Places for People – a sustainable planning guide for councillors

For over fifteen years, Sustainable NI has worked closely with councils to advise, encourage and celebrate the pursuit of sustainable development in Northern Ireland.

For many years, councils have delivered services that have been informed and coloured by the principles of sustainable development. Through work that includes their promotion of economic renewal, their investment in community facilities and their support of local environmental initiatives, councils have been at the forefront of good practice. Last year, Sustainable NI produced a video film to showcase some of their achievements.

Now, the 2014 Local Government Act provides a fresh mandate on sustainable development for the eleven new councils. Among other significant new powers, the Act places an obligation on councils to undertake Community Planning, which is defined as a process to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of a district and to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in Northern Ireland.

The 2014 Act augments and strengthens the existing statutory duty on sustainable development, which dates from 2006; there is a new duty on councils to report annually on Performance Improvement. That annual report will cover seven themes, one of which is sustainability. In addition, councils have acquired the responsibility for land-use planning.

Over the last year, councillors have had the opportunity for extensive training on planning and community planning, in preparation for these new duties. That training focused primarily on the processes involved, the legal obligations and the council structures.

Now, Sustainable NI has produced a new publication, Places for People – a sustainable planning guide for councillors to supplement that training. With an introductory chapter tailored to each of the eleven councils, the guide goes on to examine eleven sustainability themes, illustrating good practice from each new council district.  Its aim is to inspire and enthuse, to spotlight some of the wonderful natural and built heritage assets that are to be found in every district throughout this region, to support councillors in the delivery of their new responsibilities. 

Click each council area on the map below to access the guide to that district.


Derry City & StrabaneFermanagh & Omagh