Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Agriculture

The rural landscape of Northern Ireland owes much to a settlement pattern based on small holdings and family farms. Generations of farmers have not only made an important contribution to the regional economy, but have also shaped and eared for the countryside. The land which is for many a picturesque place to visit, is also the basic resource for the agricultural industry which still supports a significant proportion of the local population both directly and indirectly.
The farming industry is undergoing great change. Alterations in agricultural support policies together with advances in farming practice and technology and a decline in employment opportunities, will continue to have a major impact on rural society.
The Government remains committed to the competitive development of the farming industry, which makes an important contribution to the regional economy. It also aims to promote the conservation and enhancement of the countryside in Northern Ireland. A number of policy initiatives have been developed m order to assist the farming community respond to the challenge of the future. Support is available for farmers who wish to diversify into non-traditional activities on the farm, for producers who wish to improve marketing and cooperation and for farmers who are improving the countryside. Grant aid schemes for the latter include measures to encourage afforestation, to improve the environment such as hedges, stonewalls, tree planting and painting farm buildings and to protect areas of high landscape and wildlife value through the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme.
Agriculture will always remain an integral part of the rural area and the farmer will remain a producer and a steward of the countryside. The continuing development of the agricultural industry will inevitably lead to further change in rural areas. The Department recognises that the maintenance of a healthy rural economy is one of the best ways of conserving and enhancing the rural environment.
The Agriculture section of the Regional Planning Policies contains the following policies:
Previous Next
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)