Northern Ireland Planning Service

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy GB/CPA 2 Non-Residential Uses

POLICY GB/CPA 2 Non-Residential Uses
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 4-Planning and Economic Development  (insofar as it applies to economic development uses).
This policy has been superseded by PPS 8-Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation (insofar as it applies to outdoor sport and recreation)
In Green Belts and Countryside Policy Areas, planning permission will be granted for the construction of new buildings, or for the change of use of existing buildings for appropriate non-residential development that is:
  • essential to the needs of the agricultural industry;
  • necessary for outdoor sport and recreation,
  • a necessary community facility to serve the local rural population, or
  • a tourist scheme requiring a specific Green Belt or CPA location.
Planning permission will be granted to anyone in a Green Belt or CPA who can demonstrate either that the proposed development is required for a purpose appropriate to a Green Belt or CPA (e.g. for agriculture) or that there is some special reason why it should be allowed. It is not enough to show that the building will be inconspicuous or will do no harm on the particular site, though these arguments could reinforce a case which has other merits.
A change of use is as much development as is new building. The same principles shall be applied to an application for a change of use in a Green Belt or CPA as to an application for new building. The exception to this is the change of use of a redundant building which may also be suitable for small-scale industrial development -see Policy GB/CPA 4.
Appropriate tourist developments may be permitted in Green Belts and CPAs where the proposal complies with the criteria for the change of use of buildings - see policy GB/CPA 4, or is a minor extension to an existing facility - see Policy TOU 3. Favourable consideration may also be given to a tourist scheme that provides a significant planning gain in upgrading a degraded landscape see Policy DES 3.
Minerals by their nature must be extracted where they are found. While with some minerals there is a choice of sites for extraction, with others the choice is limited and extraction cannot necessarily be excluded from Green Belts or CPAs. In considering applications, account will be taken of the value of the mineral to the Northern Ireland economy, the potential damage to the environment and the impact on the local area and population.
There may be instances where development, by a public service or a statutory undertaker, is desirable to maintain or improve services to the general public or to assist the rural economy. In many cases, it may not be possible to avoid affecting the Green Belt or CPA, due to the nature of the proposals.
Development, which does not interfere with the open character of the land, may be acceptable in terms of siting and design. However, in all but the most special cases, the decision will depend on the need for the proposal, or whether it is an appropriate rural use, as well as whether it will do harm to the rural character of the landscape.
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