Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Ards Borough: Donaghadee
Donaghadee is situated on the east coast of the Ards peninsula, approximately 27 kilometres from Belfast and 11 kilometres from Newtownards. It is the Boroughs third largest town.
The town owes its growth to the granting of a Royal Warrant in 1616, which limited travel between the Ards and Galloway to the ports of Donaghadee and Portpatrick. The ferry service continued between the two ports up to the mid-nineteenth century.
The significant elements that contribute to its natural environment and built heritage include: the harbour with its lighthouse on the South Pier; the rocky headland, Foreland Point; the attractive terraces of white painted buildings along the promenade and the “Moat”, a castellated building complete with turrets and battlements, located on top of a 13th Century Anglo-Norman motte. These features are noted in the Northern Ireland Landscape Character Assessment Report for the Ards Borough.
Donaghadee has a number of archaeological sites and listed buildings particularly in the compact historic core which was designated as a Conservation Area in 1994.
Coalpit Bay to the south west of the town has been designated an Area of Scientific Interest, this area has now been subsumed into the Outer Ards Area of Special Scientific Interest.
Regional Planning Context
Donaghadee is a local service centre for the surrounding rural area. It meets the criteria for a small town as identified in the Regional Development Strategy, (RDS), i.e. towns with a population of between 5000 -10,000 but is not specifically referred to as a Local Hub.
Policy SPG-RNI of the RDS is to “support the network of service centres based on main towns, small towns and villages in Rural Northern Ireland”, and specifically “to sustain and consolidate the role of small towns and villages as local service centres”.