Planning Portal

DOE Invites People To Submit Their Ideas For Development Of Ards And Down Districts

Published on Fri, 15 Dec 2000
Around 130,000 people will be affected by the new Area Plan for Ards and Down.
In a revolutionary new way of producing Area Plans the DOE's Planning Service has produced an 'Issues Paper'. Basically the Issues Paper asks people a series of questions about future needs for their area over the next 15 years. Their responses will help formulate the Plan.
Speaking at the launch of the Issues Paper for Ards and Down, at Castle Espie, the Chief Executive of the Planning Service, Mr Hugh McKay said: "Publication of an Issues Paper is an innovative approach in the preparation of development plans and one which Planning Service intend to use throughout its ongoing programme of development plans in Northern Ireland.
"The Issues Paper replaces the traditional publication of Preliminary Proposals, which contained policies and proposals likely to be contained in the Draft Plan when published. Representations made following publication of Preliminary Proposals were overwhelmingly made by parties with interests in specific parcels of land.
"The Issues Paper contains no policies, proposals or commitments. It raises instead matters which Planning Service consider are likely to determine the shape of future development in the Plan area. Issues raised are accompanied by questions to help provide a focus for response. The format is designed to stimulate a response from a wider range of interests than was normal on Preliminary Proposals."
Speaking specifically on how the Issues Paper will affect the people of the Ards and Down area, Hugh Sinclair, the Principal Planning Officer responsible for producing the area Plan, said: "We are inviting the 130,000 inhabitants of Ards and Down to contribute their ideas to the preparation of their plan, for their area. It is their opportunity to influence where new housing and industry should be located, how towns, villages and small settlements throughout the area should develop over the next fifteen years and how the balance between growth and conservation should be struck.
"Responses need not be confined to issues raised in the Paper. Any issue of local concern relevant to the development plan can be raised in response. All responses must, however, be with the Downpatrick Planning Office by 30 March 2001."

Notes to Editors

  1. The Ards and Down Area Plan 2001 Issues Paper was officially launched at Castle Espie, near Comber at 11am on Friday 15th December, by Hugh McKay, Chief Executive of the DOE's Planning Service.
  2. This is the first published stage in the review of the current development plans for Ards Borough Council and Down District Council.
  3. The Issues Paper is freely available from the Divisional Planning Office in Downpatrick, from both local Council Offices and from libraries serving the Plan area. It is also available on this website.
  4. For the visually impaired the Paper will be made available on request in large print, braille or on audiotape.
  5. In January a series of meetings arranged and chaired by Community Technical Aid will be held at venues throughout the Plan area at which community, voluntary and environmental groups, and members of the general public will be able to discuss issues of concern with planning officers. These events will be advertised in the local press.
For further information, please contact Philip Maguire, DOE Press Office, Telephone 028 9054 0013.
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