Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Down District: Annsborough

Annsborough is situated on the A25 route between Downpatrick and Newry, approximately 0.8 kilometres to the east of Castlewellan and 17 kilometres to the south west of Downpatrick.
It originally developed as a mill village in the valley of the Clarkhill and Ballybannon rivers and today provides local housing opportunities commensurate with its size together with a restricted service role for the local rural community. Most people look beyond the village to neighbouring Castlewellan for the majority of their local services. The village contains a Post Office and shop, an integrated primary school and a playing field.
A variety of light industrial and commercial uses provide small scale local employment within former textile mill buildings in the centre of the village. Some of these are of considerable architectural merit.
The village has a separate history and identity to Castlewellan and is visually removed from the larger settlement to the west. Any further loss of this visual break is likely to result in amalgamation of both settlements. Its distinctive character derives from its natural setting within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its valley location, the direct nature of its approach roads and the well landscaped former mill complex in the centre of the village. In addition to a listed bridge, there are seven listed buildings within the village, a number of which are in need of restoration and repair.
Proposal AH 01 Settlement Limit
A Settlement Limit is designated in accordance with Policy SETT 1 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/005, Annsborough Settlement Map.
The designated Settlement Limit is intended to protect its natural setting and prevent coalescence with Castlewellan to the west. In particular it has been drawn to exclude higher lands with limited vegetation cover to the east which provide enclosure and lands to the west which rise significantly and provide separation distance between Annsborough and Castlewellan and Corry Wood to the southwest.
There is an existing playing field and playground immediately outside the Settlement Limit adjacent to New Meadow Row.
The designated Settlement Limit includes future housing opportunities together with localised employment opportunities within the former mill complex. The housing land supply includes dwellings constructed since the commencement of the preparation of the Plan and within the Plan period
Proposal AH 02 Housing Policy Areas
The following Housing Policy Areas are designated in accordance with Policy SETT 2 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/005, Annsborough Settlement Map. Development of the lands below will be subject to the following Key Design Considerations:
HPA 1 Lands south of Mill Hill and west of Station Road
  • the existing hedgerows along the boundaries of the site shall be retained and enhanced by the planting of native species; and
  • access arrangements and dwelling layout to be designed to ensure houses front onto existing public and proposed access roads.
HPA 2 Lands to the south of New Meadow Row
  • housing development to be a minimum gross site density of 20 dwellings per hectare; and
  • safe access to the existing playground from the new site shall be provided prior to occupation of any of the dwellings.
All planning applications within each Housing Policy Area above will also be considered in the context of prevailing planning policy.
Proposal AH 03 Industrial Policy Area/Housing Policy Area
The following Industrial Policy Area/ Housing Policy Area is designated in accordance with Policy SETT 2 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/005, Annsborough Settlement Map. Development of the lands below will be subject to the following Key Design Considerations:
IPA/ HPA 1 Former Textile Mill
  • former factory to be used for light industrial use or a combination of light industrial use and residential use;
  • external elevations, facades and detailing to be kept intact and any alterations deemed by Planning Service to be necessary to accommodate future suitable uses to respect the character of the host buildings in terms of scale, materials and design;
  • retention and enhancement of all features referred to in Proposal AH 04, LLPA 1;
  • a satisfactory means of access to the public road, including the provision of a right turning lane at Mill Hill if deemed necessary by DRD Roads Service;
  • former engineering works and disused factory to the north of the Mill complex are considered suitable for industrial purposes only.  
It is considered that the buildings provide a suitable location for local employment opportunities related to light industrial, craft, commercial use in line with prevailing planning policy. It is essential that all future uses respect the character and setting of the listed buildings. A mixture of light industrial and housing would be acceptable within the former mill in line with the requirements of all prevailing planning policy. The provisions of Proposal AH 04 are particularly relevant.
Proposal AH 04 Local Landscape Policy Areas
The following Local Landscape Policy Areas are designated in accordance with Policy CON 2 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/005, Annsborough Settlement Map and the relevant Down Countryside Map.
Those features or combination of features that contribute to the environmental quality, integrity or character of these areas are listed below.

LLPA 1 Annsborough House, former mill buildings, Clarkhill River and surroundings

  • listed Annsborough House and the remains of its planned parkland surroundings;
  • mature tree lined river corridor provides local nature conservation and amenity value;
  • important trees along Avenue, within meadows and along boundaries;
  • industrial heritage value – former Linen factory and spinning mill stone buildings behind Annsborough House, large mill pond to west adjoining Clarkhill Road, smaller former mill pond to north and mill races within site collectively define the local character and distinctiveness of the village; and
  • mill chimneys form a landmark within the local landscape.

LLPA 2 Parkland at junction of Mill Hill and Ballylough Road

  • local area of amenity importance - attractive parkland area with mature trees along river;
  • this open area at an important road junction contributes to the character of the settlement and affords important views of Annsborough House and surrounding mill buildings from Mill Hill/Ballylough Road junction; and
  • includes listed former mill buildings fronting Mill Hill and their setting.

LLPA 3 Ardnabannon Outdoor Pursuits Centre

  • listed former house and planned surroundings with significant tree belts along boundaries; and
  • rising ground with trees forms a good stop to development of the village contained within the valley and provides attractive vistas of this area from Mill Hill.

LLPA 4 Ballybannan River Corridor

  • river and river corridor and areas of riverside vegetation provide local nature conservation and amenity interest; and
  • potential to visually upgrade river corridor/banks and provide enhanced public access/recreation.
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