Larne Area Plan 2010
Housing: Policies and Proposals
It is estimated that over the Plan period some 2,370 new dwellings will be required in the Borough including approximately 1,335 new dwellings in Larne Town, 210 in the villages and the remaining 430 in the rural area.
In identifying new sites for housing the Department has taken into account the undeveloped land within the existing development limits and the need to provide a range and choice of sites.
Within Larne Town sites have been specifically zoned for housing purposes taking into account the capacity of the existing infrastructure, proximity to existing facilities, the need to conserve land and natural resources and the protection of our man made heritage. Within the remaining settlements there is a presumption in favour of housing development on sites within the limits of development, provided they meet normal planning criteria in relation to layout, access, design and landscaping. New housing development should seek to add to the quality of the built environment while at the same time minimising any adverse affect on both the natural and man made environments through site specific design and landscaping.
Housing need varies by dwelling size, type and tenure according to family needs, housing unfitness, household size, age, health, personal preference and financial circumstances. Of particular importance are the specialist needs of certain groups in society. The most significant of these are those on low incomes, the elderly and those suffering from mental and physical disabilities.
It is the intention of the Department to facilitate the provision of a range of house types to meet the housing needs of the community.
The redevelopment of existing derelict or under used sites within the urban area is essential if the best use is to be made of the existing facilities and communications network. Such sites are often centrally located and close to existing shops and amenities, so reducing the need for car journeys.
The development of infill or opportunity sites for housing will in general be dependent on the achievement of a satisfactory residential environment. This can be best achieved by the provision of a satisfactory layout, suitable access and car parking arrangements and a high standard of landscaping. Detailed landscaping plans must include a schedule of the proposed landscaping works and include the types and numbers of species, planting densities, details of the site/soil preparation and proposed post planting management. (See also Policy H4)
Vacant rural dwellings represent a valuable resource. They often occupy mature, well-located sites the further development of which will not detract significantly from the amenity of the rural area.
It should be noted that planning permission is usually required for external alterations. Any extensions necessary to bring a dwelling up to modern standards will be expected to reflect the scale and design of the existing building.
This policy does not apply to dwellings which are abandoned and incapable of occupation without substantial renovation, if they are located in the Green Belt or any of the Countryside Policy Areas or if they require access onto the Protected Route Network (see Policy TR2). Moreover, it does not apply to any structures of a prefabricated nature, including those used as holiday homes. (see Policy COU 2).
The scale and density of new developments should respect the location and characteristics of the site such as topography and landscape features. Submissions should include measures to protect and enhance the best features of the existing vegetation together with planting proposals both for the boundaries of the site and for individual building plots. The layout of new developments will be required to meet the normal criteria in relation to layout, access and design. In addition within new suburban housing developments the Department will expect a normal rear garden depth of 10 m in the interests of amenity and privacy.
The Department has not set specific housing densities. However, development will be expected to take account of the character and density of adjoining developments, site characteristics, features and vegetation, although the density of adjoining developments should not be seen as the determining factor in the design of any adjacent new housing areas.
Developers will be encouraged to design imaginative and interesting layouts with a variety of house types and a range of densities. A high standard of landscaping will be expected with the provision of open space, amenity areas and pedestrian links to public footways. Development will be expected to be comprehensive rather than piecemeal.
The size and location of the open space to be provided will be the subject of discussion between the developer, the Department and Larne Borough Council at planning application stage. The size and location of such areas will depend on the scale of the proposed development and accessibility to other nearby play/amenity areas. The Larne West study(1) produced in conjunction with Larne Borough Council sets out the open space and landscaping requirements expected of development in this new green field area of the town.
All sites for open space use will be required to be properly drained and planted before being transferred to Larne Borough Council to ensure the proper future maintenance of such areas.
(1) Larne West Study 1992 (available from the Ballymena Divisional Planning Office)