Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Strategic Policies: Policy SP 7 Economic Development

Policy SP 7 Economic Development
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy. (insofar as it relates to the countryside)
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 4-Planning and Economic Development (insofar as it applies to economic development uses).
To facilitate economic development and the diversification of the rural economy.
While agriculture will continue to be the principal land use and the economic base of rural areas, there are limits on its potential. However, modern technology has reduced some of the barriers to economic development in rural areas, which are now in a better position to compete with larger urban centres.
Towns and villages are important centres of population and employment providing a range of diversification of the existing services and infrastructure. Their location on the main road system and at the centre of a network of local roads serving the rural community makes them an appropriate location for new rural economy. enterprise. New employment opportunities in settlements will foster economic regeneration and will assist people to continue to live in the rural area.
In order to retain employment opportunities in appropriate and convenient locations, land will be zoned for industrial development in the towns and industrial sites will normally be reserved for that use. Many smaller settlements, including designated dispersed rural communities, as described in Policy SP 5, will contain sites where industrial development may be acceptable. Proposals for enterprise centres, initiated by rural communities to encourage economic regeneration in disadvantaged areas, will be facilitated in appropriate locations. The Department will take account of the activities of the Industrial Development Board (IDB), Local Enterprise Development Unit (LEDU) and the Department of Agriculture to foster economic development.
In the open countryside, there is scope for the re-use of existing buildings as well as appropriate agricultural diversification proposals - see Policy SP 8, and for certain special activities, such as the exploitation of rural resources or tourist related projects. There is, however, a general presumption against new industrial development in the open countryside.
Proposals for specific industrial or commercial development will be evaluated against the need for the protection of the natural and man-made environment, by taking into account its nature, scale and location.
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