Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Industry
Industry and employment opportunities within the District are largely concentrated within the two main towns of Magherafelt and Maghera and also in the rural area close to Creagh. However there is also a significant industrial base in Castledawson, Draperstown and Tobermore. The unemployment claimant count rate in August 2011, based on the working age population, was 4.2% for Magherafelt District. The equivalent rate for the whole of Northern Ireland in August 2011 was 5.3%.
The 2009 Census of Employment figures for Magherafelt District (excluding agriculture) indicates that 19% of the workforce is employed in manufacturing, 16% in construction and 63% in services. Whilst this pattern broadly reflects that of Northern Ireland as a whole, the importance of the manufacturing and construction sectors in Magherafelt District is relatively greater than most other District Council areas.
The Magherafelt Area Plan 1976-1996 zoned land for industry in Magherafelt, Castledawson and Tobermore.
Of the 21.5 hectares of land previously zoned for industry within Magherafelt District, 3.05 hectares remained undeveloped in August 2010. In addition to remaining zoned land, an additional 22 hectares of industrial land was approved in 1999 at the Creagh for Invest Northern Ireland (INI).
Some industrial development has also occurred outside zoned industrial sites.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy promotes a balanced spread of economic development opportunities across the region focused on the main regional cities and urban hubs/clusters. It places an onus on development plans to provide a generous and continuous supply of land for employment purposes.
The RDS aims to exploit the economic development potential of the key transport corridors by promoting and exploiting the potential for economic development at selected locations on the strategic network of key transport corridors and links.
Regional planning policy for industry is currently set out in PPS 4 – Planning and Economic Development, November 2010.
Directive 96/82/EC, known as the Seveso II Directive, was implemented in Northern Ireland by the Control of Major-Accident Hazards Regulations (NI) 2000 and the Planning (Control of Major-Accidents Hazards) Regulations (NI) 2000. These are specifically concerned with the implementation of Article 12 of the Directive which requires that the objectives of preventing major accidents and limiting their consequences are taken into account in land-use planning policies and that these objectives are pursued through controls. There is also a requirement to set up appropriate consultation procedures to facilitate implementation of these Regulations. Further information is contained within the Industry Technical Supplement to the Plan.
The Plan does not identify new development sites for the use or storage of hazardous substances. The determination of planning permission for such proposals may entail the submission of an Environmental Statement, which may be accompanied by an application for consent to store hazardous materials on a site. Granting consent to store hazardous substances would establish a consultation distance within which the Department is required to consult with Health and Safety Executive (Northern Ireland) and The Northern Ireland Environment Agency on proposals for new development.
Details of such guidance and procedures for controlling development in relation to hazardous substances are contained in the Department’s publication entitled "Development Control Advice Note 12 - Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances" available from the Department’s Planning NI website or from the Local Area Planning Office.
Existing Industrial Land
Major areas of existing industrial development within towns and villages are shown for information only on the relevant settlement maps in Part 4 of the Plan. Within these areas planning applications will be determined in accordance with the provisions of prevailing regional planning policy. Smaller areas of existing industrial development not identified are however also covered by the same provisions of prevailing regional planning policy.
In accordance with PPS 1 - General Principles, zoned land and Industrial Land Use Policy Areas, along with the key site requirements which developers will be expected to meet, are set out and shown in Parts 3 and 4 of the Plan. The zoning of land provides a basis for rational and consistent decisions on planning applications and provides a measure of certainty about which types of development will and will not be permitted.
Adequate sites are identified for industrial uses to meet the needs of industry and business enterprises over the Plan period.
Development of industrial land will require to be designed and implemented in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy on industry and with the Plan Proposals, including those stated key site requirements which are specific to certain sites and which should be taken into account in the preparation of site proposals.
Key site requirements may include matters relating to the provision of infrastructure, landscaping and access arrangements as well as requirements relating to the type, design and layout of industrial development.
Developers should however note that while the key site requirements for the development of zoned sites and Industrial Land Use Policy Areas are set out in the Plan, the need for certain supplementary infrastructural works and/or mitigation measures necessary to facilitate the specific scale and form of development proposed may only be identified at planning application stage. An example may be as a result of an Environmental Impact Assessment or a Transport Assessment.
Some development sites will require existing infrastructure, such as major watermains and sewers, and designated watercourses, to be safeguarded. This may include ensuring that such infrastructure is not built over and that necessary wayleave strips are retained to facilitate maintenance. It is the responsibility of the developer to liaise with the relevant agencies in this regard.