One of the most common challenges we feedback to elected and public sector employees, from members, relates to the poorly performing planning system in NI.

The responsibility for planning is spread across 11 different council areas, producing inconsistences and slow response times. This frustrates many within industry as well as stifling clients’ appetites to invest and commit to projects - changes are long overdue.

This opportunity to respond is open until 3 March 2024 and the Department for Infrastructure welcome views from the public, stakeholders, and industry.

As FMB NI respond to this consultation as well, we would have some asks based on your experience and feedback:

  • An urgent review of the current underperforming system with slow turnaround of apps.
  • Clear short and long-term outcomes to deliver real change.
  • Adoption of an up-to-date online system which is consistent across all local councils.
  • Investment in training and communication to improve inadequate quality applications.
  • Embracing good practice from other UK regions which have more efficient systems.
  • Clear and fully accountable processes which strive for excellence.

Nothing beats onsite experience however, and your personal views can contribute to that industry call for changes.

Check out the information on the Department’s website for more information on the three specific areas they are proposing to address, and details on how to provide your feedback.

If any member has any questions or observations they want to share in confidence please contact me at [email protected].

Related topics


Gavin McGuire

Gavin McGuire

Director, FMB Northern Ireland, Federation of Master Builders