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General Planning Advice and Guidance

General Planning Advice and Guidance

Reminder of Standing Advice and survey specification requests
As we are now in May 2024, and the start of the survey season for many of our protected and priority species and habitats, the Council would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the published DAERA standing advice and survey specifications (links provided below).

These have been produced by DAERA to aid ecologists and applicants and agents to comply with DAERA NIEA requirements for surveys and are useful tools to help ensure you’ve a fully complete application.

By using this advice, and in combination with any evidence gathered from your field visit etc, it will aid in ensuring the Council have all the correct information to consult with NIEA NED and to safeguard against a refusal on lack of information.

Due to the time constraints for some surveys, it is important all applications are supported with a full suite of ecological information at submission stage.

Standing advice for development of land that may affect Natural Heritage Interests | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)

Site Surveys | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)


At its meeting on 27 July 2020, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council ratified a Planning Guidance Note on temporary structures and changes of use.

The planning guidance note offered advice to existing businesses and organisations who wished to create more space for operational reasons arising from Covid 19 through a temporary change of use or the use of temporary structures/buildings or other means to accommodate physical/social distancing.

Due to a relaxation of restrictions in relation to Covid 19 and social/physical distancing, the Council’s Planning Guidance Note on Temporary Structures and changes of use is no longer in effect.

The Planning Department aims to assist potential and/or current applicants with up-to-date information on the planning process. In this section you will find a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist you with your application.

To track the status of a planning application please log on via the Planning Portal Public Register to view the status. Alternatively, you can refer to the weekly lists of applications where a recommendation by Case Officer has been made.

Please Note: If you have an interest in an application where there is an outstanding consultee response you may wish to contact that Consultee directly yourself. The Council’s Planning Department will also endeavour to obtain the outstanding response in the interest of reaching a timely decision on your application.

Preparing to carry out development can be expensive so to help you minimise the cost of the process, we encourage everyone to discuss their proposal with us before submitting a planning application form.  We know from experience that developers and potential applicants generally welcome and benefit from such a service.

The benefits of the pre-application service

  • It can save you time and costs
  • It describes how the regional and council’s policies will be applied to your development
  • Provides a forum for specialist officer input, enabling key planning issues to be identified at an early stage
  • It provides an informal officer view on various aspects of the scheme
  • Ensures advice is provided within set timeframes
  • Identifies the information requirements for planning applications
  • Identifies the key statutory bodies you should liaise with
  • Allows subsequent planning applications to be determined more quickly
  • Increases the likelihood of a successful outcome

It gives a clear indication on proposals that are unacceptable, which will help avoid any unnecessary costs.

The Planning Department offer two formal Pre-application services depending on your needs.

Pre-Application Advice
This gives you essential information necessary prior to submitting an application.

Pre-Application Discussions
In addition to the above also offers a site visit and office meeting which will allow you to work with Planning Staff to be able to submit an application of a higher quality and reduce the processing timeframes as a result.

Payments should be received at time of submission. We can either accept cash or card (in office), BACS (Please quote reference number on transfer using ABC-PAD-agents name) or cheque (Please Note: All cheques should be made payable to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council)

The advice given by council officers in response to pre-application enquiries or advice given during duty officer appointments, does not bind the council’s decision making or constitute a formal decision by the council as a Local Planning Authority.  Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of our ability without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation. The planning application process involves consultation with neighbours and technical consultees, and it will not be possible to predict all the issues that will arise once a planning application is submitted. Moreover, not all planning decisions are made by officers, with some applications, including all proposals for Major development, decided by the Planning Committee.

Many homeowners have queries whether they require planning permission for projects around their home. Within the planning legislation some works can be undertaken without the requirement for a formal submission to the Planning Department. Your Home and Planning Permission  is a user-friendly guide for homeowners and within that publication there is a link to the legislation covering this aspect.

If your proposal does not benefit from permitted development rights, you will need to apply for planning permission.

To apply for planning permission, you will need to submit

  • An application form
  • An appropriate fee
  • Scaled plans and drawings to reflect the current position and the proposed development
  • Supporting information

Further detailed guidance on submitting an application can be found at Making an Application

Applications can be submitted electronically or hard copy. Electronically is the preferred submission route.

Some customers choose to engage a planning agent to assist in their submission and we will liaise with your agent while processing your application.

When an application is received, we will check that the above details have been submitted correctly and begin processing your application.

Your application will be publicly advertised in the local press, if there are adjoining neighbours we will notify them and we may consult outside bodies for an opinion on specialist matters.

One of the factors we take into consideration in assessing your proposal is planning policy. Prior to submitting an application, you may wish to reference planning policy to consider the requirements within. Planning Policy should be read in a tiered manner starting with the relevant area plan, followed by the Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland and finally the relevant Planning Policy Statement. There are numerous Planning Policy Statements for varying development types however for household development the relevant policy is called Addendum to Planning Policy Statement 7 ‘Residential Extensions and Alterations’ and for all development in the countryside the relevant policy is called Planning Policy Statement 21 ‘Sustainable Development in the Countryside’.

To make a comment on a current application under consideration you will need to enter the planning reference number into the public register to firstly open the application. When you have opened the application, you should then open the ‘Comment section’. You will then see an option to ‘Add comment’.

Should you not be able to access information relating to an application online you can contact the Planning Department, however please ensure you  have the following information to hand:

  • Address of the site
  • Planning application reference number
  • Planning officer’s name

Please Note:

If you wish to contact a Duty Planner you can call into the Planning Office and speak to the Duty Planner Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4.00pm. No appointment needed.

Telephone the Duty Planner by logging a request via 0300 200 7830. An officer will call you within 24 hours.

Email the Planning Office via by completing a general enquiry form here.