Campaign to 'demystify planning'
A campaign to "demystify the planning system" in Northern Ireland is being launched in Belfast.
Friends of the Earth said it had created the guide to give local communities knowledge and confidence to participate in planning.
'Planning for the Environment in Northern Ireland' explains what is involved in planning legislation and recent reforms in the sector.
Friends of the Earth is a group which campaigns on environmental issues.
It has organised a training event to complement the new guide.
It will focus on developments which threaten wildlife, "unsympathetic coastal development, unfettered development in conservation areas or bungalow blight in the countryside".
Deborah McLaughlin of Friends of the Earth said participants would "find out how the planning system works and discover ways to use it to their advantage".
"They will also learn how to write an objection letter, how to get involved in their area plans, learn about tree preservation orders and obtain practical tips for shaping their community," she said.
Last month, the government moved to end the practice of building single houses at random in the Northern Ireland countryside.
New plans will not be considered for single rural dwellings, with few exceptions.
The move ends a stampede which has seen planning departments all but overwhelmed by tens of thousands of speculative plans.