Local Development Plan 2030

Plan Preparation Process

The Local Development Plan is primarily about delivering  sustainable development and improving the quality of life and wellbeing of communities in Mid and East Antrim.  It sets out a Spatial Growth Strategy underpinned by other strategic policies and proposals as a means of ensuring that development is high quality, meets local needs and is located in the appropriate places convenient to jobs and public services.

How we got here

The  Plan Strategy is the first of two documents, which comprise the Local Development Plan.  Once adopted, it will be followed by the Local Policies Plan which will set out our detailed site-specific proposals such as land use zonings and local designations such as settlement limits and town centre boundaries. The Revised Local Development Plan Timetable is subject to annual review.

The draft Plan Strategy has been developed following extensive engagement with the public, stakeholders and our elected Members and follows on from the publication of our Preferred Options Paper in June 2017.  The key stages in this phase of the plan making process are shown below.

1

2

3

4

5

Preferred Options Paper (POP) issued with evidence base and consultation period Publish draft Plan Strategy for 4 week pre-consultation followed by 8 week consultation period Further 8 week period for counter representations Independent examination of Draft Plan Adoption of Plan strategy. Commence Local Policies Plan process.

The Draft Plan Strategy

The draft Plan Strategy sets out how our Borough will grow and change up to the year 2030. It puts forward our Plan vision and strategic objectives for the future. It also contains a Spatial Growth Strategy and supporting Strategic Spatial Proposals indicating where growth should be directed in the Borough. It also sets out a range of Strategic Subject Policies under five key themes shown below, which together will support the Spatial Growth Strategy and inform future planning decisions.

Sustainable Economic Growth

Building Sustainable Communities

Transportation, Infrastructure and Connectivity

Stewardship of our Built Environment and Creating Places

Safeguarding our Natural Environment

Copies of the draft Plan Strategy and supporting documents are available to view and download from links below:

Draft Plan Strategy

Consultation on the Draft Plan Strategy

The draft Plan Strategy was published for formal public consultation for a period of eight weeks from 16 October to 11 December 2019.

The representations submitted in response to the public consultation on the draft Plan Strategy and Sustainability Appraisal were subject to eight weeks consultation from 31 January to 27 March 2020.

The Government lockdown in respect to Covid-19 was announced on 23 March taking effect from 24 March.   As stated in the public notices and on the Council website, all representations were available for inspection online, with counter-representations then to be submitted online, posted or emailed.  As there was no requirement to physically attend Council premises to submit  a counter-representation, a decision was taken not to postpone or cancel the counter-representation consultation period as a result of the lockdown. 

What Happens Now

In accordance with Regulation 19 of The Planning (Local Development Plan) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, the Council is now making counter representations received available for inspection.   

The period of public consultation for counter representations (31 January - 27 March 2020) was an opportunity for interested parties to comment on a site specific policy representation received during the public consultation on the draft Plan Strategy (16 October – 11 December 2019).

Counter representations can be viewed below and during normal office hours (by appointment only) at:

Council Planning Office
Silverwood Business Park
190 Raceview Road
Ballymena
BT42 4HZ. 

To make an appointment please T: 028 2563 3500.

Please note counter representations are published for inspection only. There is no opportunity to make any further representations at this stage.


There are 4 key stages of plan preparation.

  • Stage 1: Initial Plan Preparation
  • Stage 2: Preparation and Adoption of the Plan Strategy
  • Stage 3: Preparation and Adoption of the Local Policies Plan
  • Stage 4: Monitoring and Review

Stage 1: Initial Plan Preparation

This initial stage includes the development of a comprehensive evidence base, publishing of the Timetable, and Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and the publication of the Preferred Options Paper (POP). The revised Timetable, published in June 2017, sets out the programme for the delivery of the LDP including key milestones and indicative timelines for plan production through to final adoption. 

The Position Papers comprising the evidence base as formulated to date are:

We will post any future updates or revisions to these Papers on this page.

The Preferred Options Paper (POP) is the first public consultation document to be issued in the emerging LDP.  It includes a Plan Vision, Objectives and Overarching Principles, as well as identifying a range of strategic planning issues that had been identified in our Borough.  The purpose of the POP was to stimulate debate on these issues to help inform the next stage of the LDP.

Publication of the POP Public Consultation Report in December 2017 marks the completion of Stage 1 of the Plan process.  

Stage 2: Preparation and Adoption of the Plan Strategy

This stage of the LDP process consists of the preparation and publication of the draft Plan Strategy which will be strategic in nature and based on all relevant information, including responses to the POP.  This will be subject to public consultation and Independent Examination (IE) prior to adoption.  The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) will appoint the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) or other independent examiner to hold the IE.  The IE will subject the draft Plan Strategy to soundness tests which will determine if correct procedure has been followed, how it has taken account of central government plans, policy and guidance, and whether it is generally satisfactory in regard to considerations of coherence, consistency and effectiveness.  Following the IE, the examiner will issue a report of its findings to the Department for consideration before it issues a binding report to the Council.  The Council must then incorporate any changes outlined in the binding report and subsequently adopt the Plan Strategy.

Stage 3: Preparation and Adoption of the Local Policies Plan

The Local Policies Plan is the second Plan document and must be consistent with the adopted Plan Strategy. Its purpose is to provide detailed site specific proposals (for example, housing zonings) relating to the future development of the Plan area. The draft Local Policies Plan will also be subject public consultation and Independent Examination.  Once the Local Policies Plan is adopted, the whole LDP is placed on a statutory footing.

Stage 4: Monitoring and Review

The final stage in the LDP preparation process is Monitoring and Review which is essential in establishing how the LDP objectives are being achieved and whether any changes are required.  This will include the preparation of an Annual Monitoring Report. We will undertake regular reviews of its LDP at least every 5 years from the date of adoption of the Local Policies Plan.

Both the Plan Strategy and Local Policies Plan together with any supporting documents and various Plan related assessments will be placed on online.