Planning Portal

Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Preamble (Page 1 of 2)

The Magherafelt Area Plan 2015 is a development plan prepared under the provisions of Part III of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 by the Department of the Environment (DOE).
Notice was given to Magherafelt District Council on 21st January 2000 that the Department intended to prepare a new development plan for the District for the period 2000 to 2015. A Notice of Intention to prepare the Plan was published in the local and regional press and the Belfast Gazette in the week beginning 1st May 2000 and comments were invited from the public and interested parties in respect of the issues to be addressed in the Plan. Consultations were also carried out with Magherafelt District Council, community groups, Government Departments and Agencies, statutory undertakers and other appropriate bodies.
The Department appointed Community Technical Aid (CTA) to undertake an extensive community and public consultation exercise. The first stage of CTA’s work, which preceded publication of the Issues Paper, involved initial briefings with key umbrella groups in the area which were given the opportunity to express their views on issues of importance to the Plan. CTA then reported the results of this first stage exercise to the Department on 27th November 2000.
The Department published the Magherafelt Area Plan 2015 Issues Paper in December 2000. A notice was placed in the local and regional newspapers and the Belfast Gazette inviting comment from the public and interested parties. Copies of the Issues Paper were made available free of charge from the Local Area Planning Office, from the offices of Magherafelt District Council and from local libraries.
In February 2001 CTA facilitated 7 public meetings in the District. Planning Staff were in attendance at each meeting to assist and to answer questions. CTA reported to the Department on 30th April 2001 on the implementation of, and their conclusions on, the community consultation exercise which they had facilitated. CTA received responses from 43 community, voluntary and environmental groups and from approximately 130 people who had attended the public meetings.
During the advertised period for response to the Issues Paper, 73 representations were received by the Department and 132 representations were received after that period. 170 representations raised site specific matters and 35 were of a general concern.
All comments and representations received as a result of the two stages of public consultation were considered by the Department in the preparation of the Draft Plan.
The Department published the Magherafelt Area Plan 2015 Draft Plan in April 2004. Publication was advertised in the local and regional newspapers and the Belfast Gazette over 2 weeks. The statutory period for submission of representations, including objections, to the Draft Plan Policies and Proposals expired on 9 June 2004. Subsequently, upon consideration of submissions received, the Department requested the Planning Appeals Commission, (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), to facilitate an Independent Examination to consider objections to the Draft Plan and provide a report to the Department. The Examination opened on the 2 February 2009 to consider strategic issues and adjourned on 18 February 2009. It recommenced on the 18 May 2009 to consider site specific issues. The Examination was formally closed on the 17 June 2009. The recommendations contained in the Commissioners’ Report have been fully considered by the Department and revisions have been made to the Written Statements and to the maps as appropriate. Full details of the Department’s response to the Commissioners’ recommendations are set out in the Magherafelt Area Plan 2015 Adoption Statement.
The Department is now publishing the Magherafelt Area Plan 2015. The Document, comprising a Written Statement and accompanying maps, incorporates the amendments outlined in the Plan Adoption Statement. The Written Statement is divided into four parts.  Part 1 sets out the Plan Objectives and the Strategy proposed to meet these objectives. Part 2 sets out the Strategic Plan Framework comprising allocations, designations and policies relating to the District, intended to complement, and in reference to, the Regional Policy Context. Parts 3 and 4 set out the specific designations, policies, proposals and zonings respectively for the ‘Countryside’ and the ‘Settlements’. These allocations, designations, policies, proposals and zonings comprise, and are hereafter also referred to collectively as, the Plan Proposals.
In the case of any contradiction between the Written Statement and any other document forming part of the Plan, including the maps and supplements, the provisions of the Written Statement will prevail.
The accompanying maps comprise:-
Countryside Map – this map illustrates Plan designations, proposals and zonings within the District but outside the settlement development limits. Other existing designations, roads schemes and land uses are shown for information only. Archaeological Sites & Monuments within the District have been illustrated by use of a symbol.
Environmental Designations Countryside Map – this map illustrates the area and the location of existing and proposed environmental designations within the District but outside the settlement development limits. All current environmental designations are available on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) website www.ni-environment.gov.uk.
Settlement Maps – each settlement map illustrates Plan designations, proposals and zonings within and around the settlement development limit, and may also include other designations and land uses for information only. Where a designation, for example in the case of a Local Landscape Policy Area (LLPA), is not shown in its entirety, the full extent can be cross referenced to the Countryside Map or the Clarification Map.
Clarification Maps – where a designation relating to a settlement is not shown in its entirety on the settlement map, or where a designation is difficult to distinguish, by virtue of scale or overlapping, a clarification map is available on the Departments’ website www.planningni.gov.uk or from the Local Area Planning Office.  
All maps are reproduced by permission of the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office Crown Copyright Reserved 2011.
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