Belfast Urban Area Plan (BUAP) 2001
The current development plan for the majority of the Belfast district is the Belfast Urban Area Plan (BUAP) 2001, which was adopted in December 1989. The area covered by the plan includes the former Belfast City Council area, together with the urban parts of the former district council areas of Castlereagh, Lisburn and Newtownabbey as well as Greenisland and Holywood.
The purpose of the BUAP is to establish physical development policies for this broad urban area up to 2001. It clarifies the extent and location of development and provides a framework for public and private agencies in their investment decisions relating to land use.
Although it was altered in 1996, the BUAP is now largely out of date and was to be formally superseded by the BMAP in September 2014.
BMAP was quashed following a judgement in the court of appeal on 18 May 2017. This means that the BUAP 2001 remains the statutory development plan for most of the council’s area.
Belfast Metropolitan Plan (BMAP) 2015
The Department for Environment (DOE) published the BMAP 2015 in September 2014.
This is a joint plan covering the original city council areas of Belfast and Lisburn and the borough council areas of Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Newtownabbey and North Down. Although its boundaries no longer match the new 11 council districts, the whole of the new Belfast City Council area falls within its remit.
Although it was formally adopted in 2014, BMAP was quashed in May 2017. Although this means the Belfast Urban Area Plan (BUAP) 2001 remains the statutory development plan for the area, the draft BMAP (in its most recent pre-examination form) remains significant in future planning decisions.
The draft BMAP continues to exist but the decision to adopt it was quashed so the draft was never officially adopted. Unless the Executive takes further steps to adopt it, the draft remains the most advanced and up-to-date collection of development management policies for our council area, despite related policies not carrying statutory force.
You can find the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (2015) on the Planning Portal website (opens in a new window).
The Lisburn Area Plan 2001
The change in council boundaries along with the BMAP ruling means that the Lisburn Area Plan 2001 remains the statutory development plan for a small portion of Belfast’s district around Dunmurry.
The Lisburn Area Plan (adopted on 4 July 2001) sought to establish physical development policies for Lisburn and its surroundings up to 2001.
As work had already started on BMAP at this time, some of it was incorporated. This was to meet the needs of reasonable housing development in the area until the BMAP replacement was in place.
Lagan Valley Regional Park Local Plan 2005
The BMAP ruling also means that the Lagan Valley Regional Park Local Plan (adopted in 1993) was reinstated as the statutory development plan for the Lagan Valley Regional Park (LVRP). It sets out the strategy and policies associated with the protection and enhancement of the natural and manmade heritage of LVRP.
Its main objectives are to conserve the landscape quality and features of the Lagan Valley and to enhance recreational use by the public.
North Down and Ards Area Plan 1984-1995
A small section of the Belfast District at Knocknagoney was moved to Belfast following the local government reform in 2015. Without BMAP, this means that this area reverts back to the original North Down and Ards Area Plan 1984-1995.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Subject Plan for the Belfast City Council Area 2015
The Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Subject Plan for the Belfast City Council Area 2015 (the HMOs Subject Plan) was adopted in December 2008.
It informs the general public, statutory authorities, developers, and other interested bodies of the policy framework that will be used to guide planning decisions in relation to HMOs within former Belfast City Council area.
It sets out a number of area-based planning policies for HMOs, as well as policy relating directly to the provision of PBMSA. Relevant policy designations from the HMOs Subject Plan will continue to form the basis of decision-making until the LDP is fully adopted.