Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland

Local planning pack - Northern Ireland

We've got some useful documents available to download to help better guide you through the maze of the planning system.

Useful planning information

To help you make the most of your voice, we've produced a set of leaflets to give you the power to influence local decisions and protect the wildlife which is important to you.

Please see our downloadable documents for more help and information.

What to do before a case

Use your local knowledge to influence development at an early stage.

By understanding the planning system and how to respond to planning applications, you may be able to prevent a harmful development, or even enhance a proposal's value to wildlife.

What to do now

When dealing with a live planning application, you will need to be objective and decide if there is a genuine case. Wasting time on a weak element of your campaign may undermine other legitimate planning concerns.

Find out the key questions you need to ask in order to build a case for protecting wildlife through the planning system.

How to gain local support

The more people who know what you are trying to achieve, the more support you will likely get for your campaign. Find out how to get your local media and local politicians involved.


Under the current planning system, new building and major changes to the local environment or existing buildings require planning permission PDF, 409Kb

The planning system in Northern Ireland

This leaflet will help you to assess the value of your wildlife site in your local area. PDF, 513Kb

How important is your wildlife site?

This leaflet explains what can and cannot be done to protect birds, their nests and habitat from development proposals and other threats. PDF, 413Kb

Protecting birds from development

When you are objecting to a planning application, or looking to secure protection for an area as a wildlife site, consider other animals and plants found there. PDF, 325Kb

Protecting other wildlife from development

Environmental Impact Assessment FAQs

Southern cliffs of Rathlin Island, proposed reserve for chough

Find answers to frequently asked questions around Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in Northern Ireland, including what they are and what they're used for.