Making a planning related complaint

You can complain to the local council or the Department for Infrastructure about certain planning matters.

What you can complain about

If you were involved in the planning process and aren't satisfied with a service you received, you can complain. For example, you can complain about:

  • how your enquiries or your correspondence were handled
  • how your application was processed
  • the contact you had with local staff

How to complain

To complain, you should use:

  • the local council's complaints procedure if your complaint is about a local or major planning application
  • the Department for Infrastructure 's complaints procedure if your complaint is about a regional planning application

The complaints procedure should:

  • explain stages involved in dealing with a complaint
  • outline response timescales 

Information to include in your complaint 

When making a complaint, you should:

  • give precise details 
  • explain why you are dissatisfied
  • provide supporting correspondence or relevant supporting evidence
  • recommend an outcome that would resolve your complaint

If you didn't complain within six months, you should explain the delay.

If you are still not satisfied

If you receive a response to your complaint but you're not satisfied, you can complain to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO).

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

The Ombudsman can investigate complaints against government departments and their agencies. It is a free, independent service. The Ombudsman will only investigate if you've already used the complaints procedure.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
Progressive House
33 Wellington Place
Belfast
BT1 6HN
The Ombudsman
Freepost BEL 1478
Belfast
BT1 6BR

Appealing the decision on your application

If you're an applicant dissatisfied with a decision on your planning application, you can appeal the decision to the Planning Appeals Commission. 

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