The Local Government Act (NI) 2014 introduced a new ethical regime to local government. As part of this regime, the Department of the Environment (the Department) issued a Code of Conduct (the Code) for councillors, which was approved by the Assembly on 27 May 2014. Part 9 of the Code, which contains the planning element, is not due to take effect until 1 April 2015.
The Code details the principles and rules of conduct which you are required to observe when acting as a councillor and in conducting council business and these principles and rules of conduct apply equally when you are undertaking the planning functions of the council. This guidance makes specific reference to the rules in the Code in relation to declaration of interests (section 6 of the Code), lobbying and access to councillors (section 7 of the Code), and decision-making (section 8 of the Code) and explains under each heading how the rules apply to councillors and, specifically, to planning committee members, where applicable.