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Need advice on Planning matters or whether you require planning permission or advertising consent?

For Planning enquiries please email our general planning email account on or telephone 028 9182 4006 and we will endeavour to assist you with your query.

The Planning Department offers a Duty Planner service. You can submit a query about planning. If you are carrying out works to your business, changing use of your property, or whether you need advertising consent,  you can get advice or information on whether you need planning permission. You can submit your query to and the Duty Planner will respond to your enquiry.

Planning Permission

Do I need planning permission?

You may need to apply to the Council for the following types of consent:

  • Planning permission for building works (including new buildings, structures and external alterations, change to ground levels, mining operations and changes of use of land or buildings)
  • Advertisement Consent for new signage
  • Listed Building Consent for external, or internal, alterations to the built fabric of a Listed Building
  • Conservation Area Consent to demolish a building or structure in a Conservation Area (where the structure exceeds 115 cubic metres)
  • Works to any tree(s) covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
  • Works to any tree(s) within a conservation area 

Deemed advertisement consent

Certain adverts and signs can be erected without the need for Advertisement Consent. These circumstances are set out in Schedules 2 and 3 of the Advertisement Regulations. 

How to apply for planning permission

Application forms are available in two ways:

  • You can print the form and complete it by hand or type your application and then print
    Download an application form  
  • You can call into the public office on Church Street in Newtownards and collect an application form (Due to COVID-19, the public office is closed)

Find more information to guide you on the planning application guidance 


Returning your application for planning permission

For your application to be processed it must be accompanied by the appropriate fee and relevant supporting documentation

Application fees
You can pay your fee:

  • by cheque made payable to Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • by debit or credit card, in person, at our planning offices
  • additional fees/payments due may be made using a credit/debit card over the phone

Completed application forms and fees can be submitted

  • by post (please enclose a cheque made payable to Ards and North Down Borough Council)
  • in person at the public office

 You can't pay a planning application fee or apply for planning permission online.

Guidance on Planning Permission

Guidance relating to development or usage which may require Planning Permission

Advertisement Consent

Planning plays a key role in ensuring that those advertisements that require consent do not prejudice amenity or public safety and, where possible, enhance the character and appearance of the borough. Under Planning Legislation some advertisements are exempt from control by the Council provided certain conditions are met. Examples of these would be most traffic signs and most non-illuminated advertisements displayed within shops.

Up to Date Planning Guidance:


Estate Agent Signage

Estate agents, chartered surveyors and auctioneers are permitted to display boards under The Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015. However, certain requirements must be met.

Up to date guidance:

Estate Agent Signage

If you are unclear about whether an advertisement requires advertising consent it is advisable that you seek guidance on this matter from the Council’s Planning Team before displaying it.


The Planning Department can help you if you are planning on making an application or need help with planning permissions.