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Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Down District: Castlewellan

Castlewellan is situated on the main A25 Downpatrick to Newry road, approximately 17 kilometres from Downpatrick.
It is an 18th century planned town linked to the linen industry and the growth of other specialist activities, e.g. quarrying, tailoring and banking. Today it functions as an important local service centre for the surrounding rural hinterland. It has a range of shops and services concentrated primarily along Main Street and both Upper and Lower Squares including a Post Office, banks, library, churches, schools and a community centre. It also has an important tourist and recreation role, catering for tourists and day¬trippers attracted to the Forest Park and the recently developed Heritage Centre.
Castlewellan has a superb setting within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with extensive views of the Mourne Mountains to the south. The wooded slopes of Castlewellan Forest Park to the north provide a strong backdrop to the village.
Castlewellan’s historic planned town centre, consisting of Main Street and Upper and Lower Squares, is an important element contributing to the overall character and appearance of the town. The prominent church is a central landmark and a focus in views along the straight approach roads. The village contains a range of listed buildings and was designated a Conservation Area in 1992 with specific implications for the design and layout of development.
Proposal CN 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. 3/008a, Castlewellan Settlement Map.
The designated Settlement Limit protects the natural setting of the village while providing opportunities for additional development. It is also intended to prevent urban sprawl and coalescence between Castlewellan and nearby Annsborough.
Provision has been made within the settlement limit for future housing opportunities. This allocation includes land previously in other uses, lands previously included within the Settlement Limit and remaining undeveloped and lands developed for housing since the commencement of the Plan.
Proposal CN 02 Housing Policy Areas
The following Housing Policy Areas are designated in accordance with Policy SETT 2 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/008a, Castlewellan Settlement Map.
HPA 1 Lands adjoining former factory site Dublin Road
  • housing development to be a minimum gross site density of 20 dwellings per hectare;
  • access to be provided through adjacent housing lands to the south west; and
  • existing boundary planting to be retained and augmented using appropriate native species.
HPA 2 Lands adjoining O’Donnell Close
  • housing development to be a minimum gross site density of 20 dwellings per hectare;
  • access to be provided through existing housing area to the south; and
  • planting belt using native species along the south west boundary.
HPA 3 Lands to the south east of Mountain View and Woodvale
  • housing development to be a minimum gross site density of 20 dwellings per hectare;
  • access to be gained onto the Burrenwood Road through the adjacent housing development, with a right turn facility required at the junction of Burrenwood Road and the A50 Newcastle Road;
  • access arrangements and dwelling layout to be designed to ensure that houses front onto proposed internal access roads; and
  • a 8-10 metre belt of trees of native species to be provided along the southern boundaries adjacent to the countryside to provide screening for the development and help integrate it into the surrounding countryside to help provide screening for this development
Proposal CN 03 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. 3/008a, Castlewellan Settlement Map and Map No. 3/008b.
Those features or combination of features that contribute to the environmental quality, integrity or character of these areas are listed below.

LLPA 1 Castlewellan Forest Park

  • series of features which individually merit protection and collectively contribute to the setting of the village;
  • listed buildings – Castlewellan Castle, gatelodge and The Grange and outbuildings and their original planned surroundings comprising a demesne landscape of formal gardens, parkland, lake and estate planting;
  • series of archaeological sites within the former estate ranging from enclosures and tree rings to stone structures and a possible cemetery;
  • significant areas of mature forest and tree groups;
  • local nature conservation interest - upland lake of unspoilt character important for rare or threatened species;
  • popular tourist and local recreation facility with maze under development within forest park grounds;
  • historical and local significance - the village was built by the Annesley family/ estate owners to house estate workers in the mid 18th century;
  • situated on a steep hill, the heavily wooded/parkland landscape is important in views from within the village and surrounding countryside; and
  • undeveloped slopes with band of important trees directly north of Bann Road, which contributes to the setting of the historic demesne and forest park and as an attractive approach to the village.
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 Wood Lodge and Green Vale and surroundings

  • 2 listed country houses now both used as nursing homes with new employee dwellings within their grounds and their original planned surroundings;
  • attractive landscaped grounds with tree fronted aspect onto Mill Hill;
  • originally established in association with a number of mills within their grounds and surviving system of former mill ponds and sluices reflects industrial heritage importance of wider area; and
  • area forms physical and visual buffer between the existing settlement limits of Annsborough and Castlewellan helping to maintain their separate identities.

LLPA 3 Corriewood House and surroundings

  • listed country house now used as a nursing home and its original planned setting, including attractive landscaped surroundings and outbuildings;
  • significant tree coverage along property boundaries and within site;
  • trees provide good entrance feature into village along Dundrinne Road; and
  • includes new dwelling constructed within original grounds with trees retained.

LLPA 4 St. Paul’s Church, grounds and graveyard

  • listed church and grounds including graveyard, setback from the road with attractive open aspect onto Mill Hill;
  • mature trees along boundaries of church property and in plantation to east are significant feature in the local landscape and provide a degree of visual enclosure on the edge of the historic village; and
  • slender church spire is a local landmark and visible from surrounding countryside and along approach roads.

LLPA 5 Seaview and environs

  • block of listed stone dwellings and their surroundings;
  • mature trees and vegetation on both sides of the road are important visual feature with undeveloped fields behind; and
  • the band of trees followed by listed dwellings form a pleasant entrance and attractive vista into the village.

LLPA 6 Former Rectory and grounds

  • important group of mature trees comprised the designed setting of the Rectory and remain an important local landscape feature; and
  • good entrance and exit feature for the village alongside Castlewellan Forest Park.
Proposal CN 04 Area of Archaeological Potential
An Area of Archaeological Potential is designated in accordance with Policy CON 5 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/008a, Castlewellan Settlement Map.
The area identified reflects the historic core of the settlement, where, on the basis of current knowledge, it is likely that archaeological remains will be encountered in the course of development.
Proposal CN 05 Existing Amenity Open Space and Recreation
The following areas of existing amenity open space and recreation are designated in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 8 (PPS 8): Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation and as indicated on Map No. 3/008a, Castlewellan Settlement Map:

Active Open Space

  • Mourne Gardens: Playground
  • Circular Road: Tennis Courts and Recreation Area
  • Bunkers Hill: Playground
  • Circular Road: Gaelic Football Pitch

Amenity Open Space

  • Mourne Gardens: Kickabout/Recreation Area
  • Lower Square: Amenity Area
  • Upper Square: Amenity Area
  • Bunkers Hill: Kickabout/Recreation Area
There are existing playing fields immediately adjacent to the Settlement Limit on the Bann Road. The Council intends to expand facilities in this area due to increasing growth in Castlewellan.
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