Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy IC 3 Flexibility for Small Rural Projects

Policy IC 3 Flexibility for Small Rural Projects
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 4-Planning and Economic Development
In exceptional circumstances, where there is no suitable land within a small rural settlement for a specific industrial project, permission may be granted for a site which lies outside the limit of development but which is clearly associated with the settlement.
It is planning policy to facilitate the development of new industrial enterprises and the resultant diversification of the rural economy. It is important that such enterprises are not prevented from setting up due to a lack of suitable land within existing settlements. The nature of a small industry may also occasionally require some physical separation &om the built up area because of potential nuisance, for example, noise or smell. The Planning Service will therefore adopt a flexible approach to ensure adequate provision is made for small rural industries.
Planning permission may be granted for a site outside the limits of development for a settlement, provided it is clearly associated with fie settlement. Sites remote from any settlement will not normally be approved. It is not envisaged that this policy would apply within Green Belts or Countryside Policy Areas.
The policy will only be applied in exceptional circumstances where there is a definite proposal to develop a local enterprise parWcentre or a small rural enterprise which would make a significant contribution to the local economy. Proposals of a speculative nature will not be acceptable. Permission will only be granted where the proposal is of a scale appropriate to the settlement involved.
In addition, the policy will only be applicable in those circumstances where there is no reasonable possibility of securing a suitable site within the limits of development for the particular settlement. An exhaustive search of all land within the development limits will be a necessity. Where availability of land is the only difficulty, the Department may consider use of its compulsory purchase powers in preference to the operation of this policy. In some situations land may be available but constraints to development render it inappropriate for the proposed development.
Where the policy is to be applied, options will be considered in the following order:
  • a minor extension to the existing development limit - subject to normal amenity and environmental considerations;
  • where an extension to the development limit is not feasible, preference will be given to any site, outside the limit but close to the settlement, which currently contains buildings or where the site is already in a degraded or derelict state. The opportunity should be taken to improve the existing environment; or
  • where the above options are inappropriate, permission may be granted on a green field site. Such a site will need to be in close proximity to the settlement and clearly associated with it.
Sites to be considered acceptable must not contradict policies designed to protect the setting of the settlement or contribute to urban sprawl or ribbon development.
Conditions will normally be imposed requiring the highest standards of design and landscaping.
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