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Local Development Plan

Draft plan strategy publication

Document Type
Local Development Plan – draft Plan Strategy
Local Development Plan - draft Plan Strategy summary

An easy read 12 page summary of the draft Plan Strategy. 

Local Development Plan - draft Plan Strategy leaflet 

This leaflet summarises the draft plan strategy.


Equality Impact Assessment


The second phase EQIA is on the draft Plan Strategy. The EQIA considers how equality of opportunity can be promoted through the implementation of the draft LDP policies. The draft EQIA report considers how each policy in the draft Plan Strategy might have an effect on the statutory groups set out in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and, in addition, any potential impacts on good relations, having regard to the scope of the LDP and the key inequalities that the draft Plan Strategy can influence.

The draft EQIA will be finalised following public consultation and the adoption of the Plan Strategy. It will also help to shape equality assessment going forward in the third phase of the LDP process – the Local Policies Plan.

Sustainability appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment

A sustainability appraisal is a systematic process that must be carried out during the preparation of a Local Plan. Its role is to promote sustainable development by assessing the extent to which the emerging plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives. It can help make sure that the proposals in the plan are the most appropriate given the reasonable alternatives. It can be used to test the evidence underpinning the plan and help to demonstrate how the tests of soundness have been met.

Document Type
The Habitat Regulations Assessment

The Habitats Regulations Assessment is required by The Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (as amended). It has been undertaken by the Shared Environmental Service on behalf of Belfast City Council in respect of the Belfast Local Development Plan 2035 in accordance with the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC).

Technical supplements

The technical supplements therefore update this baseline position from the Topic papers developed for the Preferred Options Paper and sets out the evidence base that has informed each of the policies within the draft Plan Strategy. Whilst each of the technical supplements can be read separately, there are inevitably some important interrelated matters and background evidence.


You can also use our online map portal to view the existing zonings and designations of relevance to the draft Plan Strategy:


Study Document type
Housing Market Analysis update, Belfast City Council Area, NIHE, September 2017
The Housing Executive published 11 Housing Market Analysis (HMA) from 2011 to 2013. This included the Belfast Metropolitan Housing Market, the largest housing market in Northern Ireland. These HMAs were not based on council boundaries, but on housing market areas, defined using Travel to Work Areas.

The Housing Market Analysis (HMA) update provides an update on the Belfast Metropolitan HMA, by examining the current housing market and housing issues. Unlike the original Belfast HMA, this focuses on the Belfast City Council area, in order to provide an accessible evidence base which can be referred to when taking decisions on housing and planning strategies, at the council level.
Housing growth options report – Belfast City Population and Housing Growth Study, Turley, October 2016 
The Belfast housing growth options report considers the future population and housing growth of Belfast, with a reasonable range of potential population and household growth scenarios presented.  It was published as part of the Preferred Options Paper (POP) consultation. PDF
Size and type of housing needed – addendum to the Belfast City housing growth options report, Turley, November 2017
This Addendum to the housing growth options report (see above) provides additional detail on the size and type of housing likely to be required in Belfast under the recommended growth scenario.  This was commissioned following broad support received for the level of growth proposed as part of the Preferred Options Paper consultation. PDF
Residential densities: A comparative study, April 2017
 The study defines and compares residential densities across a number of schemes that help outline and establish appropriate thresholds for sustainable residential development.  PDF
Belfast City Council – Urban Capacity study, Arup, March 2018
The Urban Capacity study is an important part of the evidence base for the LDP. It provides a high-level assessment of the potential capacity to accommodate future housing and economic development within the district, including the type of housing and density of development appropriate to each site. PDFs
Belfast Housing Land Availability (Housing Monitor), Belfast City Council 
The Housing Monitor measures how many additional homes are built in the city each year. It helps to inform the preparation of our new LDP, contributing to future decisions about where houses should be built. Summary reports are published annually. HTML
Retail and leisure capacity study 
The retail and leisure capacity study provides guidance on the capacity for new retail and leisure development in Belfast, as well as strategic and operational advice relating to the scale, nature and location of this development over the plan period. PDF
Office sector study 

The office study sets out the existing policy context and provides an overview of the various office locations within the city. It analyses the current office market, including overall supply and demand. It also measures the uptake of office floor space in the city centre and compares this to forecast demand, to project the floor space requirements for this sector over the plan period. 

Assessing employment space requirements 

The Assessing Employment Space Requirements document considers how the demand for employment space is likely to be affected by forecast employment growth in Belfast.  It was published as part of the Preferred Options Paper (POP) consultation.

 Rural Needs Impact Assessment

The Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 (the Act) provides a statutory duty on public authorities to have due regard to rural needs when developing, adopting, implementing or revising policies, strategies and plans, and when designing and delivering public services. 

Countryside Assessment

The Countryside Assessment provides an overview of the existing environmental assets in the Belfast City Council area and how these are protected. It includes an environmental assets appraisal, a landscape assessment, a development pressure analysis, and a settlement appraisal.


More information

If you have any queries on accessing the documentation, contact the Planning Office at

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