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Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Down District: Seaforde

Proposal SE 01 Settlement Limit
A Settlement Limit is designated in accordance with Policy SETT 1 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/040a, Seaforde Settlement Map.
The designated Settlement Limit is drawn to protect the landscape setting provided by the demesne lands and important trees to the north and the church and surrounding slopes to the north east, prevent further linear expansion along public roads and allow for additional housing opportunities in conjunction with existing development.
Interim sewage disposal measures or development phasing may be necessary for future housing schemes until such time as the Waste Water treatment Works for Seaforde is complete and fully operational.
Proposal SE 02 Local Landscape Policy Areas
The following Local Landscape Policy Areas are designated in accordance with Policy CON 2 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/040a, Seaforde Settlement Map and Map No. 3/040b.
Those features or combination of features that contribute to the environmental quality, integrity or character of these areas are listed below.

LLPA 1 Seaforde Demesne

  • demesne lands form a distinctive landscape setting to the north of the settlement and are inextricably linked to the settlement in historical terms;
  • extensive areas of woodland and shelter belt planting within historic walled 17th century demesne with fine parkland landscape;
  • attractive mature tree belts front onto Main Street and Newcastle Road and contribute highly to the unique character and setting of Seaforde and provide enclosure to these streets;
  • mature trees also surround Seaforde Presbyterian Church on Demesne Road;
  • local nature conservation importance – lakes within demesne are significant for wintering wildfowl;
  • walled garden, Pheasantry and Butterfly House open to the public and a popular visitor attraction;
  • demesne includes a large number of listed buildings and features ranging from gates, screens and lodges to the impressive Seaforde House built in 1820 and its stables and outbuildings; an
  • also includes series of archaeological sites – the more significant of which are scheduled.
A substantial part of these lands is also designated as a Historic Park, Garden and Demesne under Proposal COU 7 in Volume 1 of the Plan

LLPA 2 Seaforde Parish Church and environs

  • listed church on circular site and its surroundings comprising the immediate treed grounds and laneway and the undeveloped agricultural fields which slope down from the site on 3 sides and form the setting of the church;
  • tall spire is visible above the trees for miles around and is a local landmark;
  • localised hill - church sits on elevated site slightly detached from the settlement core; and
  • gatelodge type dwelling adjacent to church gates contributes positively to the character of this area.

LLPA 3 Naghan Lodge and grounds

  • locally important substantial dwelling in mature planted grounds – small scale planned landscape forms significant entrance feature into the settlement from south; and
  • attractive stone walls and dwelling contribute positively to the character of the area.
Proposal SE 03 Area of Townscape Character
An Area of Townscape Character is designated within the small settlement of Seaforde in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS 6): Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage and as indicated on Map No. 3/040a, Seaforde Settlement Map and the relevant Down Countryside Map.
Seaforde is the planned estate settlement of the Demesne bearing the same name. The Church of Ireland (1720) was the first recorded building, but it was not until the mid-19th century that the settlement took on its present built form. Architecturally, the style is varied and includes Greek Revival, Classical Georgian, The Picturesque and Tudor Gothic Revival.
The character, appearance and key features of the designated area and the basis for its designation as an Area of Townscape Character derives from:
  • its sense of place and setting in an historic landscape. The setting of Seaforde among the plantations of the Demesne is the essence of its distinctive character. This relationship is enhanced by planting along the road verges and on private ground within the settlement boundary;
  • its cohesiveness obtained by a common scale, use of similar building materials, terraced groupings, a strongly held building line and broad road verges;
  • the spacious layout and landscaping of Main Street and Newcastle Road;
  • its physical links and relationship with the Demesne; and
  • its key buildings including a fine Gate Screen and Lodge, the Parish Church and restored terraces.
The design of development proposals within the designated area should be in keeping with the overall historic layout and built form of the small settlement in terms of scale, massing, materials and detailing. Furthermore, proposals should be respectful of the particular styles of host and/or adjoining buildings in order to retain the significance and architectural integrity of key elements within the townscape. The relationship with the demesne is paramount, no where more so than to the north of Main Street where the plantation encloses the small settlement. In the longer term a landscape management scheme for this area, around the Church and along the road verges may be necessary to sustain the unique setting of the village.
It is considered that Seaforde is of sufficient architectural, cultural and historic significance to merit designation as a Conservation Area. It is the Department’s intention to do so as and when resources permit.
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