Public Consultation - Planning Application Validation Checklists

Closed 6 Jan 2023

Opened 4 Nov 2022


The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on the Department’s proposal to revise the information requirements for the submission of planning applications. The proposal is to amend The Planning (General Development Procedure) Order (NI) 2015 to provide for the introduction of ‘validation checklists’ by planning authorities, to address ‘poor quality’ or ‘incomplete’ applications entering the planning system.   

The consultation will be of interest to all stakeholders in the planning system, particularly applicants and their agents, those affected by or with an interest in development in their area, planning authorities themselves, and statutory planning consultees.  The intention is to provide planning authorities with the power to prepare and publish information checklists against which, those submitting new planning applications will have to adhere before an application will be accepted as being ‘valid’.

This consultation forms part of the Department’s Planning Improvement Programme aimed at creating an efficient, effective and equitable planning system trusted to deliver high quality, sustainable, inclusive and healthy places.

Why your views matter

The proposed changes are aimed at improving the overall quality of planning applications entering the planning system. This is to ensure that new applications are accompanied by all of the relevant material information / evidence considered necessary to enable a planning authority to make quality planning decisions in a timely and efficient manner. Such enhancements are also aimed at improving planning consultee response times by avoiding the need for additional information requests, and numerous re-consultations.

A validation checklist will provide guidance to applicants and their agents as to the level and type of information required to be submitted with a planning application at the point of its submission to the relevant planning authority. The additional supporting information / evidence required to accompany different types of planning application will be specific to its siting, and the type of development proposed, but also proportionate and material to the nature and scale of the development. There will be flexibility for individual councils to take an approach that suits their local area and planning issues.

The Department believes these enhanced information requirements are important to improve overall planning performance, and would encourage all those with a vested interest to contribute to this consultation process.

What happens next

When the consultation closes, the responses will be analysed and a report drafted for consideration.


  • All stakeholders
  • Business
  • Homeowners
  • Local Government
  • Private Sector
  • Utility
  • Political Representatives
  • Legal professionals or legal representatives


  • Consultation