The Planning Service

What we do

The purpose of planning is to control the development and use of land in the best interests of the community. In Northern Ireland the planning process is administered by the Planning Service, an agency within the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. Submitting a planning application gives an opportunity for your proposed development to be considered against the background of the general interests of the locality. Proposed development which may seem to be minor to you can have a significant impact on the locality.

In many cases, however, you can carry out small alterations to your home and property without requiring planning permission. This is known as permitted development. Even when you don't need planning permission for your proposed works, there are other kinds of approval you may need. For example, you will probably have to get approval under the Building Regulations for many types of work. If this is the case then you will probably have to submit plans to your local Borough or District Council to ensure that your proposals comply with the Building Regulations.

Planning permission will be required if the Building on which the proposed works are intended is listed or in a Conservation area. Your local planning office will be able to advise. Similarly if you live near any archaeological site or historic monument you may need special permission.

More information and advice along with contact numbers and addresses can be obtained from the Planning Service website at