The purpose of the planning system is to regulate the development and use of land in the public interest. The planning system plays a crucial role in delivering appropriate forms of development to serve the needs of society, while ensuring that the vital asset (land) that will deliver long–term prosperity and wellbeing does not become exhausted or degraded.

NIEL Recommendations

  • To encourage government to direct more resources to landscape management in Northern Ireland.
  • To develop a land strategy for Northern Ireland with accompanying landscape capacity studies.
  • To place AONB’s on a statutory footing and ensure protected landscapes are given stronger protection through the planning system.
  • Adoption of natural capital approaches to inform Local Development Plans and land use planning decisions
  • To protect natural capital for the public good
  • To ensure that development is guided by robust strategic planning policy and local development plans.
  • Promotion of Shoreline Planning for Northern Ireland  as a tool to manage complex issues in the dynamic coastal zone (for example, sea level rise, coastal erosion, managed realignment)
  • To designate National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as considered appropriate by relevant stakeholders.
  • Effective planning enforcement to deal unlawful development and breaches of planning control.

NIEL provides a secretariat service to the Planning and Land Matters Task Force which seeks to inform and influence the development of strategic planning policy (regional and local) and legislation in Northern Ireland to ensure a sustainable, integrated and evidenced based approach to policy making.

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