Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland (Summary)
The countryside is one of our greatest assets and it is important that development should not only provide for our needs, but also enhance the landscape which has been nurtured and shaped by generations of rural people.
Much of the character and quality of the countryside in Northern Ireland stems from the presence of a range of traditional buildings, local styles and local materials. These buildings are part of our culture and part of our regional identity. Buildings have evolved in response to their setting and their function on the land and have become familiar features of our rural environment. New buildings should respect that long-established link and not attempt to dominate the landscape.
The visual impact of your proposal on the landscape is the primary design concern of the Department, and the impact of your scheme will be determined by the exposure of the site and the scale of the development.
The prominence of the development when viewed from key vantage points will determine the extent of the design requirements
Where the site is visible only from some distance away and the house is a small object in the landscape, the Department will be mainly concerned with basic considerations.
In contrast, where a new dwelling of a substantial size is to be sited in the open, close to a public road, the Planning Service will require a comprehensive design dealing with every aspect of the scheme.
Planning policies for development in the countryside are set out in the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland published in September 1993