Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
District Proposals: Ballyclare
Ballyclare is the largest settlement within the rural area and is situated to the north west of the Borough on the lower slopes of the Six Mile Water Valley which together with the moorland summits provide enclosure to the north. Craig Hill provides a wooded backdrop to the east of the Town. The population has grown significantly over the last 30 years from 1,999 in 1971 to 8,654 in 2001, an increase of 433%.
Ballyclare has medieval origins, still seen today in the motte to the south of the town. The present street pattern, with its broad main street, dates back to the eighteenth century. A clock tower/keep is a central focus within the town and the old mill marks the industrial district on the south east developed along the Six Mile Water.
Ballyclare is a local service centre with a significant dormitory role in relation to the Belfast Metropolitan Area. It is the main focus within the rural area for housing, shopping and commerce, industry and employment, education and recreation.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) recognises the unique characteristics of various individual communities such as Ballyclare and ensures that the particular characteristics and local needs are catered for. It acknowledges that each community has a complementary role in adding to the value of life and vitality of the Belfast Metropolitan Area as a whole. The RDS seeks to build on the strengths of individual communities, such as Ballyclare, and develop a Metropolitan Area, which is attractive to live in, providing a dynamic commercial and cultural heart to the region.
The RDS identifies Ballyclare as one of the seven small towns in the Belfast Metropolitan Area and its hinterland for significant planned expansion to accommodate housing need related to the BMA and for economic development.
Ballyclare is well located in relation to the key transport corridors, and has a concentration of existing facilities and infrastructure which provide a good basis for accommodating expansion comprising housing and economic development.
|Designation BE 01 Settlement Development Limit (Revised) Ballyclare|
|A Settlement Development Limit is designated for Ballyclare as identified on Map No. 3a - Ballyclare|
The Settlement Development Limit is designated to take account of the Towns role as a local hub in the rural area. It will facilitate significant planned expansion in accordance with the RDS whilst recognising that the opportunity for outward expansion is constrained by the capacity of the existing road network and the need to protect important natural features such as the Six Mile river corridor, Countiers Hill, Green Burn, visually elevated ridge lines and Craig Hill which contribute to the setting of the Town.
Some lands that were previously zoned are excluded from the Settlement Development Limit to the north of the Town at the Rashee Road and also on the Hillhead Road to provide a degree of urban containment and maximise the use of existing land within the urban fabric.