O’Dowd announces consultation to improve quality of planning applications

Date published: 27 October 2022


Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has today announced a public consultation on the introduction of a statutory power for councils and the Department to provide validation checklists for planning applications.

DfI Minister John O'Dowd

The consultation will run for 8 weeks and will launch in early November. 

The checklists will aim to improve the quality of applications being submitted and speed up the overall processing times for applications.

John O’Dowd said:

“The introduction of validation checklists would go a long way to improving the quality of planning applications entering the planning system. This new process would give applicants the clarity they seek when lodging a planning application, by clearly specifying at the outset what information is required for applications of a particular type, nature, scale or location. This new measure should also speed up the process by reducing the requests for additional information."  

The Minister concluded: 

“I am certain the introduction of validation checklists will result in good quality and complete planning applications entering the system enabling councils and the Department to make faster decisions. I am equally confident that good quality planning applications will deliver good quality development and that the overall outcome should be a more efficient and effective planning service, supporting sustainable development across the North. I encourage all stakeholders to provide their views about this when the consultation opens in November.”


Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at mailto:press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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