Planning statistics for the period April 2021 - March 2022 are now available.
These data provide an overall view of planning activity. This includes a summary of council performance across the three statutory targets for major development applications, local development applications and enforcement cases as laid out in the Local Government (Performance Indicators and Standards) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015, along with other statistics of interest such as application approval rates.
The publication is available on the Department for Infrastructure website.
The key points from the Northern Ireland Planning Statistics 2021/22 Annual Statistical Bulletin are:
- Planning activity and processing performance during the last two years were impacted by the restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, during January and February of 2022 the Planning Portal was inaccessible for a period of time. These factors should be borne in mind and caution taken when interpreting these figures and when making comparisons with other time periods.
- During 2021/22, 13,600 planning applications were received; a 6% increase from the previous financial year. This comprised 13,454 local, 145 major and one regionally significant application.
- A total of 12,914 planning applications were decided during 2021/22; an increase of 23% from the previous financial year. Decisions were issued on 12,787 local and 127 major applications during 2021/22.
- The average processing time for local applications brought to a decision or withdrawal during 2021/22 was 17.2 weeks across all councils. This exceeds the 15 week target and represents a decrease of 0.6 weeks from the previous financial year. Two of the 11 councils met the 15 week target in 2021/22.
- The average processing time for major applications brought to a decision or withdrawal during 2021/22 was 49.8 weeks across all councils. This represents a decrease of 11.6 weeks compared with the previous financial year and exceeds the 30 week target by almost 20 weeks. One of the 11 councils met the 30 week target in 2021/22.
- Across councils 70.4% of enforcement cases were concluded within 39 weeks during 2021/22. This represents an increase from the rate reported in 2020/21 (69.9%) and meets the statutory target of 70%. Individually, eight of the 11 councils met the target in 2021/22.