Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Strategic Policies: Policy SP 6 Houses in the Open Countryside

Policy SP 6 Houses in the Open Countryside
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
To regulate the development of single houses in the open countryside in terms of normal planning criteria, including visual and environmental impact.
Northern Ireland has a distinctive and traditional pattern of rural settlement which, unlike many parts of Great Britain, includes a substantial number of individual houses and other buildings dispersed throughout the countryside. Over the last fifteen years there has been a significant increase in the rural population, though rates of growth have varied from place to place. It is estimated that around twenty two per cent of the total population now lives in the open countryside.
A major theme of the public consultation response was that those brought up in rural areas should not be prevented from building their homes there. The Strategy respects the wishes of the rural community and, as before, throughout much of the countryside it will not be necessary to normal establish a need for a new dwelling when seeking planning permission.
Development will, however, continue to be controlled on the basis of planning and environmental considerations. The building of single houses will be regulated in terms of the capacity of the landscape setting to absorb further development, their visual impact, siting and design, pollution and other environmental consequences. Those areas of countryside which are subject to excessive development pressures will be protected - see Policy SP 12.
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