Overview of New System

Planning in Northern Ireland 
The planning system has been reformed and restructured from a unitary system where all planning powers rested with the Department, to a new two-tier model of delivery whereby councils have primary responsibility for the implementation of the following key planning functions:
local plan-making;
development management (excluding regionally significant applications); and 
planning enforcement.
The Department retains responsibility for regional   planning   policy,   the determination of regionally significant and called-in applications, and planning legislation.  It also provides oversight, guidance for councils, governance and performance management functions.