Northern Ireland Planning Service

Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Settlements: Upperlands

Designation US 01 Settlement Development Limit
A settlement development limit is designated as identified on Map No. 30 - Upperlands.

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The settlement development limit has been designated to include committed development, prevent urban sprawl and ribbon development into the surrounding countryside, and provide limited small-scale development opportunities reflecting the settlements existing scale and role. The limit will also protect visually and historically important local landscapes and contain the settlement’s historic form.
Designation US 02 Local Landscape Policy Area
A Local Landscape Policy Area is designated as identified on Map No. 1 - Countryside and Map No. 30 - Upperlands.
Those features or combination of features that contribute to the environmental quality, integrity or character of the area are listed below:
  • Mature vegetation, including substantial areas of designed landscape, along the Knockoneill/Clady River, defines the character of the settlement and enhances its setting, and is also valuable for nature conservation;
  • Several streams, with associated mature trees and scrub, contribute to the landscape character and natural heritage of the area;
  • Extensive industrial complex, Clark’s Mill, with associated dams, races, and buildings (including a listed 1736 thatched beetling mill and water wheel) in a designed landscape which complements those of associated large houses;
  • A series of substantial residences in designed inter-related landscape settings are associated with the owners and managers of the local industry. Ampertaine House (listed building) adjoins the main mill building complex. It with its gate-lodge (listed building), within a designed landscape setting which includes the river corridor, dominates the Kilrea road through the settlement. This landscape combines with a series of locally significant buildings – Ardtara (listed building), Rockwood, Gorteade, Carnbane and Upperlands Houses, and their designed settings, to define the north-eastern approaches to the settlement. The mature woodland contributes to the distinctive character of the settlement and its setting;
  • The extensive landscaped grounds of Benbragagh House, a locally significant building, define the south-eastern limits of the settlement and enhance the approach from Culnady;
  • Boyne Row (listed buildings), and its riverside setting, represents workers housing, provided by the mill-owners;
  • The extensive woodland, including estate planting and parkland, which is such an impressive part of the landscape is also of value for nature conservation.
Policy for the control of development in Local Landscape Policy Areas is contained in Policy CON 2 in Part 2 of the Plan.
Designation US 03 Area of Townscape Character
An Area of Townscape Character (ATC) is designated as identified on Map No. 30 - Upperlands.
Key Features of the area which will be taken into account when assessing development proposals are as follows:
  • The late Victorian/early Edwardian Boyne Row - red brick and black stone built terraces with pitched slate roofs, which retain their original form and proportions, and much original detailing;
  • The visually prominent setting of Boyne Row on high ground overlooking the river and the surrounding area of the settlement;
  • The long front gardens to Boyne Row emphasise and enhance the form of the terrace, and their physical and visual link to the industrial complex on the Kilrea Road;
  • Boyne Row has an historical and physical relationship with the Knockoneill River, Kilrea Road beetling mill buildings, Ampertaine House Gate Lodge and the former railway yard;
  • The designed open space between Boyne Row and the river is critical for maintaining the elements of industrial heritage and townscape;
  • Mature trees and woodland along the Knockoneill River, the line of the former railway, and Kilrea Road;
  • The beetling mill building on the Kilrea Road, a solid Victorian stone-built industrial building, and the adjacent mill race and weir represent the history of industrial use;
  • Ampertaine House Gate Lodge on the Kilrea Road, a late 18th Century single storey hipped roof building with canted bay windows, and the entrance to the Clark’s estate and Ampertaine House; walls, gates, pillars and surrounding vegetation;
  • Built form is everywhere part of a designed planted landscape/townscape.
Part of the character of the ATC is its sense of place, which is enhanced by the integration of built form within the mature and man-made landscape.
The settlement owes its existence to the linen industry, and specifically to the Clark family who established the first linen mill there in 1736. Subsequent development of the linen industry and of substantial residences and small groups of workers homes, shaped the form and character of what is today Upperlands.
The ATC encompasses the core of the settlement with its terraces of workers houses and mill buildings, which represent the legacy of the linen industry and its patrons.
Within the area a sense of completeness pervades and minimal potential exists for new development. Where new development is considered appropriate, it should be in keeping with the overall historic built form of the settlement in terms of layout, scale, massing and materials. The protection of the landscape both within and adjacent to the designated area is of paramount importance.
The sense of place that is Upperlands can only be protected by conserving the close relationship between the built and natural environment, which is the essence of its character and appearance.
Policy for the control of development in ATCs is contained in PPS 6 (Addendum) Areas of Townscape Character
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