Planning Portal

Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Retailing, Services and Offices

Magherafelt is the primary commercial centre within Magherafelt District and is well served by banks, offices and retail services. It is also the main administrative and service centre for the District. Meadowlane Shopping Centre adds to the variety of retailing provided by independent traders.
Maghera provides an important commercial focal point and service centre for its rural hinterland.
The villages throughout the Plan Area provide a range and variety of local retail and service facilities for their immediate areas.

Regional Policy Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) identifies Magherafelt town as a local hub having a role as a centre of employment and services for its urban and rural communities.
The Department’s current regional policy for retailing and town centres is contained in PPS 5 - Retailing and Town Centres. Regional policy for office development is contained in the Rural Strategy.
Relevant supplementary planning guidance is contained in the following series of Development Control Advice Notes (DCAN s):
Town centre health checks were carried out as part of the Plan preparation process and in accordance with PPS 5. Details are provided in the Commerce Technical Supplement (Volume 7).
Town centres are designated for Magherafelt and Maghera in Part 4 of the Plan and are identified on relevant town centre maps.
The purpose in designating town centres is to provide control over change in their structure to ensure the maintenance and enhancement of their vitality and viability.
Primary retail cores are designated in Magherafelt and Maghera and are identified on the relevant town centre maps. The purpose in identifying a primary retail core within a town centre is to provide control over development inside that area, to ensure the continuance of a compact, lively and attractive shopping environment, offering both choice and convenience.  Some office uses, such as banking and professional services, are convenient in the shopping environment but their proliferation at street level within retail frontages can displace significant amounts of retail floorspace, reducing shopper activity and the commercial viability of the main shopping area.
Development proposals within town centres and primary retail cores will be assessed in the context of prevailing regional planning policy and other relevant designations, policies, proposals and zonings contained in the settlement section in Part 4 of the Plan.
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