Publication of Northern Ireland Planning Statistics: Second Quarter 2017/18

Publication of Northern Ireland Planning Statistics: Second Quarter 2017/18

Department for Infrastructure has released the provisional planning statistics for the second quarter of 2017/18.

These data provide an overall view of planning activity. Alongside this there is a summary of council performance across the three statutory targets for major development applications, local development applications and enforcement cases as laid out in the Local Government (Performance Indicators and Standards) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.

The publication is available on the Department for Infrastructure website at:https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/planning-activity-statistics

The key points from the Northern Ireland Planning Statistics Second Quarter 2017/18 Statistical Bulletin are:

  • There were 3,249 planning applications received during July to September 2017 (Q2), down almost 2% on the previous quarter (3,312) but up by nearly 7% on the same period a year earlier. This comprised 3,212 local and 37 major development applications.
  • During the second quarter of 2017/18, 3,101 planning applications were decided, a decrease of over 6% when compared to the previous quarter and a fall of over 7% when compared to the same period a year earlier.
  • The average processing time for major applications during the first six months of 2017/18 was 55 weeks across all councils; an improvement of 15 weeks from the 70 weeks reported for the first six months of 2016/17. This is 25 weeks longer than the statutory processing time target of 30 weeks, although it is still a relatively early stage in the year.
  • The number of local planning applications received was 3,212, similar to the number received in the previous quarter (3,272) but up by nearly 7% on same period a year earlier. Across councils, Belfast City (511), Newry, Mourne and Down (411) and Mid Ulster (371) received the highest number of local planning applications during Q2.
  • In the first six months of 2017/18, it took on average 16 weeks across councils to process local applications to decision or withdrawal which was similar to the same period last year. Five of the 11 councils were within the 15 week target during the first six months of 2017/18. The shortest average processing time for local applications across councils was just below 10 weeks in Mid and East Antrim, whilst the longest was nearly 23 weeks in Lisburn and Castlereagh.
  • The number of enforcement cases opened during Q2 was 857, an increase of 2% over the previous quarter and a decrease of 2% when compared to the same period a year earlier. Across the councils, Antrim and Newtownabbey (111), Newry, Mourne and Down (106) and Causeway Coast and Glens (103) opened the largest number of cases in Q2.
  • Three quarters of enforcement cases were concluded within 39 weeks. This was five percentage points above the statutory target and over six percentage points lower than the equivalent quarter last year. Seven of the 11 councils are on track to meet the target with performance ranging from a high of 94% concluded within 39 weeks in Antrim and Newtownabbey to 51% in Newry, Mourne and Down.

The approval rate for all planning applications for the quarter was nearly 94%, similar to the rates for the previous quarter and a year earlier. Second quarter approval rates varied across councils from 88% to 98%.

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