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Engaging with Planning Agents Reform of the Planning System 30 April 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging with Planning Agents Reform of the Planning System 30 April 2015."— Presentation transcript:


2 Engaging with Planning Agents Reform of the Planning System 30 April 2015

3 On 1 April 2015: Majority of planning functions transferred from Central to Local Government Reformed Planning System came into effect under Planning (NI) Act 2011 and subordinate legislation: Key aims include: Speedier decision making More effective enforcement Enhanced community participation Transfer and Reform of Planning

4 Council’s Planning Responsibilities Local Plan Making Development Management Planning Enforcement Power to designate Conversation Areas Power to make Tree Preservation Orders

5 Central Government’s Planning Responsibilities Processing regionally significant planning and called-in applications Regional planning policy Planning legislation Guidance for Councils, audit and performance management functions

6 Population: 204,000 Households: 75,000 Area: 554 square miles New Council Area

7 A Few Preliminary Matters Scheme of Delegation in place – available on Council’s website; Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee will hear non- delegated matters Monthly meetings – second Wednesday of month Protocol for Meetings on website

8 Reformed Appeal System Time period for lodging an appeal will reduce from 6 to 4 months No matter can be raised at appeal which was not before the Council at time of decision – exceptional circumstances only; Award of Costs

9 Reformed Plan Process Timetable for Plan Statement of Community Involvement for Plan Preferred Options Paper Plan Strategy – Independent examination and adoption (indicative timeframe 22 months) Local Policies Plan – Independent Examination and adoption (indicative timeframe 40 months) Monitor and review

10 Reformed Development Management System Hierarchy of Development Local Development o Scheme of Delegation Major Development o Proposal of Application Notice o Pre-Application Community Consultation o Pre-Application Consultation Report o Design and Access Statement Other Reforms

11 Hierarchy of Development RSD Major Local

12 Local Developments Local Developments: those that do not fall within the classes described as major or regionally significant Likely compromise the majority of residential and minor commercial applications eg. extensions to dwellings and single houses RSD Major Local

13 Local Developments Scheme of Delegation Legislation requires Councils to prepare a Scheme of Delegation for planning applications and for these schemes to be approved by the Department Majority of local planning applications will be decided under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation The Scheme will allow for quicker decision making on the smaller local applications

14 Major Developments Likely to be developments that have important economic, social and environmental implications for the Council area ALL major applications will be presented to the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee for determination RSD Major Local

15 Major Developments Proposal of Application Notice A notice of intention to submit a major application – 12 weeks in advance Notice must include the description of proposal, site address, site plan and details of consultation proposed (which must include 1 public event) Only required for applications submitted from 1 July 2015

16 Major Developments Pre-Application Community Consultation Seeks to enhance community involvement early in the planning process Enables local communities to be better informed about development proposals and to have an opportunity to contribute their views before a formal planning application is submitted Compliments the successful pre-application discussion (non-statutory) process

17 Major Developments Pre-Application Consultation Report A report must be submitted with applications to demonstrate what has been done to comply with pre-application community requirements Report must show how comments received from the community have been considered/addressed The Council may require that additional consultation is carried out or can decline to determine the application

18 Major Developments Design and Access Statement (DAS) Supporting document required for major developments (the requirement also applies in other instances). Also required for all listed building applications and some local applications The statement must explain design principles and how it relates to the site and setting Must demonstrate how the site can be adequately accessed by prospective users

19 Other Reforms Call-In The DoE may call in any individual application or any class of application specified in a Direction by it The process to be followed in such instances will be the same as for regionally significant developments Notification Direction: Council required to notify DoE where it proposes to grant planning permission for certain types of application

20 Other Reforms Pre-Determination Hearings Legislation provides for the enhanced scrutiny of major development applications which have been subject to notification – that is referred to the Department for call-in, but have been returned to a Council for determination Councils may hold pre-determination hearings, at their own discretion, where it is considered necessary to take on board local community views as well as those in support of the development

21 Other Reforms Duty to Respond Officers will consult certain environmental bodies for their comments on an application New consultation arrangements will place a duty on consultees to respond within a statutory timeframe – 21 days Extension to this timeframe will be by exception only and, a substantive response will be required in every instance.

22 Performance Management Framework Local Government (Performance Indicators and Standards) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 Major applications processed to decision or withdrawal within an average of 30 weeks from date valid Local applications processed to decision or withdrawal within average of 15 weeks from date valid 70% of all enforcement cases progressed to target conclusion within 39 weeks of receipt of complaint

23 Role of Planning Officers Planning Officers will: Respond positively to requests for pre-application advice and discussions –approach taken will be proportionate to nature and scale of proposal. Front loading of process to improve quality of application and speed of decision. Return any applications which are invalid.

24 Role of Planning Officers Ensure the active management of applications If proposal is unacceptable in principle – Refuse If minor changes will make proposal acceptable – allow 1 opportunity for amendments Only facilitate meetings post submission when considered appropriate Ensure that decisions are issued promptly once reached

25 Any Questions?

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