Mallon ends temporary changes to major planning application process

Mallon ends temporary changes to major planning application process

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today announced that the temporary suspension of the requirement to hold a public event as part of pre-application community consultation on major planning applications will end on 31 March 2022.

This means that from 1 April developers will once again be required to hold a public event as part of the pre- application process for planning applications on major development.

Minister Mallon said: “The planning system has a critical role in supporting our future economic and societal recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and public participation is a crucial part of the planning process. It has always been my stated position that I would not extend the emergency period any longer than absolutely necessary. With the removal of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions, I consider it the right time to announce that from 1 April pre-application community consultation public events on major planning applications should be facilitated.

"I also recognise that innovative solutions to ensure community engagement have emerged during the pandemic while public events were suspended. I am keen that these should continue and flowing from the recently published Review of the Implementation of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 and recommendations which will emerge from the work of the Planning Engagement Partnership, my Department will be considering how this can be taken forward as quickly as possible.

"In the meantime applicants can voluntarily hold an on-line/ electronic pre-application public engagement event and planning authorities can require that such an event is held.”

The Minister concluded: “While the return of public events is to be welcomed I would encourage anyone holding or attending a public consultation to always follow the latest public health guidance.”


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We have experience in managing all aspects of statutory and non-statutory pre-application community consultation (PACC). If you want further information on our community consultation services please click on our 'Services' as well as the 'Online Consultation' tab of the website.

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