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Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Countryside

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The countryside of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough comprises a number of rich and diverse landscapes that are home to a significant percentage of the Borough's population. The Department recognises the need to provide sustainable rural development opportunities whilst protecting sensitive landscapes.

Regional Policy Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) aims to develop an attractive and prosperous rural area, based on a balanced and integrated approach to the development of town, village and countryside, in order to sustain a strong and vibrant rural community, contributing to the overall well-being of the Region as a whole. This will be achieved by:
  • supporting the development of a strong, diversified and competitive rural economy served by the Regional Strategic Transportation Network;
  • developing a living and working countryside which recognises the unique rural character of the Region and contributes to a sense-of-belonging in local rural areas;
  • promoting the continuing renewal and revitalisation of towns and villages in Rural Northern Ireland;
  • improving the accessibility of the rural community to employment, services and regional amenities; and
  • managing and enhancing the natural and built heritage in rural areas.
The Department's regional planning policies that apply in the countryside of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough are currently set out in various Planning Policy Statements and A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland. Policies for nature conservation and the archaeological and built heritage, and which address access considerations, shops, rural enterprises and other industrial projects in the countryside are set out in the PPSs. The Rural Strategy contains a range of policies for a number of development types including agriculture, minerals, recreation, tourism development and houses in the countryside. In addition, there are specific policies for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Green Belts and Countryside Policy Areas. The Rural Strategy also provides the framework for considering development proposals within the countryside and establishes rural design principles.
Supplementary design guidance is provided within 'A Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland'.
Plan Policy CTY 1 Dungannon and Coalisland Green Belt
A Green Belt is designated around Dungannon and Coalisland.
Development proposals within the Green Belt will be determined in accordance with the provisions of prevailing regional planning policy.
The strategic objectives of Green Belt designation are to:
  • prevent the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
  • prevent neighbouring settlements from merging;
  • safeguard the surrounding countryside;
  • protect the setting of settlements; and
  • assist in urban regeneration.
The Department considers it appropriate and necessary to maintain strict planning control in those areas of countryside where development pressure is likely to be greatest. Consequently, a Green Belt is designated around Dungannon and Coalisland and nearby villages. The designated Green Belt is shown on the Borough Map Nos. 1 a and 1 b and the relevant settlement maps.
Plan Policy CTY 2 Countryside Policy Areas
Countryside Policy areas (CAPs) are designated in the following locations:
  • Lough Neagh Shore and environs; and
  • Martray Lough and House and adjacent landscape.
Development proposals within these Countryside Policy Areas will be determined in accordance with the provisions of prevailing regional planning policy.
The Department considers it necessary to protect the primarily rural landscapes of the Lough Neagh Shore and environs, as well as Martray Lough and House and adjacent landscape.

The Lough Neagh Shore and Environs CPA

This is a closely settled area of lowland on the western shores of Lough Neagh lying within the rural ward of Washingbay. The area enjoys relatively good access to the M1 motorway to the south. There has been significant pressure for individual dwellings in certain parts of the countryside beyond the small settlements located within the area. This has resulted in the erosion of rural character through the build-up of clusters of suburban-style dwellings and unsightly ribbon development. This is most evident along the B161 Mountjoy Road northeast of Brockagh/ Mountjoy to the boundary with Cookstown District and on other more minor roads in the Aughamullan area including Coole and Washingbay Roads and Doon Avenue.
The Department considers that additional development along these roads will further erode the rural character and landscape quality of the area, as well as having unacceptable adverse effects on the important nature conservation interests of the Lough and its shoreline. A CPA is therefore designated so as to protect the amenity of this part of the Lough Neagh Shore area. It includes the Lough Neagh shoreline and its environs, some of the land on either side of the Mountjoy and Coole Roads, part of Washingbay Road and Doon Avenue.

Martray Lough and House and Adjacent Landscape CPA

Martray Lough and House lies north of the A4 Dungannon to Ballygawley Road and provide a distinctive landscape on the approaches to Ballygawley. The house is on the Department's Supplementary List of Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes. A CPA is designated to help protect the quality of this landscape from likely development pressure.
The boundaries of the CPAs are identified on the Borough Map Nos. 1 a and 1 b, as well as settlement Map Nos. 67 and 70.
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