Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy PSU 11 Overhead Cables

Policy PSU 11 Overhead Cables
The siting of electricity power lines and other overhead cables will be controlled in terms of the visual impact on the environment with particular reference being given to designated areas of landscape or townscape value.
One aspect of modern life is the presence of pylons and poles carrying overhead wires for telephone or electricity supply. This "wirescape" can be visually obtrusive particularly where the wires and poles figure above the skyline or where they dominate the streetscape in a built-up area.
Proposals for the development of new power lines or alterations to existing power lines may require to be accompanied by an Environmental Statement.
When considering a development proposal for the siting of electricity power lines and other overhead cables, the lines should be planned to:
  • avoid areas of landscape sensitivity;
  • avoid sites and areas of nature conservation or archaeological interest;
  • minimise their visual intrusion;
  • make sure that they follow the natural features of the environment; and
  • ensure that wirescape in urban areas is kept to a minimum with preference being given to undergrounding services where appropriate.
In designated areas of landscape or townscape value, for example Conservation Areas or AONBs Planning Service will seek to enhance the visual amenity of the area by encouraging the removal of all unnecessary overhead wires and wires on building elevations. When new paving and footpaths are being laid, as part of an Environment Improvement Scheme, consideration will be given to putting services underground. The main emphasis will be placed on integration into the existing landscape/ townscape.
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