The Northern Ireland Planning Statistics: Second Quarter 2019/20

Date published: 19 December 2019

The Northern Ireland Planning Statistics: Second Quarter 2019/20 Statistical Bulletin, has been published today.

Publication of Travel Survey for Northern Ireland 2012-2014 headline report

Provisional planning statistics for the second quarter of 2019/20 are now available.  These data provide an overall view of planning activity.  Alongside this there is a summary of council performance across the three statutory targets for major development applications, local development applications and enforcement cases as laid out in the Local Government (Performance Indicators and Standards) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.

KEY POINTS

The key points from the Northern Ireland Planning Statistics Second Quarter 2019/20 Statistical Bulletin are:

  • There were 2,944 planning applications received during the second quarter of 2019/20; a decrease of over 13% on the previous quarter and similar to the figure reported for the same period a year earlier. This comprised 2,907 local and 37 major applications.
  • In the second quarter of 2019/20, 3,161 planning applications were decided upon; up by 5% on the previous quarter and 3% on the same period a year earlier. Decisions were issued on 3,133 local, 27 major and one regionally significant planning application during the second quarter of 2019/20.
  • In the first six months of 2019/20 it took, on average, 13.8 weeks to process local applications to decision or withdrawal. This was within the 15 week target and represented an improvement of 1.2 weeks from the same period a year earlier. Eight of the 11 councils were within the 15 week target after two quarters of 2019/20.
  • The average processing time for major applications during the first six months of 2019/20 was 57.4 weeks across all councils. This represents a small improvement of 0.5 weeks compared with the same point in 2018/19, but is still considerably higher than the 30 week target.
  • Across councils, over four-fifths (83%) of enforcement cases were concluded within 39 weeks during the first six months of 2019/20. This meets the statutory target of 70% and represents an increase from the figure reported for the same period a year earlier (81%). Individually, 10 of the 11 councils were within the 39 week target at the end of the second quarter of 2019/20.

Notes to editors: 

Background to Northern Ireland Planning Statistics Second Quarter 2019/20 Statistical Bulletin.

  1. This is the latest in a regular series of statistical bulletins related to Development Management (Planning) functions. The Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 sets out the legislative framework for development management and provides that, from 1 April 2015, councils now largely have responsibility for this planning function. This statistical bulletin reports on activity and performance for the second quarter of 2019/20 (1st July 2019 – 30th September 2019). Year-to-date processing performance for the full six month period (1st April 2019 – 30th September 2019) is also provided.
  2. A new classification hierarchy for planning applications came into effect on 1st April 2014 in advance of the transfer of planning functions to local government from 1st April 2015. The development categories are – major and local development applications, processed primarily by councils, and regionally significant development applications, processed within the Department for Infrastructure. Note that the ‘major development’ category is based on a completely different definition to the previous ‘major’ category so figures relating to this category should not be compared with those from earlier bulletins (i.e. pre-2014/15).
  3. There are three legislative performance targets covered in the report related to the processing of local development decisions within an average of 15 weeks; major development decisions within an average of 30 weeks; and processing 70% of enforcement cases to target conclusion within 39 weeks.
  4. The final records of all applications from 1st April 2019 – 30th September 2019 were transferred in November 2019 from a live database and inspected for consistency in coding before figures were prepared for publication.  These figures are regarded as ‘provisional’ and will be subject to further scheduled revisions as further updates are made to records in the live database environment.  Finalised annual figures for 2019/20 will be released June / July 2020.

Quarterly data are provided in more detailed accompanying Excel tables together with comparable data from the previous financial year, where possible.

  1. Electronic copies of the Bulletin, associated Excel tables and summary infographic are available free of charge from: www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/planning-activity-statistics

Official Statistics

This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/code-of-practice/

Additional Information

For more information relating to this publication, including additional analysis, breakdowns of data, or alternative formats please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Room 4.13c,
Clarence Court,
10 - 18 Adelaide Street,
Town Parks
BELFAST,
BT2 8GB     

For media enquiries please contact the DfI Press Office 028 9054 0007.

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