Friday, June 21, 2024

Department launches a Call for Evidence on Planning Policy and Climate Change

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The Department for Infrastructure is inviting the public to have their say as a consultation to help inform any future focused review of the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) is launched.

The SPPS sets out the regional planning policies for the orderly and consistent development of land here.  Given the climate emergency and the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022, the Department is looking at how its planning policies can help to reduce carbon emissions, as we collectively chart the path to net zero by 2050. We have seen at first hand the significant impacts of recent flooding events and there is understandably an increased interest in the role of planning policy in responding to our changing climate.

Our planning system plays an important role in helping to address the climate change challenges we will continue to face. We are currently finalising the review of planning policy for renewable and low carbon energy, which was consulted on last year. In addition, we need to consider whether the rest of the SPPS remains appropriate and fit for purpose in relation to climate change. For example, a future focussed review of the SPPS could include a fresh look at the appropriateness of extant policy provisions such as on flood risk, transportation and development in the countryside.

Planning matters affect everyone and the Department is continually seeking opportunities to make positive changes to planning policy which will support the planning system as it shapes our places and communities, delivering for people now and for future generations.

The primary purpose of the Call for Evidence is to engage with stakeholders on the proposed areas of focus for a review of the SPPS and to invite the submission of evidence on the relevant factors that can assist with determining the best way forward.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 5.00 pm on Thursday 28 March 2024 and the Department welcomes responses from the public, stakeholders and planning authorities.

Documents are available at: 

The information gathered through the Call for Evidence will be considered by the Department and will help inform any decision by a future Infrastructure Minister on a potential review of the SPPS and the options for it.  In the absence of Ministers, any final decisions will be taken in light of the decision-making framework at that time.


Notes to editors: 

  1. The SPPS: Planning for Sustainable Development, was published on 28 September 2015. 
  2. Since the SPPS was published in 2015, tackling Climate Change has become a legislative requirement and it is a priority consideration in the context of the work and functions of DfI in relation to water, transport and planning.
  3. The Department is also currently reviewing regional strategic planning policy for renewable and low carbon energy.
  4. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  6. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra on Facebook  @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn at DfILinkedIn



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