Planning and Development

We work with the seven member municipalities in Northumberland, the Government of Ontario and local residents and businesses to grow communities and protect resources in Northumberland.

Development applications

Contact us if you need to apply for a development application.

County Official Plan amendment

Amendments to the Official Plan are required when a new development does not satisfy the intended land use categories or policies in the plan.

Applying for a County Official Plan amendment

The Planning Act prevents certain land use categories and policies from being amended. Contact our Land Use Planning team to find out if you are eligible to submit a County Official Plan amendment. We require a pre-consultation meeting before consideration.

Application fee and deposit

  • Fee: $3,000
  • Deposit: $5,000

Municipal Official Plan amendment

Our seven member municipalities have Official Plans that detail land use categories and establish local policies to manage growth and development.

Applying for a municipal official plan amendment

If you need a municipal Official Plan amendment, please contact the appropriate municipality. We are required to approve some municipal Official Plan amendments.

Review and approval fees

  • Review: $1,000
  • Approval: $1,000

Subdivision plans

A subdivision plan is required to divide land into lots and blocks for development and often involves the creation of public streets and infrastructure.

Located in Brighton, Cobourg, Port Hope or Trent Hills?

Please contact the appropriate member municipality for a subdivision application if your property is located within Brighton, Cobourg, Port Hope or Trent Hills.

Located in Alnwick/Haldimand, Cramahe or Hamilton?

Please contact us if your property is located within Alnwick/Haldimand, Cramahe or Hamilton.

Subdivision Application Form

You can use our Subdivision Application Form to apply.

Application fee and deposit

  • Fee: $4,000
  • Deposit: $5,000

Land severance and consent

Consent is required if you want to do any of the following:

  • Sever a lot (lot creation)
  • Add land to a neighbouring property (lot addition)
  • Establish a right to use another property (easement)
  • Establish permissions for mortgaging or leasing parts of lots

Contact the appropriate municipality

Our seven member municipalities each have consent-granting authority for their areas. Contact the appropriate municipality if you require a consent application. We review some consent applications for the member municipalities.

Review fee


Zoning by-law amendments

Our seven member municipalities each have their own zoning by-law. Zoning by-laws control the use of land and often include land use restrictions (permitted uses) and technical provisions (setbacks, lot size requirements, etc.).

Amendment to a zoning by-law

If you require a zoning by-law amendment, contact the appropriate municipality. You may require an amendment to a zoning by-law if your proposal doesn't meet the permitted uses outlined in the existing by-law. We review some zoning amendment applications for the member municipalities.

Review fee

$250 to $500

Minor variance

A minor variance is a minor adjustment to a municipal zoning by-law. Contact the appropriate member municipality if you require a minor variance application. We review some minor variance applications for the member municipalities.

Review fee


Site plan

Member municipalities use site plan control to ensure a development meets the official plan policies, zoning by-laws and design guidelines. Site plans detail how a property will be developed. We review some site plan applications for the member municipalities.

Contact the appropriate member municipality if you require site plan approval.

Review fee


Countywide development charges

Development Charges (DCs) are one-time fees levied by municipalities on new residential and non-residential lands. The purpose of DCs is to ensure that new development pays for the infrastructure growth (such as road improvements, new facilities and other infrastructure) that is required to meet the needs of the growing community.

2021 Development Charges Update Study 

At the February 17, 2021 meeting of County Council, Council directed staff to begin the process of amending the current D.C. Background Study and associated By-Law to reflect any applicable changes under the Development Charges Act. Further, the update includes proposed revisions for identified capital needs.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021 the Northumberland County Finance and Audit Committee will hold a public meeting to present and obtain public input on the municipality’s proposed D.C. by-law and underlying background study.

Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 6, 2021 1:00 p.m.
by Zoom Conference
Join online
Join by phone (toll-free): 855-703-8985
Meeting ID: 884 0737 9269
Password: 629706

Interested persons may express their comments at the public meeting, by email or in writing, addressed to the municipal Clerk, at the above address prior to July 5, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

View the Update Study and Draft By-Law

Current Development Charges

On August 26, 2020, County Council approved the Countywide Development Charge By-Law No. 2020-36, effective October 1, 2020. 

This by-law presents development charges for Northumberland County. Development charges assist in providing the infrastructure required by future development in the County through the establishment of a viable capital funding source to meet the County’s financial requirements. These charges apply to all County services on a countywide basis with the exception of Waste Diversion – Curbside Collection, which applies in the benefitting service area only (outside of Port Hope Rural Ward II).

As a result of By-Law No. 2020-36 coming into effect, By-Law No. 2018-23 (area-specific development charges affecting the Cobourg East community) was repealed on October 1, 2020.


Development Charges By-Law No. 2020-36 Brochure

To request a copy of the 2020-36 Countywide Development Charges By-Law or 2020 Development Charges Background Study, please submit a request using our Document Request Form. Copies are also available  from the County Clerk at 555 Courthouse Road, Cobourg.