National and major developments

What is a national or major development?

Some categories falling under "major development" include fish farms, offices, storage and distribution centres, housing estates,  renewables, waste management or disposal facilities, mineral extraction sites and any other development exceeding 5000 square metres. Please see here for a full definitive list.

Developments listed in the National Planning Framework 
Schedule 1 of EIA DevelopmentAll Schedule 1 Development
Housing development50 or more properties or 2 hectares or more of site area
Business and Industry (Classes 4-6)More than 10,000 m2 of gross floor area of new build or in excess of 2 hectares of site area
Electricity generationThe power station (including renewables) has a capacity of or exceeding 20MW
Waste managementThe facility has a capacity of more than 25,000 tonnes per annum or in the case of sludge treatment works more than 50 tonnes (wet weight) per day
Transport and InfrastructureThe length of new or replacement road (including some cycle/walkways), railway, tramway, etc, exceeds 8km
Fish farmingThe surface area of water covered is 2ha or more
Minerals The area of extraction exceeds 2ha
Other developmentWhere the gross floorspace of any building developed exceeds 5,000m2 or the site exceeds 2ha in total

All proposals falling within the categories of development defined as ‘National development’ and ‘Major development’ require pre-application consultation (PAC) to be carried out between developers and communities. 

Why do I need to consult with the community?

The need for Pre-application Consultation (PAC) between the developer and the community has been introduced to ensure that communities are made aware of and have an opportunity to comment on certain types of proposals before a planning application is submitted. The objective is for communities to be better informed about major and national development proposals. This will give them an opportunity to contribute their views, before a formal planning application is submitted to the planning authority.

The purposes of PAC are to improve the quality of planning applications, mitigate negative impacts where possible, address misunderstandings, and air and deal with any community issues that can be tackled. The proposals, if adjusted, should benefit from that engagement and assist the efficient consideration of applications once submitted. 

Application forms and guidance notes

You can find further guidance and application forms below.  For further assistance please contact the Major Applications Team 

Pre-application Consultation - Guidance notes

Pre-application Consultation - Process pack

Pre-application Consultation - Template for publication in a newspaper

Pre-application Consultation - Screening request form

Pre-application Consultation - Proposal of application notice form