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PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes: Policy BH 6

Policy BH 6 The Protection of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest
The Department will not normally permit development which would lead to the loss of, or cause harm to, the character, principal components or setting of parks, gardens and demesnes of special historic interest. Where planning permission is granted this will normally be conditional on the recording of any features of interest which will be lost before development commences.

Justification and Amplification

5.2 The character and appearance of the modern landscape of Northern Ireland owes much to planned landscape enhancement carried out since the 17th century, and many of the hedgerow trees or tree stands which are seen in the countryside today were once planned and planted as part of land management measures. This has resulted in a rich legacy of gardens, parks and demesnes of archaeological, historical and botanical interest. Demesnes with their distinct boundary features also make a valuable contribution to the quality and character of the local landscape, whether or not the original house survives, while those parks, gardens and demesnes that are open to the general public provide an important informal recreational resource. The Department considers it important therefore that these valuable features of our built heritage are protected from development which would harm their historic character.
5.3 In assessing proposals for development in or adjacent to parks, gardens and demesnes of special historic interest particular attention will be paid to the impact of the proposal on:-
  • the archaeological, historical or botanical interest of the site;
  • the site’s original design concept, overall quality and setting;
  • trees and woodland and the site’s contribution to local landscape character;
  • any buildings or features of character within the site including boundary walls, pathways, garden terraces or water features; and
  • planned historic views of or from the site or buildings within it.
5.4 In assessing proposals which would affect those parks, gardens and demesnes which retain only some elements of their original form i.e. those supplementary sites identified as an appendix to the proposed register, the Department will consider the need to retain distinctive elements of such sites as features within the changing landscape.
5.5 Where a decision is taken to permit development which would result in the loss of any distinctive features of parks, gardens and demesnes, the Department will normally require developers to carry out recording, working to a brief prepared by the Department, so that knowledge of this part of our landscape heritage is not entirely lost.
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