Planning Portal

Smith Announces Way Forward For Northern Area Plan

Published on Thu, 27 Jan 2005
Environment Minister, Angela Smith, MP, moved to end uncertainty over the publication of the Northern Area Plan today.
Angela Smith said: "Following my meeting today with local representatives, I am pleased to announce that I have instructed Planning Service to complete work on the Northern Area Plan. I have also told the local Councils involved, that our aim is to publish the Plan in the near future, and no later than the end of May."
Angela Smith continued: "I appreciate that certain concerns were raised locally about my decision last October, to give priority, for some months, to the unprecedented increase in planning applications. This resulted in some delay on work on the Northern Plan, and in other areas of the Planning Service's business. With this announcement, however, I am confident that the matter can now be progressed swiftly."
The new Northern Plan comprises the Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle District Council areas, and geographically is the second largest Area Plan in Northern Ireland. It covers the north coast of the Region, running from Garron Point in the east, to Lough Foyle in the west, and includes the Giant's Causeway. The plan will facilitate the sustainable growth of the area up to 2016, in line with the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland. It will bring forward proposals for accommodating future housing growth and the needs of industry and commerce, as well as measures to protect and enhance the area's significant physical, natural and man-made assets. It will address issues of local concern, like tourism development and the growth of apartment accommodation in coastal settlements.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Northern Area Plan is being prepared under Part III of the Planning (NI) Order 1991, and is one of a number of development plans in the Department's programme to provide full, up to date coverage for all of Northern Ireland.
  2. The Northern Area Plan Issues Paper was launched on 30 April 2002, by the then Minister, Dermot Nesbitt.
  3. The next formal stage for the Northern Area Plan will be publication of the draft plan, which will be open to public objection and comment for a period of eight weeks. Details will be published in the main national and local newspapers and widely circulated to public representatives.
  4. A Ministerial announcement by Angela Smith, MP, advised on a series of measures to be taken by Planning Service to deal with the unprecedented increase in planning applications in October 2004. This resulted in a temporary suspension of work on the Northern Area Plan.
  5. For further information, contact Brian Kirk, DOE Press Office Tel: 028 9054 0013, mobile 07767 362605, e-mail
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