Heritage and community planning

Community planning allows citizens, residents, businesses and other key partners to work together to tackle local needs, drive regeneration and to improve the co-ordination, planning and delivery of local services.

Each District Council in Northern Ireland has been tasked with drawing up a community plan for its area and DOE has produced guidance on this process which can be viewed below:

The Historic Environment has an important contribution to make to this process. It has been shown to have huge potential to increase jobs and economic output relative to neighbouring regions. A study of the economic value can be viewed at the following link:

It supports health and well being through the character and beauty it brings to our places and it provides a key educational resource to learn about our past.

The involvement of communities in strategic decisions about heritage, and in ensuring that these decisions take account of wider issues is increasingly seen as vital to good decision making in the sector. This has been advocated by national and international bodies.

To highlight the potential that exists, the Minister of the Environment organised a conference ‘Back to the Future - New Directions, International best practice and local management’, in December 2015. This included international and local speakers. A detailed report has been produced. This summarises the discussions which took place:

Structure and contacts

View the Historic Environment Division structure and contacts

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