Local government reform
On 1 April 2015, the number of councils in Northern Ireland reduced from 26 to 11, under the Department of the Environment’s plans to make local government:
- more cost effective
- able deliver a broader range of services for people in every part of the city.
In Belfast, our city boundary expanded to take in around 53,000 additional residents, 21,000 households and 1,000 business premises. The new areas were formally parts of Lisburn City Council, Castlereagh Borough Council and North Down Borough Council.
The map below shows the areas that transferred to Belfast on 1 April 2015:
Council-owned facilities, such as parks, community centres and leisure centres, in these transferring areas are now under our control.
Under local government reform, a number or powers that were previously the responsibility of central government transferred to local councils. Most notably, planning and off-street car parking.
We also became responsible for a new community planning power which places responsibility on us to work with key partners to develop a long-term plan to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing. We call this plan the Belfast Agenda.
In April 2016 we’ll also take on urban regeneration and community development powers from the Department for Social Development.