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Applying for planning permission

Application checklist

Application Checklist

Our Application Checklist advises customers on what information they need to provide with their planning application. We’re committed to helping our customers get a timely planning decision that benefits the city.
To help achieve this, we want to make sure that planning applications are supported by the right information at the start of the process.

Having all the relevant information from the outset enables us to assess applications properly. If supporting information is missing, it can lead to delays or could even result in refusal of your application.

Application Checklist – phase two of new information requirements

We will now be applying the required information set out in the application checklist to the following planning applications:  

  • major development
  • 10 residential units and above
  • commercial proposals of 1,000 sqm or more
  • sites of 0.5ha and above

We will check whether you have submitted the right information when we receive your application. 

If you have not provided the information in both table 1 (basic requirements) and table 2 (other supporting information) of the Application Checklist, we will write to you and ask you to submit it within 14 days

If you are unable to provide the information in time, we will arrange for your application to be returned (including the fee) so that you can submit it again when all the information we need is ready.

There is a risk that your application will be refused if you choose to submit it without the necessary information and we will not return your fee.

Application Checklist

Our Application Checklist provides guidance on the information that you need to submit with your planning application.

The information will fall into one of the two categories:

  • Basic requirements
    This information is required by law and we cannot process your application without it.
  • Other supporting information
    Additional information we need to fully assess your application, which will give you a better chance of getting permission.

Information checklist

Our Information Checklist is a useful tool to help you identify what information you need to provide with your application. We ask that you complete it in all cases and submit it with your application as missing information can lead to delays or could even result in refusal of your application. 

You can cross reference with our basic requirements (Appendix 2) and other supporting information (Appendix 3) to help you.

Basic requirements

Planning legislation sets out the minimum information that you must submit when making a planning application.

Without this information, your application is not valid and we cannot legally deal with it.

The following table provides a summary of the types of basic information that may be required with your application.

Basic requirements (Appendix 2)
Application form (link opens in new window)
Ownership certificate 
Site location plan 
Plans and drawings 
Pre-application Community Consultation Report 
Design and Access Statement 

In most cases you will need to use a standard application form (link opens in a new window) to submit your application.

Basic requirements (Appendix 2) of the Application Checklist provides detailed guidance on what basic information you will need to submit. This includes a description of each of the basic requirements and which are needed by type of application.

If the basic information is missing when you submit your application, we will write to tell you. Please note that we cannot deal with your application until the basic information is provided.

Other supporting information

In addition to the basic requirements, we often require other supporting information to fully assess planning applications.

The level of supporting information will depend on the specific circumstances of the proposal including its scale, use and location.

The following table lists the types of other supporting information you may need to provide with your application. 

Other supporting information
Air Quality Impact Assessment  Lighting Assessment
Archaeological Assessment  Market Testing Report
Archaeological Field Evaluation  Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment
Biodiversity Checklist  Odour Abatement Strategy 
Biodiversity Survey  Parking Strategy
Concept Statement or Concept Masterplan  Phasing Plan
Construction Environmental Management Plan  Planning Agreement (Heads of Terms for) 
Contamination Land Report  Planning Statement
Contextual Design Information  Retail Impact Assessment
Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Assessment Sequential Test (Main Town Centre Uses) 
Demolition Justification Report  Structural Survey
Drainage Assessment Student Accommodation Need Statement
Economic Statement  Transport Assessment
Environmental Statement (EIA)  Travel Plan
Event Management Plan  Tree Survey
Flood Risk Assessment  Viability Appraisal
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment  Waste Management Plan

Other supporting information (Appendix 3) of the Application Checklist provides detailed guidance on what is required and when.

We will take a proportionate approach to requests for other supporting information. We will only ask for it where it is reasonable and necessary to enable us to assess your application.

If we believe any information in the table is necessary and you have not provided it with the application, we will write to you and ask you to submit it within 14 days. 

If you are unable to provide the information in time, we will arrange for the application to be returned (including the fee) so that you can submit it again when all the information we need is ready. We will phase in this new approach gradually.

If you choose to ask for your application to be decided without the necessary information, then there is a risk that it will be refused and we will not return your fee.

Pre-Application Discussions

We offer a Pre-Application Discussion (PAD) service so you can discuss your proposals with a planning officer before submitting a planning application. This helps to identity any issues at an early stage. As part of this process, you can clarify what information you need to submit with your application.

How do I submit an application?

It is not currently possible to submit an online planning application in Northern Ireland. You will need to provide four copies of your application, including the application form, plans and drawings and other documentation in paper form (unless the council agree otherwise).

Electronic copies of documentation (other than plans and drawings)

To speed up the registration process, you can submit an electronic copy of any reports and supporting documentation (other than plans and drawings), in addition to paper copies. Where an electronic copy is provided, we only require two paper copies of that documentation instead of four. 

Please note that electronic documents must be in PDF format and each file should be no more than 10MB in size.

Amended plans and supporting information

If you are submitting amended plans and supporting information, please explain in a covering letter what the changes are and why you are making them. 

We recommend you label the drawing with a revision number (for example, Revision A, B, C, D, and so on) and include a revision schedule on the drawing that shows: 

  • the revision number
  • description of the change, and 
  • the date it was made.


We are very keen to hear your feedback on our Application Checklist. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by contacting or writing to us at the following address:

Belfast Planning Service
Ground Floor
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street

Planning application process

For further guidance on how we deal with planning applications please see our guide to processing planning applications.

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