Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation (Page 2 of 2)
Open Space Policies
|Policy OS 1 Protection of Land for the Provision of Open Space|
|Planning permission will not be granted for alternative uses or inappropriate forms of development on land identified for the provision of open space.|
163.47 hectares of land are identified in the District Proposals as new areas of open space provision throughout the Plan period.
Upon implementation of the open space proposals, they will be protected in line with regional policy as contained in PPS 8 Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation.
Of the new lands identified for provision by District Councils, only those within the Metropolitan Development Limit and Settlement Development Limits are identified. Proposals identified by Belfast City Council, Newtownabbey Borough Council and North Down Borough Council which lie within the Green Belt are not identified in the Plan and will be determined in accordance with prevailing regional policy.
The contribution of sport and recreation facilities to healthier lifestyles is enhanced by the recognition of networks of open space provision. The Plan Proposals promote the concept of community greenway routes as the basis of a network approach to the protection of and provision of open space within the Plan Area. Protected open space in built up areas has traditionally been provided in parks. As cities and towns develop, parks have become increasingly isolated in urban areas and separated from the countryside.
Community greenways seek to re-establish corridor links between the countryside and urban areas of open space such as parks, playing fields and natural areas to create a network of urban open spaces. Community greenways provide places for recreation and exercise, cleaner air and a cleaner environment, opportunities for pedestrian and cycle routes and wildlife habitats. Greenways can include publicly owned open space, woodlands, parks, playing fields, school grounds and private lands, golf courses and farmlands. The courses of rivers offer particular potential for the development of community greenways. Each urban landscape wedge also functions as a community greenway.
Twenty eight community greenways are designated to establish open space linkages and enable easy pedestrian and cycle movement between a network of outdoor recreational and amenity areas for the purpose of recreation, exercise and the enhancement of biodiversity.
There is a need to forge links between the network of community greenways within the built up area, and access routes into the hills, valleys and coastline of the Plan Area. This will enable the fine natural setting of the Metropolitan Area to fulfil its role in enhancing the quality of life of the local community.
The details of each community greenways network is set out in the relevant District Proposals and the Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation Technical Supplement.
Needs may arise during the Plan period for open space provision for public or private purposes, which have not been foreseen at the time the Plan was being prepared. This policy seeks to ensure that development for open space is of a good design and takes place in appropriate locations.
The Department will require the provision and maintenance of open space as an integral part of major development proposals in order to create areas of quality urban design. Areas of pleasant, attractive and landscaped open space contribute to a quality environment for users of major development schemes as it improves the public realm providing a green setting for built development and also has value in biodiversity, recreational and amenity terms.
The Department will determine on a case by case basis which proposals it considers to be major according to the possible impact of the development on the local area.
Specific open space requirements are set out in the Key Site Requirements as contained in the District Proposals.