What is the Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland (PPSNI)?

The Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland (PPSNI) is the key document that guides the planning system in Northern Ireland. It sets out the policy framework for development in Northern Ireland, including the criteria for assessing planning applications and the objectives for sustainable development.

The PPSNI is intended to provide a clear and comprehensive guide to the planning system for all stakeholders, including local authorities, developers, and the public. It is a key reference point for decision-makers when considering planning applications and appeals, and helps to ensure consistency and coherence in the planning process in Northern Ireland.

It includes a wide range of policy guidance on planning and development in Northern Ireland. It covers a variety of topics including:

  • land-use planning,
  • the protection of the natural and built environment,
  • the provision of infrastructure and services,
  • the promotion of sustainable development.

It is intended to be used by all those involved in the planning process, including local authorities, developers, and members of the public.

The PPSNI is implemented through the planning application process, which is managed by local authorities in Northern Ireland. When a planning application is submitted, the local authority assesses it against the criteria set out in the PPSNI and makes a decision on whether to approve or reject the application. If a planning application is rejected, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC), which will consider the case and make a final decision. The PAC has the power to approve or reject planning applications and impose conditions on development.

In addition to the planning application process, the PPSNI is also used as a reference point for local authorities when preparing Local Development Plans and for other stakeholders when making representations on planning matters.

It is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it remains relevant and effective in guiding development in Northern Ireland.

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