Planning Portal

Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework:  Community Uses


Responsibility for the provision of educational facilities in Cookstown District rests mainly with the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), supplemented by a number of voluntary authorities. The Department of Education for Northern Ireland retains overall responsibility for education policy and finance.

Pre-school Education

The Government is committed to the provision of pre-school education for all children whose parents wish it. This commitment is likely to be met through a combination of statutory, voluntary and private sector provision co-ordinated by the Pre-School Advisory Group of the SELB. It is anticipated that the demand for additional facilities for the provision of pre-school education in Cookstown District will be met on the sites of existing nursery and primary schools or at other appropriate locations within settlements.

Primary and Secondary Education

It is not anticipated that there will be a demand for additional land to expand primary education facilities in the District over the plan period.
The site of the Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, which provides secondary level education, is too small to meet anticipated needs and the Department of Education for Northern Ireland supports the Trustees of the College in acquiring a new site. Otherwise, it is not anticipated that there will be a requirement for additional land for secondary level education in the District over the plan period.

Further Education

Further Education facilities in the District are provided by the East Tyrone College at its Loy Street campus in Cookstown and by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at Loughry College. It is anticipated that any land requirements for the expansion of these facilities over the plan period can be met on the existing sites.

Libraries and Youth Services

The SELB is also responsible for library provision within the District. There are libraries in Cookstown and Moneymore and a mobile library service is provided for the remainder of the District. No change in respect of library facilities is anticipated over the plan period.
The SELB's Youth Service provides a youth club at Cookstown High School and also gives financial assistance to a number of church and community based clubs throughout the District.

Health & Social Services

It is currently the responsibility of the Northern Health and Social Services Board to assess the health and social care needs of people living within Cookstown District and, with General Practice Fundholders, to secure care to meet those needs in keeping with available resources. Provision of community health and social care services to meet those needs at present rests mainly with the Homefirst Community Health and Social Services Trust, supplemented by a number of smaller agencies. The Department of Health and Social Services retains overall responsibility for policy and funding of major capital works.
The largest health care facility in the District is a community care centre at Orritor Road, Cookstown. This complex includes a health centre, an adult centre for people with learning disabilities, a residential home and a day centre. In addition it provides mental health services and accommodation for staff who arrange for the care of elderly people with disabilities including learning disabilities. There is also a family centre at Westland Road, Cookstown and a number of private residential and nursing homes located throughout the District. No major development in respect of health and social services facilities is anticipated over the plan period.

Community Services

Cookstown District Council Community Services are responsible for co-ordinating programmes of support for community based initiatives within the District. The Council assists community groups in identifying projects for their areas and provides revenue funding for community centres within the District.

Regional Planning Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) identifies Cookstown as a main hub. The RDS states that the town centres of these hubs will be developed as locations providing employment, essential services and a range of cultural and leisure amenities. Decisions on the future location of new public sector development for a variety of functions, including health and education, will take into account the strategic role of the main towns.
The Department's regional planning policies for community uses in Cookstown District are currently set out in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland.
Plan Policy COM 1 Community Uses
Planning permission will be granted for community uses within settlement limits provided this would not prejudice comprehensive development, particularly on zoned sites, and where all the following criteria are met:
  • there is no significant detrimental effect on amenity;
  • there is no significant conflict with conservation interests;
  • the proposal is in keeping with the size and character of the settlement and its surroundings;
  • where necessary, additional infrastructure is provided by the developer; and
  • there are satisfactory access, parking and sewage disposal arrangements.
An unforeseen demand for new community facilities may arise over the lifetime of the Plan. Accordingly, a flexible approach is required in considering such development within settlement limits in order to make the most effective use of existing facilities, infrastructure, utilities and resources.
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