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Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016

We have a new statutory duty under the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 to consider rural needs in the development of new policies, plans or strategies and in any service design/delivery decisions. The rural population of Belfast is approximately 1,484 and includes the population of the small settlements of Edenderry, Hannahstown and Loughview. 

We will engage with rural stakeholders in relation to policy development when it is relevant and appropriate. 

As a result of the Act we must: 

  • conduct rural proofing of all policy and public service decisions; 
  • ensure that any policy, plan or strategy being brought to committee or published for consultation has a completed Rural Needs Impact Assessment report (RNIA); and

The Equality and Diversity Unit is responsible for:

  • training all relevant staff to complete RNIA;
  • reporting quarterly to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee; and
  • ensuring that annual reporting returns are submitted to DAERA.

For more information please contact Lisa McKee by emailing


Belfast Local Development Plan - draft Plan Strategy

East Bank


Belfast Agenda