Independent and not-for-profit with 30 years' expertise in planning, community planning and engagement


Participatory Budgeting

Interested in finding out about Participatory Budgeting – having a say in how public money is spent locally? Come along to the launch of the PB Works Project on Wednesday, 14 March 2018 from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast as part of Democracy Day or to one of the other regional events. You can register here

The event will provide a taster session exploring what Participatory Budgeting is and how you can get involved in deciding how public resources are allocated. There will be an opportunity to try out a mock PB process; hear about good practice both locally and from Scotland; and find out how to sign up to join the PB Works Network.

More information on the Participatory Budgeting Works project is available on our website which is coming soon

1 March 2018

Rethinking Engagement - A Dialogue Approach

Rural Community Network and Community Places in partnership with three local communities delivered a project exploring the issues around the siting of renewable energy technology in rural communities in 2016.  We used an innovative engagement tool called the Public Conversations Project Dialogue methodology to ask citizens and other stakeholders to explore in depth their positions on this often contentious issue.

We are now in the process of sharing the learning from the project and showcasing the engagement technique which has been used to facilitate difficult conversations across a wide range of issues worldwide.  Workshops will set out the learning from the project but will also give participants an opportunity to practice the technique.

Workshops are being held in:

  • Holywell DiverseCity Community Partnership Building, 10 - 12 Bishop Street,  Derry on Wednesday, 7 February 2018 (11.00 am - 1.30 pm); and 
  • Fermanagh Trust, Fermanagh House, Broadmeadow Place Enniskillen on Thursday, 8 February 2018 (11.00 am - 1.30 pm).

To book your place please contact Teresa McKernan on 028 8676 6670 or email


This project is funded by Building Change Trust as part of its Civic Activism Programme.

23 January 2018

Positive Outcomes for Local Communities

Community Places congratulates local communities on securing the outcomes they wanted from their objections to two regionally significant major planning applications.  In the Kells area an application for one of the largest solar farms on these islands was rejected by the Department for Infrastructure after almost three years work by local residents objecting to “over-industrialisation” of a rural area.  Meanwhile in the Lisburn area residents’ objections over a six year period to the re-opening and extension of a quarry for a new concrete plant contributed to a decision by the Planning Appeals Commission to over-rule the former Department of Environment’s granting of planning permission.  The Commission’s decision was subsequently adopted by the Department for Infrastructure.  In both cases residents have demonstrated abundant local skills and assets and drawn on enormous community resilience and determination.

15 December 2017

Join Our Planning Team

We currently have two vacancies in our Planning Team.  Work will include providing planning advice to communities and individuals on a varied and interesting caseload and supporting our community engagement work throughout the region.  

We are based in modern spacious offices in central Belfast and our staff enjoy attractive terms and conditions (holidays, flexible working, employer’s pension contribution and other benefits).  Application Packs and Forms available to download on our vacancies page.  Closing date for receipt of applications is 12 October 2017.  

15 September 2017

Planning Advice Outreach Sessions

We’re continuing our free planning advice outreach events for people and community groups.  The next drop in session will be held on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at the Holywell Trust, Bishop Street, Derry~Londonderry.  Drop in any time between 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm.  

Our planning staff will be available to provide free one-to-one advice on all types of planning issues in towns, rural areas and villages.  We can also provide advice on how to object to a planning application, how your local council deals with development built without planning permission and information on the planning system.  There is no need to make an appointment.  

If you are not able to drop in to the advice session you can telephone us for advice (9023 9444) or contact us by email (


Our free planning advice service is for people and communities who cannot afford private consultants.  We are part-funded by the Department for Infrastructure to provide this service.  

12 May 2017