning service across both local and central government, including bringing key services like the submission of applications online. This increased use of technology and on line processing will be of significant benefit, in supporting economic recovery in the context of Covid-19.

The current system supports the planning system with over 12,000 planning applications per year. It is used by over 700 staff, over 500 consultees and thousands of citizens annually.

It is expected that the new system will be phased in from late 2021 to early 2022 and users will be informed of the changes within each council area, at the appropriate time.   



Notes to editors: 

  1. The only council not participating is Mid Ulster District Council.  Mid Ulster District Council have decided not to participate in the procurement of a regional solution and will procure a separate system. That decision is a matter for the Council and there is no formal approval role for the Department. The other 10 councils have confirmed their commitment to continue with the procurement of a regional IT solution on a 10 council model basis.
  2. TerraQuest leads a consortium featuring Planning Portal and DEF Software. This consortium brings together TerraQuest’s knowledge of planning service delivery, data management, migration & transformation as well as software and solution development; Planning Portal’s online planning application submission service operational across all Local Authorities in England and Wales; and DEF Software’s user-friendly planning back-office solution.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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