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Current Planning Service Arrangements

The Planning Service is currently working within a limited capacity. Although we have reduced some of our normal services, we are continuing to process planning applications and appeals. 

Whilst the Council Offices are currently closed to the public, we are accepting new planning applications and revised schemes by post. For anyone wishing to make a representation on a planning application we would encourage you, wherever possible, to do so by email to planning@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk or by using the online facility available on the NI Planning Portal

Most applications will continue to be progressed and decided by Planning Officers under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation and decisions are issuing as normal, albeit some delays may be experienced. 

In addition, and following the introduction of recent legislation by the Department for Communities, the Council’s Planning Committee meetings are now resuming and will be held using technology to provide for remote access to Members and the public as necessary. In accordance with the Council’s Protocol for the Operation of the Planning Committee, public speaking rights remain available for all applications being presented to the monthly Planning Committee meetings. Information on the detailed arrangements for exercising these public speaking rights can be obtained by contacting the Planning Section. 

General queries can also be submitted to the above email address or you can telephone the Planning Section on T. 0300 123 6677. 

The Council will continue to keep the situation under review.


Planning Overview

Powers Include:

  • Preparing and adopting local development plan which will set out planning policies and proposals that shape how the Council area developes in the future, how land should be used and how neighbourhoods could be improved.

  • Making decisions on the majority of planning applications.

  • Investigating alleged breaches of planning control and determining what enforcement action should be taken.


How Does The System Work?

The current development plans and planning policies for the Borough were prepared by the Department of the Environment (DOE). They comprise the Antrim Area Plan 1984-2001 (including alterations 1, 2 and 3), the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015 and operational planning policies contained in the DOE’s suite of planning policy statements and other planning policy documents.

We will prepare a new Local Development Plan to replace the existing development plans and operational planning policies. The new plan will have two elements. Firstly a Plan Strategy must be prepared and then adopted by the full Council. This will be followed by the preparation of a Local Policies Plan which must also be adopted by the full Council.

Planning applications are categorised as local, major and regionally significant, with the Council responsible for determining all local and major applications. The Council’s Planning Committee will consider and make decisions on these planning applications.  In reaching its decision the Committee must have regard to the local development plan.

The Council has planning enforcement powers to enable the investigation and resolution of cases where planning laws and procedures have not been observed. 

The Planning Committee is made up of 12 Councillors from the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. It is anticipated that it will determine about 30% of all applications submitted to the Council.  The remainder will be decided by Planning Officers through a Scheme of Delegation. A copy of the Scheme is available from the Planning Administration Team on 0300 123 6677 or available to download below.  The applications to be considered are set out in the agenda which is available beforehand. 

Planning Protocol including Scheme of Delegation

Useful Contacts

Planning Section

Mossley Mill,
Carnmoney Road North,
BT36 5QA

Tel: 0300 123 6677

Email Planning Section