The Planning Office is open to the public to deliver planning applications and make accompanying payments, as well as for pre-booked planning appointments with a duty planner or to view files. These appointments must be made two weeks in advance, and this can be arranged by phone, between 9am and 4pm Mon-Fri, on (028) 9182 4006 or by e-mailing - SEE OPEN-FILE VIEWINGS (£10 CHARGE) AND DUTY PLANNER APPOINTMENTS (NO CHARGE) BELOW

Planning committee meetings are normally held in the Council Chamber at 2 Church Street, Newtownards on the first Tuesday of each month and commence at 7:00pm 

The charges and amended fees for a number of the photocopying, scanning and file-viewing services it provides are available to download BELOW.

Submitting a Planning Application on the new NI Planning Portal (December 2022 onwards)

Planning applications can either be submitted online through the new Portal, with an accompanying card payment or BACS fee made as part of the submission process, or submitted as hard copies. We now require only 1 copy of each document for a hard copy submission, as applications will be processed within a paperless system.  Hard copy applications can be posted with an accompanying cheque, or else hand-delivered to our Newtownards office with an accompanying cheque; alternatively a card payment can be made at reception upon submission of the documentation.

Planning fees - April 2023

The increased planning fees took effect from Thursday 6th April 2023. Any applications received on or after that date will need to be accompanied by the correct new fee. The new fees can be viewed by clicking on the link at the foot of the page. To view the new fees click here.

Submitting a Pre-Application Discussion (PAD) document

Members of the public can also submit an enquiry relating to a future development proposal by e-mail or through the post using the template available at the link BELOW. Once received the Planning Service will aim to answer the query within 20 working days.

Charges for copying/scanning and open-file appointments

There are charges for photocopying and scanning requests totalling £1 or more. There is also a charge of £10 to view a full planning applications in an open-file appointment. Information of a personal or sensitive nature which is held on a planning file will be processed by us according to our Planning Privacy Statement which is available to view in full within the "Privacy" section of  Planning's Council webpages.

A detailed list of all new charges is available to download through the link BELOW. 

Planning Service Appointment System

An enhanced appointment system allows members of the public to book a 20-minute appointment with a Planning Officer to clarify any issues concerning a current planning application or to discuss in detail a specific planning proposal they wish to submit.

The appointments are free and available Mon-Fri between 9am and 4pm at Council Offices, 2 Church Street, Newtownards but they must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

Amongst other things, the service offers the public the opportunity to ask for pre-application advice on householder and small-business proposals, to receive advice on how to develop a scheme, to ascertain whether a proposal is in line with the development plan and planning policy guidelines, or how to revise a previously refused or withdrawn application. Such an appointment, arranged prior to submission, could assist in any future decision being reached more promptly.

To arrange an appointment, please contact the Planning Service on 028 9182 4006 or e-mail   When making the booking, the information provided will enable the Planning Officer to gain a comprehensive understanding of the proposal, thereby improving the quality of the site-specific advice that will be given.

Members of the public may call to view registry copies of current planning applications, where no Planning Officer is in attendance, without an appointment between 9:30am and 4pm Mon-Fri at the Church Street offices. Requests to view historic files held in off-site storage, or full working files currently being processed, must be received by phone or e-mail, as it may take several days to facilitate such an appointment.

2 Church Street, Newtownards, County Down, BT23 4AF

028 9182 4006


Our staff can help you to check the status of an application, submit a completed application or collect an application form.

Opening times

Days Hours
Monday 9:30am – 4:30pm
Tuesday 9:30am – 4:30pm
Wednesday 9:30am – 4:30pm
Thursday 9:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm