Permits and Applications
To ensure that the Escarpment's natural resources, health and ecosystems are protected, Niagara Escarpment landowners are required to get a Niagara Escarpment Development Permit or other approvals for certain types of development.
Download the following application forms:
The Development Permit Application Process
A planner is assigned to handle your application. Agencies such as your municipality, Ministries of Agriculture, Transportation, Environment, Agriculture, and your local Conservation Authority, may have regulations in your area. Your application is circulated to them for their comments.
When the NEC receives all comments, a staff planner writes a report for the Commission. Applicants may contact the planner for an update on the progress of the application at any time. The planner can also arrange a date for your application to be on the Commission’s agenda.
The Commission planner evaluates your application to see if it complies with the policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan. The planner will write a report recommending approval:
- if your proposal is a "permitted use";
- if it meets the development criteria of the Plan; and,
- if other agencies (such as those above) are satisfied.
There will be conditions attached. Depending on the complexity of your application, conditions may be minimal or lengthy.
The planner will write a report recommending refusal:
- if your proposal is not permitted by the Plan;
- if it contravenes the local, regional or county Official Plan; or,
- if there is a major issue raised by an agency that cannot be resolved.
A copy of the staff report will be available for you. The vast majority of Development Permit applications are approved.
Once the decision is made on your application, a "Notice of Decision" is sent to the agencies consulted and to your surrounding neighbours. The Notice includes the conditions of approval or the reasons for refusal. Those receiving Notice have 14 days to appeal the decision if they have planning or environmental reasons to appeal. Click fo the NEC Appeal Form. The vast majority of applications are not appealed.
Contact the NEC Planner for your region of the Escarpment