The Strategic Planning Policy Statement

Date published: 28 September 2015

Last updated: 27 September 2021

The SPPS sets out the Department’s regional planning policies for securing the orderly and consistent development of land in Northern Ireland under the reformed two-tier planning system.


The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland' - Planning for Sustainable Development (SPPS), was published in September 2015 following a period of extensive engagement with key planning stakeholders and Executive Committee agreement.

The provisions of the SPPS must be taken into account in the preparation of Local Development Plans, and are also material to all decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.


The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Minister announced her decision to commence work on a review of strategic planning policy on oil and gas development, including development involving fracking, on the 27th September 2021. The press release for this announcement can be accessed by following this link.                                                                                                                                                    Preceding the outcome of the policy review, the Minister has also issued a planning ‘Direction’ to all district councils titled ‘The Planning (Notification of Applications – Petroleum) Direction 2021’. The direction can be accessed by following this  link.

The Minister for Infrastructure (DfI) announced her decision to review strategic planning policy for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy on 21 April 2021. The Press Release for this announcement can be accessed by following this link.

The Department for Communities (DfC) updated its definition of “Affordable Housing” on  1 April 2021. For the purposes of planning and the SPPS, the new definition applies. The new definition and relevant page on the DfC website can be accessed by following this link.

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