New Area Plan a boost for Causeway Coast and Glens: Durkan
Published on Tue, 22 Sep 2015 by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has launched a new plan which will boost balanced growth, development and tourism in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area.
The Northern Area Plan is a blueprint for how the area should grow and develop. It identifies land for specific uses that will help the economy and provide more certainty in the planning process for people living in these areas.
Mark H Durkan said: “This Plan will bring many benefits to the Causeway Coast and Glens area. This is an area renowned for its natural beauty and tourism. This framework will help balance the need for economic development with protection of the natural and man-made environment in this scenic area.
The Northern Area Plan recognises not only the importance of developing the larger towns of Coleraine, Limavady, Ballymoney and Moyle but also small towns and villages as rural service centres by identifying development of an appropriate scale to sustain rural communities.
This is the result of a good partnership approach with the council, government departments and the local community. We also carried out a lengthy consultation process and many interested people and organisations put forward their vision as to how the area should grow and develop. Their input has proven invaluable and fed directly into the Plan that I am publishing today.
The Plan will provide the statutory framework for the area and will be the primary mechanism to reconcile any potential conflict between the need for development and the need to protect our environment. It will provide clarity and certainty for statutory authorities, developers, businesses, the general public and any interested bodies bringing forward land use proposals within the area.”
Highlights of the Plan:
- Designates settlement development limits for Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle areas which define where appropriate development will be acceptable in principle;
- Promotes the continued development of Coleraine and Limavady as main hubs, and Ballymoney and Ballycastle as local hubs;
- Recognises potential for the further development of the residential, recreational and tourism potential of Portrush and Portstewart while enhancing their character and identity;
- Identifies appropriate development land, within the six towns of Ballykelly, Bushmills, Cushendall, Dungiven, Garvagh and Kilrea and 25 villages and 34 small settlements within the Plan Area;
- Complements existing environmental protection by designating Local Landscape Policy Areas Sites of Local Nature Conservation Importance and the Dunluce Area of Significant Archaeological Interest with associated policies for their protection from inappropriate development;
- Proposes Areas of Townscape Character in Armoy, Coleraine, Limavady and Portrush where appropriate design guidance will protect their existing character.
Notes to Editor:
- The Northern Area Plan comes in to operation on Tuesday 22 September 2015. It covers the former Council Areas of Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle which have now merged to form the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. The Plan Area extends to 1969 square kilometres, that is about 14% of the total land area of Northern Ireland. In 2011 the population of this area was estimated at 140,907, that is 8% of the Northern Ireland total.
- While the majority of planning functions transferred to the new councils on 1 April 2015, the Department retained the power to adopt any development plan which was not adopted prior to the transfer of planning powers on that date.
- The framework, the Northern Area Plan 2016, has been published following a lengthy public consultation process that included an Independent Examination by the Planning Appeals Commission.
- Delay in progressing from Draft Plan stage to Independent Examination was caused by litigation against the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Plan.
- The Department for Regional Development has determined that the Plan is in general conformity with the Regional Development Strategy.
- The Department is publishing a number of documents along with the Plan, including the PAC Report of the Independent Examination and an Adoption Statement setting out the Department’s consideration of the recommendations contained in the Report.
- All supporting documents can be accessed on the Planning Portal: https://www.planningni.gov.uk/index/policy/dev_plans/devplans_az/northern_2016.htm or inspected at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Local Planning Office, County Hall, Castlerock Road, Coleraine, BT51 3HS Tel +44(0) 28 7034 7034 .
- For media enquiries please contact DOE Press Office 028 9025 6058 or out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.