Local Development Plan 2030 - Draft Plan Strategy Counter Representations

Closes 6 Dec 2019

Opened 11 Oct 2019


In accordance with Regulation 17 of the Planning (Local Development Plan) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, all representations received during the public consultation on the Antrim and Newtownabbey Local Development Plan 2030 - draft Plan Strategy, which ran from 26 July to 20 September 2019, have now been made available for inspection.

Hard copies of the representations received are available for inspection Monday to Friday from 8:30am – 5pm at the Council Offices at Antrim Civic Centre, Antrim and Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey. They can also be viewed online at www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/draftplanstrategy. 

In accordance with Regulation 18 of the aforementioned Regulations, any person may make representations about a site specific policy representation (referred to as counter representations).

The period of public consultation for counter representations is 8 weeks beginning on Friday 11 October 2019 and closing at 5pm on Friday 6 December 2019.  Any submissions received after this time will not be considered.

Why We Are Consulting

A key feature of Northern Ireland’s new Planning System is ‘soundness’ which requires the draft Plan Strategy document to be tested at Independent Examination (IE) in terms of content, conformity and the process by which it has been prepared. It is considered that ‘soundness’ testing will provide a more effective basis for examining Local Development Plans and consequently contribute towards a shorter IE process.

The purpose of the IE is to determine if the draft Plan Strategy satisfies statutory requirements and is ‘sound’. The presumption will be that the draft Plan Strategy is ‘sound’ unless it is shown to be otherwise as a result of evidence considered at the IE stage. 

As the main purpose of the IE is to determine whether the draft Plan Strategy is ‘sound’, any person(s) wishing to make a counter representation should do so on the grounds of soundness.

The tests of soundness are based upon three categories which relate to; (a) how the draft Plan Strategy has been produced; (b) the alignment of the document with central government regional plans, policy and guidance; and (c) the coherence, consistency and effectiveness of the content of the draft Plan Strategy. The tests of soundness are set out below:

Further information on soundness can be found in Development Plan Practice Notes published by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).  Of particular relevance is Practice Note 6 ‘Soundness’(Version 2) and Practice Note 9 ‘Submission and Handling of Representations’, both are available to view at https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/development-plan-practice-notes.

In addition, the Planning Appeals Commission has also produced guidance entitled ‘Procedures for Independent Examination of Local Development Plans’ available at https://www.pacni.gov.uk/procedural-guides.

Counter Representation Consultation