Planning Portal

PPS 8: Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation

The Department of the Environment is responsible for planning control in Northern Ireland. The Planning Service, an Agency within the Department, administers its planning functions.
The Department has a statutory duty, laid down in Article 3 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991, to formulate and co-ordinate policy for securing the orderly and consistent development of land and the planning of that development. The Department is required to ensure that such policy is in general conformity with the Regional Development Strategy.
The Department’s planning policies are normally issued through Planning Policy Statements and PPS 1 ‘General Principles’ advises that:
“Planning Policy Statements set out the policies of the Department on particular aspects of land-use planning and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents will be taken into account in preparing development plans and are also material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.”
This Planning Policy Statement, PPS 8 ‘Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation’, sets out the Department’s planning policies for the protection of open space, the provision of new areas of open space in association with residential development and the use of land for sport and outdoor recreation, and advises on the treatment of these issues in development plans. It embodies the Government’s commitment to sustainable development, to the promotion of a more active and healthy lifestyle and to the conservation of biodiversity.
The PPS is of direct relevance to the public and those whose actions have a direct physical impact upon the natural or man-made environment. These include landowners, developers, government departments and agencies, district councils, other statutory undertakers, sports bodies and recreational organisations.
The policies of this Statement supersede the following provisions of the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland:
Where the above policies are referred to elsewhere in the Planning Strategy, the policies of this Statement take precedence. It should be noted, however, that Planning Policy Statement 8 does not supersede those policies of the Planning Strategy that relate to ‘The Coast’. (See Paragraph 5.50)
The policies of this Statement also take precedence over provisions for open space, sport and outdoor recreation contained within existing development plans. Future development plans will take account of and be consistent with this Statement.
The PPS has been subject to an equality impact screening exercise in line with the statutory obligation contained in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The outcome of this exercise indicates that the PPS is unlikely to have any significant adverse implications for equality of opportunity or community relations.
Nothing in this document should be read as a commitment that public resources will be provided for any specific project. All proposals for expenditure will be subject to economic appraisal, other relevant assessments and will also have to be considered having regard to the overall availability of resources.
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