The Development Management Process
For those making a planning application:
You can contact planning officials before you submit your application by way of a Pre Application Discussion (PAD). PADs are encouraged for a range of applications, especially larger and more complex proposals, to consider whether the principle of development is acceptable and to clarify the level of detail required to determine an application.
For major applications, legislation now exists requiring applicants to inform and involve the wider community in discussion prior to submitting a formal planning application. This is done through a Pre Application Community Consultation (PACC). Applicants must undertake a PACC 12 weeks before submitting their application.
For those wanting to comment on a planning application:
When a planning application is submitted, you will have the opportunity to express your opinion in regard to how you may be affected by a proposal. We will inform the public of all planning applications when required, through:
• Advertising in the local newspapers; and
• Neighbour Notification letters
Individuals, groups and organisations can comment on a planning application even if they have not been neighbour notified by the Council. Only ‘material planning considerations’ are taken into account. All comments will be fully considered within the Planning Officer’s report.
Certain applications may require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under European legislation due to their nature, scale or location. For such applications, we will engage with the community as set out in the EIA regulations.
Weekly lists of planning applications received within the Council District are available on the Council website and the Northern Ireland Planning Portal. Planning applications can be viewed online and at the Council offices. In the Council offices in Derry, Planning officers will be available should you wish to obtain general planning advice; however, you are advised to make an appointment if you wish to speak to a particular officer about a specific application. A Planning Clinic takes place every Wednesday in the Council’s Strabane office, where a Duty Planner is available to give advice, by appointment.
If you wish to make a formal representation to this or any planning application, you can use any of the following methods detailed below:
By email: [email protected] (Please quote the application number)
By Public Access for Planning Applications:
By post to: The Planning Office,
Development Management Section,
Derry City and Strabane Council Offices, 98 Strand Road, Derry, BT48 7NN
Please note that in order to ensure that representations are associated with the correct application, the application reference should be quoted in all correspondence.
Most planning applications are decided by Council’s Planning Officials, in accordance with the Council’s Delegated Scheme, following the consideration of consultee responses and any representations, in accordance with the Local Development Plan and other relevant policies.
Planning Committee Stage:
All major applications (and those ‘called in’ with the agreement of the Chair of the Planning Committee) will be considered and decided by the Council’s Planning Committee. Applicants and those wishing to make representations about a planning application can apply in advance to the Planning office to speak at the Planning Committee prior to a decision being made on an application.
Planning Committee Decision:
The decision is recorded on the Council’s website and in the statutory Planning Register. The reasoning will be set out in the Planning Officer’s report which is available on the Planning Portal. Where the Planning Committee makes a decision contrary to a Planning Officer’s recommendation, the justification for this can be viewed in the minutes, published on our website.
Where an applicant is unhappy with the Council’s decision or a condition attached to a permission, they may appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC). There are no third party rights of appeal. An applicant may also appeal to the PAC where the Council has not determined an application within the relevant period. Further guidance can be found on the PAC website.
The Enforcement Process
Your Council encourages the community to report cases where they believe there has been a breach of planning control. Enforcement is a discretionary power and there may be cases where it is not expedient to pursue such action. All enforcement-related complaints are treated confidentially. If the complaint results in a planning application being submitted, this will be publicised as normal and adjoining neighbours will be notified. The Council will acknowledge all complaints received and will write to advise the complainant on the action taken, at the conclusion of the case. Only those upon whom an enforcement notice has been served have the right of appeal.
The Council’s priorities for enforcement action are contained within the Enforcement Strategy, which is subject to regular review which may involve public consultation as part of this review process.