Posts Tagged ‘planning NI’

new project | replacement dwelling ahoghill

A new project through the planning process & heading onto site.

replacement dwelling outside ahoghill ballymena
dwelling remains

We gained planning approval for a replacement dwelling (Policy CTY 3 – Replacement Dwellings) on the outskirts of Ahoghill, Ballymena.

the image above shows the state that the existing dwelling was in.

historical maps showed that a building was in the same position, which was used in our statement of case to planning ni.

Anyway, with the boring text out of the road, we’ll post updates of it onsite 🙂

If you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch with our

are you looking to build in the future?

Should you have any queries or have a project you’d like us to take a look at, feel free to contact our office to see about our free consultations

Replacement Dwelling in Northern Ireland CTY3

Replacement Dwellings and Planning issues

Replacement dwellings in Northern Ireland – As part of the general approach to sustainability running through PPS 21 the policy places a strong emphasis on the opportunities to re-use and develop the existing rural settlement pattern through a sensitive policy for replacement dwellings. Policy CTY3 sets out the criteria against which proposals will be assessed and it contains specific safeguards for the integration and retention of non listed vernacular buildings that are considered to be important to retain because of the contribution they make to the character and appearance of our local rural landscapes.

replacement dwelling to a house northern ireland
replacement dwelling for a 2 room house at slieve gullion newry, northern ireland

Basic Rules for Replacement Projects

  • The replacement dwelling should generally be placed as close as possible to the footprint of the original house, unless significant benefits are apparent in terms of visual and functional integration.
  • The replacement dwelling should be of a form and scale that integrates well with the characteristics of the site. Replacement dwellings should not be of an excessive size in comparison to the original building or be located a significant distance away from the original footprint unless there are clear and evident benefits.
  • The proposal takes full advantage of the retention of established and mature landscape and boundary features and retains the discreet character of existing access points.
  • Use is made of recycled building materials in the new proposal

Planning permission will be granted for a replacement dwelling where the building to be replaced exhibits the essential characteristics of a dwelling and as a minimum, all external structural walls are substantially intact. For the purposes of this policy, all references to ‘dwellings’ will include buildings previously used as dwellings.

Buildings designed and used for agricultural purposes, such as sheds or stores, and buildings of a temporary construction will not, however, be eligible for replacement under this policy.

Favourable consideration will, however, be given to the replacement of a redundant non-residential building with a single dwelling, where the redevelopment proposed would bring significant environmental benefits and provided the building is not listed or otherwise makes an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality.

In cases where a dwelling has recently been destroyed, for example, through an accident or a fire, planning permission may be granted for a replacement dwelling. Evidence about the status and previous condition of the building and the cause and extent of the damage must be provided.

Non-listed Vernacular Dwellings

The retention and sympathetic refurbishment, with adaptation if necessary, of non-listed vernacular dwellings in the countryside will be encouraged in preference to their replacement. Proposals involving the replacement of such dwellings will be assessed as follows:

• if the dwelling makes an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality planning permission will only be granted where it is demonstrated that it is not reasonably capable of being made structurally sound or otherwise improved.

• if the dwelling does not make an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality, planning permission will be granted for a new dwelling. In such cases the retention of the existing structure will be accepted where it is sympathetically incorporated into the layout of the overall development scheme, for example as ancillary accommodation or a store, to form an integrated building group.

In cases where the original building is retained, it will not be eligible for replacement again. Equally, this policy will not apply to buildings where planning permission has previously been granted for a replacement dwelling and a condition has been imposed restricting the future use of the original building, or where the building is immune from enforcement action as a result of non-compliance with a condition to demolish.

Refer to Planning Departments design Guide to accompany PPS21

Should you have any queries about planning in Northern Ireland, please feel free to get in touch with our office.

Transfer of planning in Northern Ireland

Transfer of planning – Planning Reform

Transfer of planning - Planning Reform

Transfer of planning meeting for Mid and East Antrim Area held at ecos Visitor and Conference Centre, Ballymena, County Antrim



On 1 April 2015, the Department of the Environment will hand over planning powers to the 11 new councils. From this date, councils will be responsible for drawing up local development plans, making the majority of planning decisions, and shaping how their area grows and develops in ways that respond to the needs of the communities they serve. This is an exciting time for planning and marks the most significant change to our planning system in over 30 years. Find out more about how these changes will affect you and how the new planning system will work.

Slemish Design Studio Architects will be able to work with both planning & council to help provide a fantastic architectural and planning for all our clients.
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our office!!

What powers will my Council have?

The councils’ new Transfer of planning powers will include:
• Developing a local plan which will set out what the council area should look like and how land should be used and developed;
• Making decisions on the majority of planning applications; and
• Investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining what enforcement action should be taken.

What will the Department be responsible for?

The Department will retain responsibility for deciding regionally significant and called-in applications. It will also set regional planning policy and legislation, provide oversight and guidance, and monitor the performance of councils, providing support were needed.

Is anything else changing?

At the same time as transferring planning to councils, the Department is also introducing improvements which will make planning a speedier, simpler and more streamlined process. These improvements will make it easier for you to access and participate in the planning process as well as helping to deliver faster and more predictable decisions and stronger and more effective enforcement.

How will the new system work?

Planning officers from the Department of the Environment are transferring to councils and will become council employees. They will bring with them their knowledge, skills and experience and will help ensure that the transfer is a seamless process.
Planning applications will be categorised as local, major and regionally significant with councils responsible for determining all local and major applications. Each council will establish a planning committee to consider and decide these planning applications. However, not all applications will come before the planning committee for decision. The vast majority of applications will be delegated to the council’s experienced planners to decide. The applications that are likely to come before the committee for decision may include large developments, contentious applications and those that receive a number of objections. As well as speeding up processing times and keeping down costs, delegating applications in this way will free councillors to deal with complex or contentious cases more promptly.

The types of applications that will normally be delegated to planners to decide and those that will normally come before the planning committee for decision will be published in the council’s Scheme of Delegation, which will be available for the public to view.

What is the Council doing to prepare for these changes?

Councils are working closely with the Department and each other to get ready for these new powers and responsibilities. Councils have identified the location of the local planning office for the new council area. For some council areas this will remain the existing planning office, but for others it will mean opening a planning office for the new council area. DOE planning staff have already started to move to these new offices, working alongside their council colleagues and testing IT and practical arrangements before their formal transfer from the Department to council on 1 April 2015.
Councillors are also preparing for their new role by participating in capacity building training, engaging with planning committees in other parts of the UK and agreeing important policies and procedures for how the new planning system will work.

What benefits will I see?

One of the biggest benefits from these reforms will be putting the decision-making in the hands of those with local knowledge. Local councillors know the local environment, local needs and views of local people and so are best placed to make the decisions on how their area should grow and develop. Councils will be able to approve planning choices suited to local communities and will have greater freedom to respond to local need. They will also be able to ensure that the needs of local businesses are taken into account which can help create jobs and growth in the local economy.
Councils will not be working alone however as the new local development plan process requires councils to consult with local communities. This gives businesses, communities, and local groups and organisations a real opportunity to have a say in shaping the look and feel of their local area.

What are the important dates?

The Department will continue to process all planning applications up to 31 March 2015 and the final decision to grant or refuse planning permission will be the responsibility of the Department.
On 1 April 2015, the Department will transfer to councils any major or local applications that have not been determined. The council will be responsible for making the decision on these applications, along with deciding all new major and local applications that are submitted after 1 April.

Where do I submit my planning application up to and after 1 April 2015?

Currently all planning applications should be submitted to your Area Planning Office. Local Area Planning Officers will be available to offer advice and guidance on what needs to be done to prepare and submit planning applications.
This will be same process after 1 April 2015. The only thing that might change is the location of your local office. Each new council area will have its own local planning office so you may find that your nearest planning office is much closer than before. These new offices will open before 1 April so before visiting or calling your local office, check the list of planning offices at the link below, which will be updated as each new office opens.

Local Area Planning Offices – Planning NI website

Increase Planning Fees – Northern Ireland

Increase Planning Fees – New Planning Application Fees are due to come into operation on Wednesday 28th May 2014

The Department recently made the Planning (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 (S.R. 2014 No. 127) which amend the Planning (Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 (S.R. 2005 No. 222 as amended by S.R. 2005 No. 505, S.R. 2009 No. 256, S.R. 2010 No. 294, S.R. 2011 No. 99, S.R. 2011 No. 99, S.R. 2011 No. 398 and S.R. 2012 No.293).
The purpose of the Regulations is to introduce an inflationary uplift of 1.3% across all fee categories in line with the Department’s cost recovery policy and also to promote a simpler, more balanced and more equitable planning fees regime and amend fee structures and maxima for a number of existing development categories.
The new Regulations, setting out details of the revised fees, can be viewed via the following link:
Alternatively you may wish to refer to the notes for applicants which can be viewed via the following link:

contact slemish design studio for more information on this and other planning & architectural issues


check out our social media pages for more information

Increase Planning Fees Increase Planning Fees Increase Planning Fees Increase Planning Fees Increase Planning Fees architects derry  architects magherfelt  

Single Strategic Planning Policy Statement Durkan appeals to public to influence planning changes

Durkan appeals to public to influence planning changes

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has called on the public to contribute their views to help shape the new planning policy framework.

In February, the Minister launched a public consultation on the single Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS). The consultation closes on 29 April 2014. The SPPS is a clear expression of how the new planning system will work. It consolidates over 20 separate planning policy statements into one, provides much shorter and clearer policy on issues such as building in the countryside, tourism, transport, telecommunications and housing. The consultation provides an opportunity to influence changes to this new planning system.

Mark H Durkan said: “Planning and Local Government Reform is not just about doing things differently, it’s about doing things better by giving councils some powerful tools to shape their areas and communities. 

“Achieving the benefits associated with the reform and transfer of planning functions to local Councils will involve everyone – Government, Councils, developers and communities. Working together, we have an exciting opportunity to create and shape what our local communities will look like for many decades to come.

“This is why it is important for people to have their say on the new policy. I encourage everyone to contribute their views to this important consultation through our digital online interactive portal.”

Development of this strategic policy document represents another important building block in the countdown to planning and local government reform. From 1 April 2015, Councils will be responsible for drawing up their own development plans and making the majority of planning decisions. This new approach to planning will allow local people to influence and make decisions on local business development, infrastructure provision, job creation and economic competitiveness and how their area will grow and develop.

The SPPS is expected to be published in final form by end of 2014.

The Department of the Environment is piloting an interactive online portal to gather consultation responses. This contemporary approach will make it easier for members of the public to submit their views.

For more details please visit


Information taken form Planning NI Website

New planning policy to boost tourism – Attwood

Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, today issued a new planning policy for sustainable tourism development

Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 16 will bring forward clearer, more flexible planning policy creating more opportunities for tourism that will be beneficial to the local economy and will protect tourism assets from inappropriate development.

It will make it easier for developers and other stakeholders to bring forward tourism proposals that are appropriate and sustainable in towns, cities and the countryside.

Key changes in the policy that will promote sustainable tourism development and provide more opportunities for sustainable development in the countryside are:

  • the inclusion of an exceptional circumstances policy, this means that unique proposals for a major tourism development project in the countryside, which will bring jobs and tourists to rural communities and benefit the tourism industry, can be approved;
  • the removal of the requirement for an applicant to demonstrate ‘need’ for tourist accommodation in the countryside will make it less difficult for applicants to bring forward proposals, and easier and quicker for the planning authority to process applications;
  • holiday / caravan park sites in the countryside no longer need to be within the Development Plan, as required by Draft PPS16. In rural areas, new or extended holiday parks will be required to integrate into the surrounding countryside and to demonstrate a high quality layout and design;
  • expansion of the Draft PPS16 provisions for hotels to now also include proposals for guest houses and tourist hostels in the countryside.
Alex Attwood said: “The planning system plays a crucial role in assisting and supporting a thriving tourism industry. My officials have worked closely with the tourism sector to develop PPS16 to help achieve this. PPS 16 provides a common sense planning policy framework that is right for Northern Ireland that achieves the correct balance between development and protection.

“The new policy aims to manage the provision of sustainable and high quality tourism developments in appropriate locations within the built and natural environment. This will reinforce the green and clean credentials that make the North such a special place. It will provide a planning framework that will help boost the economy as tourism serves as an economic driver. As the tourism sector grows in a sustainable way, so do jobs, services and facilities.

“PPS 16 underpins the recently announced half a million pound regeneration fund for coastal communities and the £1 million dereliction fund that I have made available to tackle dereliction and spruce up a number of areas in Northern Ireland. The built and natural heritage will drive future increases in tourist numbers and spend. Six of the top ten visitor attractions are features of our built and natural heritage. Growing tourism from a £500 million to a £1 billion a year industry will revolve around the positive protection and development of this heritage and this new policy that I am bringing forward will help to do this.”

Geoffrey Chestnutt, Chairman of Caravan and Camping Forum for Northern Ireland said: “The Caravan and Camping Forum for Northern Ireland welcome the recognition within PPS16 of the importance of the holiday parks industry to Northern Ireland’s economy.

“DOE Planning’s engagement with the industry was instrumental in framing policies which should provide the flexibility to allow sustainable park development. Northern Ireland’s economy benefits from the business generated by over 120 holiday and touring parks which provide a market for local goods and services as well as jobs, both on parks and in their host communities.”

PPS 16 will protect tourism assets from insensitive development, not just tourism development, to avoid damage to their quality and character.

The Minister concluded: “I believe it is important to afford protection to tourism assets associated with our natural and built heritage, not only for conservation reasons, but also to ensure their continued effectiveness in attracting tourists and underpinning the tourism industry.” 

Notes to editors:

1. PPS 16 will replace tourism policies SP 10 and TOU 1 to TOU 4 and coastal policies CO 5 to CO 7 of ‘A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland’. It will also supersede policy CTY 1 of PPS 21 insofar as it relates to the tourism policies of ‘A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland’.
2. PPS 16 has been brought forward in consultation with DETI and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and takes account of emerging Tourism Priorities for Action Plan
3. The final version of PPS 16 takes account of the public consultation responses made in regard to Draft PPS 16.
4. The Caravan & Camping Forum for Northern Ireland is established to provide a forum for the exchange of views between and amongst private and public sector stakeholders of the Caravan and Camping industry in Northern Ireland

this information was taken from the NI planning website


How Slemish Design Studio Help can help?

At SDS we are able to advise you on the finer detail of the policy, its materiality and weight in respect of current or future planning applications.
We can use our expertise and experience to help guide your application through the increasingly complex planning system.
SDS can advise on the acceptability of these proposals and provide planning statements to support their approval. We can advise on the appeal case law that has developed on the interpretation of these policies and your likely chances of success.
We can also advise you on the chances of success at appeal if your application is unsuccessful. We can advise on whether your application can be amended to make it more acceptable.
For further information please contact:
Steven or Joe at Slemish Design Studio –