Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Conservation (Page 5 of 5)
The character and appearance of the landscape of Cookstown District owes much to the division and enclosure of the landscape, and its management and planned enhancement, since the 17th Century. These designed landscapes - parks, gardens and demesnes -; have been so changed by time, neglect or new uses that, in many cases, their historical character may not be obvious, and indeed some sites in the District which are now valued for their natural heritage interest were originally 'planned' landscaping. Most of the mature individual and hedgerow trees, tree clumps and areas of 'natural' woodland, which are seen in the countryside today, were once planted to provide attractive surroundings and views for landowners, and timber for revenue and use on their estates. Whatever their present individual character and condition, these designed landscapes continue to contribute to the distinctive appearance and character of the local landscape.
Within the District a number of gardens, parks and demesnes retain their original character and design to an extent that they are valuable for their special historic interest and these are designated by the Department. One site, Pomeroy House, which retains some distinctive historic elements, is identified as a supplementary site.
These areas will be detailed in a Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest in Northern Ireland, to be published in the near future by the Department of the Environment's Environment and Heritage Service. This Register will summarise the historical significance of each site and the contribution such planned features make to the local landscape. It will also seek to encourage the public, as well as owners, to value and support the protection and maintenance of such sites.
The locations of the parks, gardens and demesnes of special historic interest are identified by symbol on the District Map and relevant settlement maps. Full details are shown on Map Nos. 28-35 and in Appendix 3 on Map No. 81. The Department's current regional planning policy for the protection of historic parks, gardens and demesnes is set out in Policy BH 6 of PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage.
Whilst the Department appreciates that all settlements have their own unique identity, there are certain parts of Cookstown and the villages which exhibit a distinct character based on their historic form. This is particularly the case with the central areas of the larger settlements that date from Plantation times. The special architectural and historic character of Moneymore has been given formal recognition through the designation of its Conservation Area. In recognition of the distinct character and intrinsic qualities present in parts of Cookstown and some of the villages, Areas of Townscape Character are designated.
The Department wishes to ensure that new development respects the distinctive character and appearance of the townscape displayed within these areas. It is also considered that the characteristic built forms displayed in these defined areas can help inform developers in preparing development proposals elsewhere in these settlements in order to reinforce local identity.
The boundaries of these areas within Cookstown District are identified on the relevant Settlement Maps. Further guidance on Cookstown Area of Townscape Character is given in Part 3 of the Plan.
Trees are of immense importance both as habitats and by providing a strong visual element which helps create a varied, interesting and attractive landscape. The Department considers it important to protect trees, groups of trees, and woodland areas of particular importance because of their nature conservation value or their contribution to the amenity of a particular locality.