Planning Portal

Sam Foster Announces Commencement Of Work On New Metropolitan Plan For Greater Belfast

Published on Wed, 10 Jan 2001
Maximising economic growth and improving the quality of life for the 650,000 citizens of the greater Belfast area will be key aims of the new Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP).
Minister of the Environment, Mr Sam Foster MLA, today announced that work has got underway on BMAP which he feels will have the potential to create one of Europe's most successful metropolitan areas.
BMAP will cover the Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down Councils Areas and will be the biggest area plan ever undertaken in Northern Ireland.
BMAP will provide an essential framework for guiding investment and identifying land use proposals which will help guide development decisions in the greater Belfast area up to the year 2015.
Speaking at the launch of BMAP in Belfast City Hall Mr Foster said: "A Metropolitan Plan will allow us to explore the complex social, economic environmental and transport inter-relationships which are so important to the long-term future of the Metropolitan Area. The Metropolitan Plan will enable us to address issues on a more comprehensive and integrated basis."
Speaking specifically about the Plan preparation process the Minister said: "During the preparation of the Plan there will be extensive consultation with elected representatives and a wide range of interest groups. This will commence shortly with Notices being placed in the press inviting public comment. An Issues Paper, which will raise matters which are likely to determine the shape of future development in the Plan Area, will be published in Autumn this year."
In highlighting the importance of the Metropolitan Area the Minister said: "The Plan Area is the focus for Administrative, Retail and Commercial activity in the Province. Therefore a strong and vibrant Metropolitan Area is vital to the economic wellbeing of the whole of Northern Ireland.
"BMAP will seek to secure the long term status of the Belfast Metropolitan Area as one of Europe's most successful regions."
The launch of BMAP was rounded off by a school pupil from each of the six District Council Areas speaking about their hopes and aspirations for the future of their area up until 2015.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Minister of the Environment, Mr Sam Foster MLA announced that work has started on the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015 (BMAP) at a launch in City Hall Belfast at 10.30am on Wednesday 10 January.
  2. BMAP will cover the Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down Council Areas. It will be a Development Plan prepared by the DOE's Planning Service.
  3. The Plan will provide:-
    • An essential framework for guiding investment by public, private and community sectors.
    • An effective land supply phased and allocated to meet the full range of needs to support the life of the local community and social and economic progress; and
    • A process for involvement and ownership by local communities wishing to influence the future development of their area.
  4. Plan Programme
    • Plan launched 10 January 2001.
    • February 2001 - Notices placed in local and regional press inviting comments from the public.
    • Issues Paper published Autumn 2001. The Issues Paper will raise matters, which are likely to influence and shape the future development of the area. Following publication a series of public meetings will be held throughout the Plan area.
    • Draft Plan published late 2002 followed by a 6-week period to allow for submission of representations and objections.
    • Public Inquiry to consider objections held in 2003/04.
    • Plan adopted in 2005.
  5. The school pupils making presentations at the launch of BMAP were as follows:
Name School
Daniel Aiken Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus
Helen Bartholemew Friends School, Lisburn
Kathryn Jenphrey Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College, Bangor
Christy McAleese Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare
Neill McEllone CBS, Glen Road, Belfast
Deborah Thompson Newtownbreda High School, Castlereagh
For further information please contact Philip Maguire, DOE Press Office, Tel 028 9054 0013
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