The Strategic Planning Policy Statement

Date published: 28 September 2015

Last updated: 12 May 2023

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 is inviting the public to have their say as a Call for Evidence to help inform any future focused review of the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) is launched.                                                                                                                                      The information gathered through this Call for Evidence will be considered by the Department and will help inform any decision by a future Infrastructure Minister on a potential review of the SPPS and the options for it. In the absence of Ministers, any final decision will be taken in light of the decision-making framework at that time.                                                                                                                              Details for submitting information to this Call for Evidence can be accessed via the following link.

The former Minister for Infrastructure (DfI) announced her decision to review strategic planning policy on Renewable and Low Carbon Energy on 21 April 2021. The press release for this announcement can be accessed by following this link.                                                                                                                                                      To help inform the way forward for the review the Department is undertaking a targeted (pre-public consultation) engagement exercise with key stakeholders and is inviting comments on an Issues Paper until 11 February 2022. A copy of the issues paper and associated information on the review can be accessed by following this link.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Department has prepared an SEA Scoping Report for the review. The SEA Scoping Report can be viewed for information by following this link.                                                                                                                                                                                                               The consultation on draft Revised Regional Strategic Planning Policy on Renewable and Low Carbon Energy launched on 6 April 2023. More information can be viewed by following this link.                   

The Minister for Infrastructure (DfI) announced her decision to commence work on a review of strategic planning policy on oil and gas development, including development involving fracking, on the 27 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 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.                                                       
DfC has now developed a new Intermediate Rent policy (March 2023) which sets the framework for the development of more high quality, long-term, affordable rented housing with support services.
                                                                                                                         The definition and relevant page on the DfC website can be accessed by following this link.

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