Planning Portal

Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
District Proposals: Newtownabbey Regional Policy Context

The District Proposals have been developed in the context of the Plan Strategy and the Plan Proposals contained in Volume 1 of the Plan. They therefore reflect the planning policy content of the Regional Development Strategy(RDS), Planning Policy Statements(PPSs) and the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland(PSRNI).
In addition to the Strategic Planning Guidelines and measures relevant to the development of the Plan Proposals applying to the BMA as a whole, which are set out in Part 3 of Volume 1 of the Plan, there are also a number of SPGs and measures specifically relevant to Newtownabbey as follows:-

Strategic Planning Guidelines and Measures for Newtownabbey

To create a thriving Metropolitan Area centred on a revitalised city of Belfast which aims to build on the distinctive and complementary roles of each of the component urban centres within the BMA to create a strong city complex capable of competing in the league of European Cities. (SPG-BMA1)
To develop the complementary role of the suburban districts of Castlereagh and Newtownabbey by (BMA 1.2):-
  • enhancing the role of Newtownabbey as an area with potential for significant housing expansion, particularly with the reopened Bleach Green rail link between Antrim and Belfast City Centre;
  • focusing on Newtownabbey’s advantageous location on the major transport corridors to Belfast International Airport and the Ports of Belfast and Larne, in order to further develop it as a major industrial and university centre; and
  • utilising the Lough shore and hill setting as a basis for the expansion of Newtownabbey’s role as a leisure outlet for the north and north west of the Metropolitan Area, building on existing assets including the Valley Leisure Complex and Ballyearl Centre.
To promote an urban renaissance throughout the BMA by (SPG-BMA 2)
  • promoting urban economic development at key locations, and on suitable sites, throughout the Metropolitan Area by (BMA 2.1):-
    • strengthening the role of the BMA, as the regional economic driver including the identification of the strategic location for employment growth at the Mallusk /Ballyhenry area; and
    • maintaining and enhancing identifiable local centres of commerce and community services throughout the Metropolitan Area.
  • Promoting the physical renewal of the Belfast Metropolitan Area by (BMA 2.2)
    • promoting Lisburn and Newtownabbey as the main focii of greenfield housing provision located along key transport corridors, reflecting the environmental constraints imposed by Belfast Lough, the hills surrounding the city and the Lagan Valley Regional Park.
  • To enhance the quality of the urban environment throughout the Metropolitan Area by (BMA 2.3)
    • protecting areas of high scenic value around the Metropolitan Area and seeking to keep hill slopes and skylines free from urban development; and
    • protecting and enhancing a network of open space including country parks, landscape wedges, parks and community greenways.
  • To develop and enhance the Metropolitan Transport Corridor Network by (SPG- BMA 3)
    • The Metropolitan Transport Corridors that radiate from Belfast City Centre, link together with the constituent parts of the BMA and are important for integrating land use and planning. To develop these corridors it will be necessary to:
      • create an integrated Metropolitan Transport Corridor Network, developing a system of strategic transport corridors for the BMA based on the Metropolitan Transport Corridors and their connections to the key and Link Transport Corridors. These will form the main development spines around which future land use patterns will be planned;
      • direct the urban renaissance drive and peripheral expansion of the BMA to focus as much major housing and employment growth as possible close to the MTC network;
      • prepare transport corridor plans, to achieve general consistency and provide for more efficient linking of Belfast with other parts of the BMA including Newtownabbey; and
      • balance inner and outer accessibility by recognising the different role and potential of orbital, as well as radial corridors and assess the need for additional transport corridor plans for orbital routes to improve accessibility links around the BMA.
  • To extend travel choice for all sections of the community by enhancing public transport (SPG TRAN 2):
    • strengthening the bus network in ways which will reinforce the locational policies in the Spatial Development Strategy; and
    • strengthening the regional rail system by further developing commuter rail services in the BMA connecting Belfast to other cities and towns.
  • To integrate land use and transportation by (SPG-TRAN 3):
    • developing land use patterns which contribute to a much better range of travel choices for all and reduce the demand to travel (TRAN 3.1).
  • To set housing growth indicators to guide the distribution of housing in the region over the period to 2015 through the development plan process, in accordance with the Spatial Development Strategy (SPG-HOU 3)
    • provide for major areas of planned expansion on the key corridors at Lisburn and Newtownabbey, focusing housing development near areas of employment growth and integrating the suburban rail links and other primary public transport services;
    • focus housing on existing land zonings and ‘Whitelands and smaller sites to be determined in the Belfast Metropolitan Area; and
    • allow a significant planned expansion of seven small towns including Ballyclare to accommodate housing need related to the BMA.
Ballyclare is well located in relation to key transport corridors and has a concentration of existing facilities and infrastructure, which provide a good basis for accommodating expansion comprising both housing and economic development. With further growth, Ballyclare will begin to take on the wider role of a main town.
  • To continue to create and sustain an attractive and unique rural environment in the interests of the rural community and the region as a whole (SPG-RNI 5).
This involves the control of development in areas, particularly the main commuter zone around the BMA where there is pressure for development by means of Green Belt to maintain the rural character and tranquillity of the countryside. Plan for a more measured growth in those small towns and villages in the BMA hinterland which have been growing too fast due to mobile housing demand, in order to protect their identity, character and setting.
Previous Next
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)