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Application checklist

Appendix 3 Other supporting information

1. Air Quality Impact Assessment (AQIA)

Policy SPPS Para. 4.11-4.12

Belfast Air Quality Action Plan 2015- 2020

AQIA is a process for determining the significance of the impact of new development on ambient air quality, or determining the significance of the impact of local ambient air quality on new development. These impacts need to be quantified and evaluated in the context of existing air quality, air quality objectives or limits.

When is it required?

An AQIA may be required if a proposed development:

  • is to be located in an existing area of poor air quality such as in the case of a residential development;
  • will cause a significant increase in road traffic flows or changes the proximity to receptors, e.g. car parks, realigned roads, junctions etc;
  • introduces one or more substantial combustion processes, e.g. centralised boilers, CHP plant or biomass, where there is a risk of impact at relevant receptors; or
  • gives rise to potentially unacceptable air pollution impacts (such as dust) at nearby sensitive locations during demolition or construction processes.

Guidance

In determining whether new development requires an AQIA, we will refer to best practice guidance such as Environmental Protection UK and the Institute of Air Quality Management, Land-use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality (January 2017)

Where an AQIA is required, it should be undertaken with reference to the Government’s  local air quality management technical guidance (LAQM.TG (16)) and associated air quality screening and assessment tools. The AQIA may take the form of either a simple or detailed assessment but it must be sufficient to determine the significance of air quality impacts.

Where the AQIA predicts that new development may give rise to, or experience a significant air quality impact, the assessment should set out the measures to avoid, reduce and, where appropriate, offset the impact.

All information about current pollution levels, Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and the City Council’s air quality reports can be found at: www.airqualityni.co.uk

The Belfast City Council Air Quality Action Plan for the city for 2015 – 2020 can be found at:  Air Quality Action Plan.

2. Archaeological Assessment

Policy SPPS PPS 6

Draft BMAP 2015

An archaeological assessment normally entails a desk based study, by a qualified archaeologist, of existing information including records of previous discoveries, historic maps or geophysical surveys.

When is it required?

Policy BH3 of  PPS 6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage requires developers to provide an archaeological assessment where the impact of a development proposal on important archaeological remains is unclear, or the relative importance of such remains is uncertain.

Guidance

Prospective developers need to take into account archaeological considerations and should deal with them from the beginning of the development management process. The needs of archaeology and development can often be reconciled, and potential conflict avoided or much reduced, if applicants discuss their proposals early. The first step is for applicants to consult the Department for Communities’  Historic environment map viewer for known archaeological sites and monuments. Further advice on archaeological requirements can be found on the Department for Communities’  website and its  Historic Environment Division.

3. Archaeological Field Evaluation

Policy SPPS PPS 6

Draft BMAP 2015

An archaeological field evaluation involves ground surveys and limited and targeted licensed excavation which is quite distinct from full archaeological excavation. Evaluations of this kind help to define the importance, character and extent of the archaeological remains that may exist in the area of a proposed development, and thus indicate the weight which should be attached to their preservation. They may also provide information useful for identifying potential options for minimising or avoiding damage.

When is it required?

Policy BH 3 of PPS6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage requires developers to provide an archaeological field evaluation where the impact of a development proposal on important archaeological remains is unclear, or the relative importance of such remains is uncertain.

Guidance

Prospective developers need to take into account archaeological considerations and should deal with them from the beginning of the development management process. The needs of archaeology and development can often be reconciled, and potential conflict avoided or much reduced, if applicants discuss their proposals early. The first step is for applicants to consult the Department for Communities’  Historic environment map viewer for known archaeological sites and monuments. Further advice on archaeological requirements can be found on the Department for Communities’ website and its  Historic Environment Division.

4. Biodiversity Checklist

Policy

SPPS Par. 6.168- 198

PPS 2

Draft BMAP 2015

The Biodiversity Checklist is a ‘step by step’ tool which should be used by applicants to help identify if a development proposal is likely to adversely affect any biodiversity and natural heritage interests and whether further ecological assessments/surveys are required.

When is it required?

The Biodiversity Checklist should be used for all applications where another biodiversity or ecological survey has not already been completed.

Guidance

The Biodiversity Checklist can be found on the  Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs website. The Department also provides  standing advice on the development of land that may affect natural heritage assets

In establishing whether a biodiversity survey is needed, the applicant or agent is advised to seek independent advice from an ecologist or suitably qualified person.

5. Biodiversity Survey

Policy

SPPS Par. 6.168- 198

PPS 2

Draft BMAP 2015

A Biodiversity Survey (or ecological or wildlife survey) assesses the specific impacts of development proposals on natural heritage, including designated sites and priority habitats; and protected and priority species.

When is it required?

A Biodiversity Survey is required where:

  • the need for a survey is identified as part of the completion of the Biodiversity Checklist (see above)
  • the proposal would impact or have the potential to impact on natural heritage, including designated sites and priority habitats; or protected and priority species.

Guidance

Standing advice on the development of land that may affect natural heritage assets can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs website

In establishing whether a biodiversity survey is needed, the applicant or agent is advised to seek independent advice from an ecologist or suitably qualified person.

6. Concept Statement or Concept Masterplan

Policy

PPS 7 QD2

A Design Concept Statement demonstrates how a proposed residential scheme has taken account of the main features of the site and its context and how it will meet the criteria set out in Policy QD1, thereby contributing to the promotion of a quality residential environment.

Where a Concept Masterplan is required, this will need to indicate in graphic form a scheme for the comprehensive development of the whole area, and include a written statement, detailed appraisals, sketches, plans and other illustrative materials to address all of the relevant matters set out in this Statement and its associated supplementary planning guidance. The Concept Masterplan should also clearly demonstrate how it is intended to implement the scheme.

A Design Concept Statement demonstrates how a proposed residential scheme has taken account of the main features of the site and its context and how it will meet the criteria set out in Policy QD1, thereby contributing to the promotion of a quality residential environment.

Where a Concept Masterplan is required, this will need to indicate in graphic form a scheme for the comprehensive development of the whole area, and include a written statement, detailed appraisals, sketches, plans and other illustrative materials to address all of the relevant matters set out in this Statement and its associated supplementary planning guidance. The Concept Masterplan should also clearly demonstrate how it is intended to implement the scheme.

When is it required?

A Design Concept Statement is required to support:

  • all applications for residential development

A Concept Master Plan will be required for planning applications involving:

  • 300 dwellings or more; or
  • the development, in part or full, of sites of 15 hectares or more zoned for housing in development plans;

or

  • housing development on any other site of 15 hectares or more.

In the case of proposals for the partial development of a site zoned for housing the Concept Master Plan will be expected to demonstrate how the comprehensive planning of the entire zoned area is to be undertaken.

Guidance

The Design Concept Statement should outline in writing the overall design concept and objectives for the site and include an indicative concept plan, based on the appraisal of the site and its context. The amount of information and level of detail required will depend on the nature, scale and location of the proposed development. Where necessary the Statement should also address any local design considerations identified in Development Plans or Supplementary Planning Guidance and provide information on any improvements to infrastructure required to facilitate the proposed development.

For a large scheme or a site in a sensitive location, such as a Conservation Area, Area of Townscape Character or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the type of information and detail required for the Design Concept Statement will include some or all of the detail highlighted at Para 4.46 of PPS 7.

For small housing schemes outside sensitive locations, involving the development of a site of up to 0.25 of a hectare or 5 dwellings or less, a short written statement and a diagrammatic layout will generally suffice.

Further guidance is contained within Policy QD 2 of  PPS 7 Quality Residential Development.

7. Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)

Policy

SPPS Para. 4.11- 4.12

PPS2

A Construction Environmental Management Plan is a plan developed to avoid, minimise or mitigate any construction effects on the environment.

When is it required?

A Construction Management Plan is required to support applications for Major development in sensitive coastal and harbour areas, within or in close proximity to protected designated sites such as Special Protection Areas (SPA), RAMSAR sites and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI).

Guidance

The Construction Management Plan should generally include:

  • details of all proposed excavations and construction;
  • details of all areas to be used for the storage of substrate/spoil including a suitable buffer between location for storage of excavated spoil and construction materials and any watercourses or surface drain present on site or adjacent to site;
  • details of the pollution prevention measures to be employed during construction and operation;
  • detailed drawing plans, demonstrating a suitable buffer between locations for refueling, storage of oil/fuel, concrete mixing and washing areas and any watercourses or surface drain present on site or adjacent to the site; and
  • a proposed storm drainage plan designed to the principles of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in order to minimise the polluting effects of storm water on waterways. Construction of SuDS should comply with the design and construction standards as set out in The SuDS Manual - Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) Report C753 (2015).
Guidance on the content of Construction Environmental Management Plans is available on the  Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs website.

8. Contaminated Land Report

Policy

SPPS

A Contamination Land Report assesses the suitability of contaminated land for new development. It sets out the nature of contaminants, the level of risk to future occupants, users of land or environment, and mitigation measures to reduce any risks to an acceptable level.

When is it required?

A Contaminated Land Report is required whenever new development is to be located on, or adjacent to land, where the presence of natural sources or historical uses of the land may have given rise to land contamination. Brownfield land may encompass vacant or derelict lands, infill sites, land occupied by redundant or underused buildings or a piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused. Such land is often contaminated and applications for its redevelopment will normally need to be accompanied by a Contaminated Land Report.

Examples of potentially contaminated land include:

  • former industrial land
  • petrol filling stations
  • commercial premises
  • residential estates
  • land fill sites

Guidance

Contaminated land may present a risk to a range of receptors including humans, ecosystems, water quality and property.

Land contamination reports should be completed in accordance with the risk-based framework established via the Environment Agency publication, ‘Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination.

This should include a preliminary risk assessment followed, where necessary, by a generic or detailed quantitative risk assessment, a remediation strategy and verification. Risk assessments, remediation and verification should be undertaken having regard to relevant British Standards and industry best practice.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) Land Use Database contains a record of approximately 14,000 sites across Northern Ireland that have had previous industrial land use(s). This database is available via the Land & Property Services at: Spatial NI Geoportal

9. Contextual Design Information

Policy

SPPS Para. 4.23- 4.40

PPS 6

PPS 7

Contextual Design Information is visual material, such as a drawing or CGI, which accurately reflects the proposal in its immediate and local context, usually the existing street scene into which the development is to be placed. Planning policy requires careful consideration of the local context, urban character, the needs of residents and the local economy. New development should bring about an improvement of the area and sit comfortably within the area in which it is proposed.

When is it required?

Contextual Design Information will be required for:

  • applications for Major development, particularly within the city centre;
  • proposals that impact on heritage assets including Listed Buildings, historic monuments/gardens, Conservation Areas and Areas of Townscape Character; or
  • proposals that may significantly impact on the street-scene or townscape.

Guidance

The type of Contextual Design Information that is required will depend on the nature of the proposals, its location, scale and the expected impacts.

Design and the impact of proposals on the urban and rural environment are very important planning considerations. Contextual Design Information demonstrates how a proposal is placed within the established area and accordingly how it fits into its visual context and may include:

  • extended scaled elevations, both existing and proposed, which illustrate the existing context and how the proposal responds to this context in relation to neighbouring buildings and the wider street scene;
  • photomontages showing existing and proposed key views;
  • axonometric drawings; and
  • 3D modelling including use of  VU.CITY: Belfast (an accurate 3D model of the City) Specific requirements can be discussed as part of a Pre-Application Discussion.

10. Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Assessment

Policy

SPPS Para. 4.23- 4.40

PPS 6

PPS 7

A Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Assessment is used to assess the impact of new development on existing surrounding properties and open spaces in terms of daylight and sunlight, as well as the performance of the development for future occupants. New development should maximize sunlight and daylight, both within the new development and to neighbouring properties. Development should seek to minimize overshadowing or blocking of light to adjoining properties.

When is it required?

An assessment will be required in support of all applications involving:

  • buildings exceeding four storeys in height where adjoining other developed land or public open spaces;
  • where proposed buildings or extensions could lead to overshadowing of adjacent or other proposed buildings or spaces within the same development site; or
  • where the proposed development would itself be subject to significant shading from adjoining buildings or trees.

Guidance

To assess the impact of proposals on adjoining properties, including associated gardens or amenity space in respect of loss of daylight and sunlight, it is recommended that a “daylight, vertical sky component, sunlight availability and shadow study” is undertaken and assessed against the criteria set out in: Building Research Establishment Site Layout Planning for Sunlight and Daylight: A Guide to Good Practice (2011) and the British Standard BS8206-2:2008 Lighting for buildings – Part 2: Code of Practice for Daylighting.

The information included in the assessment should be sufficient to determine the existing and expected levels of daylight, sunlight and overshadowing on neighbouring properties and the measures that will be taken to mitigate the expected impact of the proposed development.

11. Demolition Justification Report

Policy SPPS PPS 6

Draft BMAP 2015

A Demolition Justification Report is a combined report which should include a condition and Structural Survey (section 27), Market Testing Report (section 19) and assessment of alternative proposals for where demolition is proposed for a building of heritage importance.

When is it required?

A Demolition Justification Report is required where the proposal involves:

  • demolition of all or a significant part of a Listed Building; or
  • demolition of all or a significant part of a building which makes a material contribution to a Conservation Area or an Area of Townscape Character (ATC).

Guidance

There is a presumption in favour of the retention of both Listed Buildings, and buildings within Conservation

Areas and ATCs that make a material contribution to those areas. Policy BH 10 of PPS 6 relates to proposals to demolish, either whole or part, these buildings.

Where demolition is proposed, the application will need to address the following:

  • the condition of the building, the cost of repairing and maintaining it in relation to its importance and to the value derived from its continued use;
  • the adequacy of efforts made to retain the building in use; and
  • the merits of alternative proposals for the site.
Further explanation is provided by Policy BH 10, of  PPS 6 Planning, Archaeology, and the Built Heritage. The Demolition Justification Report should also refer to the general criteria set out at Para 6.5 of PPS 6. Guidance on whether a building makes a material contribution to a Conservation Area or an Area of Townscape Character can be provided through the Pre-Application Discussion process.

12. Drainage Assessment

Policy

SPPS

PPS 15 FLD 3

A Drainage Assessment (or drainage impact assessment) sets out the drainage issues relevant to new development and the measures to provide the appropriate standard of drainage. The detail of the assessment will be proportionate to the nature of the proposal.

When is it required?

A Drainage Assessment is required where the thresholds set out in Policy FLD 3 of PPS15: Planning and Flood

Risk are met or exceeded:

  • new residential development comprising 10 or more residential units; or
  • a development site in excess of 1 hectare; or
  • change of use involving new buildings and/or hardstanding surface exceeding 1,000 sqm in area 

A Drainage Assessment will also be required for any development proposal, except for minor development,

where:

  • the proposed development is located in an area where there is evidence of a history of surface water flooding; or
  • surface water run-off from the development may adversely impact upon other development or features of importance to nature conservation, archaeology or the built heritage.

If written consent from DFI Rivers is required under the terms of Schedule 6 of the Drainage (NI) Order 1973, this should be submitted with your application as part of the Drainage Assessment.

Guidance

Further guidance is provided in Annex D of  PPS 15 Planning and Flood Risk.

13. Economic Statement

Policy SPPS PPS 4

An Economic Statement sets out the economic effects of new development on the area, whether specific to the neighbourhood in which the proposal would be located, city-wide or region.

When is it required?

An Economic Statement is where:

  • the proposal is for Major development for commercial uses such as offices, light industry, general industry, warehousing, retail and leisure
  • the proposal would result in the loss of employment land, having regard to Policy PED7 of  PPS 4 Planning and Economic Development

Guidance

An Economic Statement should include:

  • the number and type of jobs to be created both during the construction phase and on occupation, specifying whether the jobs are part time or full time;
  • whether the proposal is speculative or if there is a specific end user;
  • the timeframe for delivery of the development;
  • any wider benefits of the proposal to the economy.

14. Event Management Plan

Policy SPPS PPS 3

An Event Management Plan sets out proposal to minimise the transportation impacts of any events that would be held as a result of new development.

When is it required?

An Event Management Plan will be required for commercial, recreational and community proposals which will involve the hosting of events that generate significant large numbers of attendees.

Guidance

An Event Management Plan should be submitted for events that could result in significant travel disruption. The measures should consider the types of trips, in all modes, likely to visit the site, to ensure they can arrive, park if necessary and depart without causing a traffic safety hazard or disruption to other traffic on the network.

Where disruption to the network is anticipated, the Event Management Plan should propose measures that are co-ordinated with PSNI, Department for Infrastructure Roads, and the local community as necessary, to mitigate these impacts. It should consider measures to encourage sustainable travel, such as public transport, the use of coaches and off-site park and ride and shuttle bus facilities.

15. Environmental Statement (EIA)

An Environmental Statement is a legislative requirement for applications for certain types of development. It sets out the likely significant effects of new development on the environment, whether positive or negative, and can relate to environmental, social and economic impacts.

When is it required?

Under the  Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017, certain types of application need to be accompanied by an Environmental Statement. An Environmental Statement is required where:

  • the development proposal falls under Schedule 1 of the Regulations; or
  • the development proposal falls under Schedule 2 of the Regulations and the City Council gives a screening opinion that an Environmental Statement is required.

Guidance

The purpose of an Environmental Statement is to assess the environmental, social and economic effects of development. Where an Environmental Statement is needed, the City Council cannot process the planning application without it. The planning application process will be subject to extended consultation in line with the Regulations.

The requirement for an Environmental Statement can be discussed as part of the Pre-Application Discussion process. If the development proposal falls under Schedule 2 of the Regulations, the applicant is strongly advised to submit a formal request to the City Council for a screening opinion prior to making the planning application.

Applications accompanied by an Environmental Statement are subject to an additional  planning fee

16. Flood Risk Assessment

Policy

PPS 15 FLD 1

A Flood Risk Assessment assesses the statistical probability of a flood event occurring combined with the scale of the potential consequences of that event, and sets out measures to manage and mitigate flood risk on new development.

When is it required?

Policy FLD 1 of  PPS 15 Planning and Flood Risk sets out the circumstances when a Flood Risk Assessment is required. This includes new development:

  • within the 1 in 100 year fluvial flood plain or
  • the 1 in 200 year coastal flood plain where the principle of development is accepted by the council through the proposal meeting the ‘Exceptions Test’.

If you consider your application should be deemed as an Exception please set out your evidence as part of your Planning Statement (see section 24). DFI Rivers Agency will only seek to assess a FRA where the City Council has deemed the site to be an exception to FLD1 and PPS 15 and set out its reason for this.

Guidance

A Flood Risk Assessment must demonstrate that:

  • all sources of flood risk to and from the proposed development have been identified; and
  • there are adequate measures to manage and mitigate any increase in flood risk arising from the development.
Flood Maps can be viewed on the  Department for Infrastructure website.

17. Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA)

Policy SPPS PPS 2

PPS 6

PPS 6a

PPS 7

PPS 21

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is the process of evaluating the effects of a proposal on views and on the landscape itself. There is an important distinction between visual effects (the human view or perception) and the landscape effects (which occur whether or not anyone can see them).

When is it required?

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is required for:

  • all development proposals for tall buildings of a height of 35 metres or more;
  • all applications for Major or Local development within a Conservation Area or Area of Townscape

Character, the setting of a Listed Building, or within a locality where the proposal will introduce an increase to the predominant scale and mass;

  • proposals in the countryside which are likely to have a significant visual impact within the landscape, and for any Major applications within or affecting the setting of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  • proposals for wind turbines where their overall height would exceed 15 metres and where Environmental Impact Assessment is required.

Guidance

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment considers the impact of new development in the landscape.

Understanding the character quality and value of the landscape determines the sensitivity of that landscape to accommodate change through development.

The two components of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment are:

  • landscape effects assessment – deals with changes to landscape as a resource, and
  • visual effects assessment – concerned with how the surroundings of individuals or groups of people may be specifically affected by change in the landscape.

The Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment should clearly demonstrate an understanding of the difference between them. The sensitivity of receptors (people) to changes in view is dependent upon the activity, location and nature of the view experienced. People engaged in outdoor sports or occupiers of commercial buildings are considered to be of low sensitivity, with road users, footpath users and views from upper storeys of residential properties of medium sensitivity. Residents experiencing views from principal rooms and people visiting well-known beauty spots are considered of high sensitivity to change.

A Zone of Visual Influence map (ZVI) or Critical View analysis should also be included.

Further information can be obtained from the  Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment published jointly by the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Assessment in 2013.

18. Lighting Assessment

Policy

SPPS

A Lighting Assessment explains how proposals that include largescale external lighting will impact on visual amenity of the area, and the living conditions of local people.

When is it required?

A Lighting Assessment is required for:

  • proposals involving largescale artificial lighting (such as floodlighting of sports pitches); or
  • proposals for sensitive receptors close to a largescale existing artificial light source.

Guidance

A Lighting Assessment should include the following as a minimum:

  • details of the external lighting, including a layout plan with beam orientation and a schedule of the equipment in the design;
  • proposed hours of operation of the lighting;
  • a vertical lux contour plan at appropriate fa├žade height at sensitive premises;
  • identification of the appropriate environmental zone as outlined in the relevant Institute of Lighting

Professionals guidance document: Details of any directional hoods or other forms of mitigation;

  • the design and layout details of the proposal should demonstrate that any existing light sources will have no negative impact on habitable rooms.
  • Detailed guidance on conducting an artificial lighting assessment can be found in the ILP ‘Guidance on Undertaking Environmental Lighting Impact Assessments’
  • Useful guidance is provided by the Institute of Lighting Professionals’ publication:  Guidance for the reduction of obtrusive light
Further guidance is provided by  Sport England – Outdoor Sports Lighting Briefing Note

19. Market Testing Report

Policy SPPS PPS 4

PPS 6

A Market Testing Report demonstrates whether or not the existing use of a building or land is viable or likely to be viable in the context of market testing.

When is it required?

A Market Testing Report is required where the applicant seeks to demonstrate that the current use of a building or land is no longer viable or is unlikely to be viable, and believes that this is an important material consideration when the planning application is assessed.

For example, a Market Testing Report may be used where the proposal would result in the loss of employment land having regard to Policy PED7(e) of PPS6 Planning and Economic Development.

It should also be used in the context of a proposal for complete or partial demolition of a Listed Building or an un-listed building in that makes a material contribution to a Conservation Area, having regard to Policies BH10 and BH14 of PPS6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage (see section 11, Demolition Justification Report).

Guidance:

The City Council expects the building or land to be subject to rigorous marketing for a minimum period of 18- months. The Market Testing Report should include the following information:

  • how the building or land was marketed – by whom, for how long, the media used for marketing, as well as frequency, terms, conditions and value/rent;
  • details of any interest in the building or land resulting from the marketing exercise, including viewings;
  • details of any offers made; and
  • explanation of why any interest was not followed up or why any offers were not accepted.

A Market Testing Report demonstrates whether or not the existing use of a building or land is viable or likely to be viable in the context of market testing.

When is it required?

A Market Testing Report is required where the applicant seeks to demonstrate that the current use of a building or land is no longer viable or is unlikely to be viable, and believes that this is an important material consideration when the planning application is assessed.

For example, a Market Testing Report may be used where the proposal would result in the loss of employment land having regard to Policy PED7(e) of PPS6 Planning and Economic Development.

It should also be used in the context of a proposal for complete or partial demolition of a Listed Building or an un-listed building in that makes a material contribution to a Conservation Area, having regard to Policies BH10 and BH14 of PPS6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage (see section 11, Demolition Justification Report).

Guidance:

The City Council expects the building or land to be subject to rigorous marketing for a minimum period of 18- months. The Market Testing Report should include the following information:

  • how the building or land was marketed – by whom, for how long, the media used for marketing, as well as frequency, terms, conditions and value/rent;
  • details of any interest in the building or land resulting from the marketing exercise, including viewings;
  • details of any offers made; and
  • explanation of why any interest was not followed up or why any offers were not accepted.

20. Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment (NVIA)

 

Policy

SPPS

A Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment sets out the potential for new development to impact on its surroundings by way of noise and/or vibration. Where necessary, it will include measures to mitigate noise and vibration impacts, particularly if the site is surrounded by sensitive premises such as housing and other residential uses.

When is it required?

A Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment is required where:

  • noise and/or vibration arising from the proposed development has potential to adversely impact on nearby residential property or other noise sensitive premises (e.g. schools or hospitals); or
  • proposed noise sensitive premises or development is likely to be exposed to adverse noise and/or vibration from an existing noise source (e.g. from road traffic/railway/ entertainment venues/sports/leisure facilities/plant noise)

Guidance

The Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment should:

  • be carried out by a competent acoustic consultant;
  • include an assessment of existing baseline noise conditions;
  • be carried out in line with current guidance and British Standards;
  • assess the impact on the internal amenity and, where appropriate the external amenity;
  • identify any intensification of use of a site and/or cumulative impacts for a major mixed-use site;
  • identify the necessary mitigation/design measures to ensure suitable internal and external noise targets are not exceeded.
Reference should be made to current guidance such as: BS4142, BS8233, WHO Guidelines for Community Noise1999; BS6272-1 Guide to evaluation of human exposure to vibration in buildings; ProPG Guidance: Planning & Noise (2017), and IEMA Guidelines for Environmental Noise Impact Assessment.

21. Odour Abatement System (flue and ventilation details)

 Policy

SPPS

An Odour Abatement System controls the level of odour emissions resulting from odour generating equipment such as a commercial kitchen, waste transfer station or industrial premises.

When is it required?

Details of an Odour Abatement System are required where:

  • the proposal has potential to generate odours which could adversely impact on nearby sensitive premises e.g. from cooking operations (hot food bars, restaurants, cafes etc.); waste transfer stations; and light industrial and commercial developments that may cause odorous emissions.

Guidance

Details of the Odour Abatement System should include:

  • floor plans, positioning and design of ventilation and extraction equipment;
  • manufacturers details of the equipment proposed including odour abatement techniques; and
  • elevation drawings depicting the external location of the odour abatement system and ventilation termination points

A Noise Assessment may also be required (see section 20).

Useful guidance is provided by  DEFRA – Guidance on the Control of Odour and Noise from Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems (2005) (This guidance was officially withdrawn in 2017 but remains a useful reference point)

Further guidance is provided by IAQM –  Guidance on the assessment of odour for planning, dated May 2014

22. Parking Survey

Policy SPPS PPS 3

Creating Places

A Parking Survey assesses the volume of vehicles parked at any one time in the vicinity of the application site, either on street or in existing car parks, and provides an indication of parking trends and any available capacity that could serve the new development.

When is it required?

A Parking Survey should be submitted when there is an identified parking need that cannot be accommodated within the application site. Typically it is used to demonstrate whether there is sufficient parking capacity on public roads or streets to accommodate the additional vehicles generated by the new development.

Guidance

The Parking Survey can form part of a Transport Assessment. It should be undertaken over a minimum of two days at appropriate times during the day and evening on both weekdays and weekends.

Further guidance on when a Parking Survey is required and what should be included in it can be obtained from the Department for Infrastructure Roads  Eastern Division.

23. Phasing Plan

Policy SPPS PPS 7

A Phasing Plan sets out the sequence in which the various parts of a larger development scheme will be brought forward. The phasing is indicated on a diagrammatic plan with supporting narrative that describes the sequencing and why it is to take place in that order.

When is it required?

Where the phasing of development of a site is critical, either from a planning or commercial perspective. This may include the sequencing of development to ensure that necessary infrastructure is put in place, such as a road, junction or a community facility.

Guidance

Where circumstances warrant, plans may specify a phased release of development land. Phasing may be necessary having regard to infrastructure requirements or the adequacy of other services, which may indicate that a particular area cannot be released for development until a particular stage in the plan period. It may also take into account any relocation of people, sale or rental of land, the property market, possible movement issues, land ownership patterns, funding availability, and relevant planning processes and legislation.

24. Planning Agreement (Heads of Terms)

Policy

SPPS

A Planning Agreement is a legally binding agreement, normally between the applicant, landowner and council, secured under Section 76 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Planning Agreements are used to secure a planning obligation, such as developer contributions, where it is not possible to do so by a planning condition. The Planning Agreement must be signed and completed before the planning permission can be issued.

Heads of Terms set out the applicant’s intention to enter into a Planning Agreement as part of the planning application process and the nature of the planning obligations that it is expected to contain.

When is it required?

Heads of Terms should be provided for all applications where it is expected that a Planning Agreement will be a prerequisite to the granting of planning permission.

Guidance

The requirement for a Planning Agreement can be discussed as part of the Council’s Pre-Application

Discussion service.

The applicant may voluntarily submit a draft Planning Agreement with their planning application if it is expected that the planning permission, if granted, will be subject to a Planning Agreement.

The City Council’s  draft Developer Contributions Framework sets out circumstances when a Planning Agreement will be required to secure developer contributions.

Further guidance on planning agreements is provided by  Development Management Practice Note 21: Section 76 Planning Agreements

25. Planning Statement

Policy

SPPS

All PPSs

Draft BMAP 2015

A Planning Statement is a written document that explains the rationale for a proposal within the relevant planning policy context 

When is it required?

A Planning Statement is required for applications for:

  • Major development;
  • proposals that would result in a loss of existing open space,
  • proposals that would result in a loss of employment land;
  • proposals that require the exceptional test to be applied under Policy FLD 1 of PPS 15; and
  • proposals that would result in the demolition or part demolition of either:
  • a Listed Building; or
  • an un-listed building within a Conservation Area that makes a material contribution to the character or appearance of that Conservation Area.

Guidance

The Planning Statement should set out how a development proposal takes account of relevant planning policies and other material considerations. It should include:

  • a description of the site and its surrounding context;
  • a description of the proposal and why it is needed;
  • relevant planning history;
  • summary of the relevant regional and local planning policies, including the Local Development Plan, and how those planning policies have been applied;
  • other relevant material considerations;
  • assessment of the key planning issues;
  • justification for the proposal if it is contrary to planning policy (e.g. loss of open space) or if an exception needs to be applied (e.g. Policy FLD1 of PPS 15);
  • Heads of Terms if a planning agreement is required (see section 23); and
  • draft planning conditions in the event that planning permission is granted.

26. Retail Impact Assessment

Policy SPPS BUAP

Draft BMAP

A Retail Impact Assessment considers the impacts of proposals for retail or other main town centre uses (including cultural and community facilities, retail, leisure, entertainment and businesses) on the vitality and viability of the City Centre, Town Centres, District and Local Centres.

When is it required?

A Retail Impact Assessment is required for:

  • proposals for retail or other main town centre uses above a threshold of 1,000 sqm not proposed in a town centre location (i.e. primary core, district or local centre) and are not in accordance with the Local Development Plan; or
  • proposals for an extension to retail or other main town centre uses which would result in the overall development exceeding 1,000 sqm gross external area.

Guidance

The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland 2015 (SPPS) requires a town centre first approach for the location of future retailing and other main town centre uses. The planning system should protect and enhance diversity in the range of town centre uses appropriate to their role and function, such as leisure, cultural and community facilities, housing and business.

A Retail Impact Assessment considers the impacts of development proposals for retailing and other main town centre uses on the vitality and viability of existing centres in the catchment including the primary retail core; district and local centres. It should include an assessment of:

  • the impact of the proposal on trade and turnover for both convenience and comparison goods traders, and the impact on town centre turnover overall for all centres within the catchment of the proposal;
  • the impact of the proposal on existing committed and planned public and private sector investment and investor confidence in the town centre/s;
  • the impact of the proposals on the delivery of the planned/allocated sites and the LDP strategy;
  • the impact on the vitality and viability of existing centres including consideration of the local context. This should take into account existing retail mix and the diversity of other facilities and activities.
  • cumulative impact taking account of committed and planned development, including plan commitments within the town centre and wider area; and,
  • a review of local economic impacts.

27. Sequential Test (main town centre uses)

Policy SPPS BUAP

Draft BMAP 2015

The Sequential Test is used by the City Council to assess whether the application site for retail or a main town centre (including cultural and community facilities, retail, leisure, entertainment and businesses use) is located within, or as close as possible to the City Centre, Town Centre or District Centre.

When is it required?

The Sequential Test is required for:

  • all development proposals for retail or main town centre uses that are not in an existing centre and are not in accordance with an up-to-date Local Development Plan, irrespective of scale.

Guidance

The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland 2015 (SPPS) requires new retail development and other main town centre uses to be directed to existing centres. Where it is established that an alternative sequentially preferable site or sites exist within a proposal’s whole catchment, an application which proposes development on a less sequentially preferred site should be refused.

The City Council will require applications for retail or main town centre uses to be considered in the following sequential order of preference (and consider all of the proposal’s catchment):

  1. primary retail core;
  2. city/town/district centres;
  3. local centre;
  4. edge of centre; and
  5. out-of-centre locations, only where sites are accessible by a choice of good public transport modes.
The applicant should submit a written statement with their application that sets out which sequentially preferable sites (in the sequence above) they have considered for the development proposal and the reasons why those sites have been rejected.

28. Student Accommodation Need Statement

Policy SPPS PBMSA SPG

A Student Accommodation Need Statement supports applications for Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA). It seeks to ensure that the needs for student accommodation can be met in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way. Applicants are required to demonstrate that there is a need for the accommodation based on robust evidence.

When is it required?

A Student Accommodation Need Statement is required for all applications for Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation.

Guidance

The City Council’s  Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation Supplementary Planning Guidance provides guidance on proposals for PBMSA. Specific advice on need is set out in paragraphs 5.53 – 5.56 of the guidance.

The Student Accommodation Need Statement should provide evidence, as appropriate, to enable the assessment of need, based on known demand and supply indicators at the time within the student housing sector, including details of:

  • the specific need that is being addressed, with reference to relevant Corporate Plans published by the city’s further and higher education institutions;
  • why this need is currently unmet;
  • the type of existing accommodation the potential student occupiers are likely to be drawn from;
  • confirmation that the facilities are to be used exclusively for student accommodation;
  • any recorded increase in student numbers;
  • university support, if available;
  • current waiting lists for student accommodation; and
  • Bank funding available to deliver proposals.
 

A Transport Assessment is a comprehensive review of all the potential transport impacts of a proposed development or re-development, with an agreed plan to mitigate any adverse consequences.

When is it required?

A Transport Assessment is required where the new development would likely have significant transport implications. Applicants should complete a Transport Assessment Form (TAF) to help establish if a detailed Transport Assessment is needed (see section 30).

Guidance

A Transport Assessment is a comprehensive review of all the potential transport impacts of a proposed development, with an agreed plan to mitigate any adverse consequences. The coverage and detail of the Transport Assessment should reflect the scale and the likely extent of transport impacts of the proposed development. Developers need to consider a wide range of options to deal with the transport impacts of a development rather than simply increasing highway capacity to meet demand. Such measures may include the preparation of a Travel Plan (see section 31), travel cards, financial incentives to encourage alternatives to private car use, infrastructure improvements to make walking and cycling more attractive or public transport service improvements.

Further guidance on Transport Assessments is provided by the Department for Infrastructure’s publication, Transport Assessment: Guidelines for Development Proposals in Northern Ireland (November 2006)

30. Transport Assessment Form

Policy SPPS PPS 3

PPS 13

A Transport Assessment Form is a tool that applicants can use to screen out those applications where no further information on the transport impacts of the proposal is required.

When is it required?

A Transport Assessment Form (TAF) should be submitted for the following types of proposal:

  • residential comprising 25 or more units
  • non-residential with a gross floor area of 500 sqm or more
  • likely to generate 30 or more vehicle movements per hour
  • likely to generate 10 or more freight movements per day or 5 in any given hour

Guidance

Further advice can be found on the  Department of Infrastructure Roads website

31. Travel Plan

Policy SPPS PPS 3

PPS 13

A Travel Plan is a means of mitigating the transportation impacts of new development through long-term management measures to promote sustainable travel.

When is it required?

The requirement for a Travel Plan will be informed by a Transport Assessment (see section 29). Guidance

A Travel Plan is intended to influence the way people travel to / from new development by encouraging more walking, cycling and public transport use. The transport measures contained in a Travel Plan should address the scale and the anticipated transport impacts of the proposed development and be tailored to the development proposal. Travel Plans that provide a range of coordinated transport measures will be more effective in changing travel behaviour. A Travel Plan can help mitigate the transport and parking impacts associated with proposed developments.

Further guidance on when a Travel Plan and what it should include can be obtained from the Department for Infrastructure Roads  Eastern Division.

32. Tree Survey

Policy SPPS PPS 2

PPS 7

Creating Places

A Tree Survey (or arboricultural survey) assesses the impact of new development on any existing trees that are likely to be affected by the proposal, whether they are within the site or adjacent to it. The Tree Survey will assess the health and condition of the affected and assess their amenity value to the character and appearance of the area. The survey should also set out measures to protect the trees during construction.

When is it required?

Where the new development has the potential to impact on existing trees on or adjacent to the site (including street trees).

Guidance

Applicants will need to satisfy the City Council that new development will not have an adverse impact on important trees within or adjacent the site, and that a high quality and ecologically friendly landscaping scheme can be provided as part of the scheme.

A Tree Survey should be carried out in accordance with BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – recommendations (or any subsequent replacement BS) and should be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced arboriculturalist.

The Tree Survey should include as a minimum:

  • a plan showing existing trees on or adjacent to the site;
  • an evaluation of the health, condition and amenity value of the trees affected by the proposal
  • a proposed layout showing retained trees and Root Protection Areas (RPAs);
  • a plan showing new tree planting;
  • Arboricultural Implications Assessment;
  • existing and proposed finished levels;
  • Tree Protection Plan;
  • Arboricultural Method Statement (where applicable), including details for all special engineering within the Root Protection Area (as determined by the Arboricultural Implications Assessment); and
  • the position of existing and proposed services.

33. Viability Appraisal

Policy SPPS PPS 6

Draft Developer Contributions Framework

A Viability Appraisal assesses whether a development proposal is financially viable. Therefore, that after taking account of all costs, the scheme provides a competitive return to the developer to ensure that development takes pace and generates a land value sufficient to persuade a land owner to sell the land for the development proposed. If these conditions are not met, a scheme will not be delivered.

When is it required?

A Viability Appraisal will be required in the following circumstances:

  • where the applicant believes that the requirement for developer contributions to mitigate or manage the impacts of the proposal would make the scheme unviable; or
  • where the applicant believes that it would not be financially viable to retain a Listed Building in its current use, having regard to Policy BH7 of PPS 6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage.

Guidance

The viability of a development proposal may in some circumstances be a material planning consideration. A Viability Appraisal should be carried out by a suitably qualified professional such as a quantity surveyor.

The City Council may choose to commission an independent review of the Viability Appraisal, the cost of which will be met by the applicant.

Further advice on viability in the context of developer contributions is provided by the City Council’s  draft Developer Contributions Framework

34. Waste Management

Policy SPPS PPS 7

PPS 12

A Waste Management Plan sets out how waste will be managed when new development is occupied (residential) or operational (commercial).

When is it required?

A Waste Management Plan is required in the following circumstances:

  • new residential development for which communal waste storage is proposed (e.g. apartments, flats or sheltered housing); or
  • new commercial development of 500 sqm or more.

The Waste Management Plan will establish the volume of waste likely to arise from new development once occupied or operational and sets out the provision for waste storage and access.

The Waste Management Plan should ensure that appropriate provision is made to:

  • accommodate the total waste generated from the building/s;
  • accommodate segregation of waste for recycling;
  • facilitate convenient and safe access and egress for depositing waste and collecting waste.

It should include:

  • occupier separation (how the occupier will manage waste within their own space)
  • occupier deposit and storage (how materials will be moved to the communal areas, and how materials will be stored)
  • collection method (how materials will be collected and by whom, where are the materials stored prior to collection
  • removal and or on-site treatment (how materials will be removed from or treated/sorted on site)
  • end destination (whether materials are to be recycled and how much will end up in landfill)

Further advice on waste storage guidelines can be found on the  City Council's website.

This includes the following publications:

  • Local Government Waste Storage Guide for Northern Ireland (2010)
  • Supplementary Waste Storage Guidance for Housing and Apartment developments in Belfast (2017)
  • Supplementary Waste Storage Guidance for Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA) (published June 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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