Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Down District: Dundrum

Dundrum is situated on the western shore of Dundrum Inner Bay, a shallow sandy tidal area connected to the open sea by a narrow channel. It is an attractive village located on the main Belfast to Newcastle trunk route approximately 6 kilometres north east of Newcastle and 12 kilometres south west of Downpatrick.
The Anglo-Norman Castle, which dominates the village, was built in the 12th century. Main Street, dating from the 19th Century, has been radically rebuilt with its substantial two storey terraces. Today it functions as a small service centre for the surrounding rural hinterland. It also caters for passing tourists and day-trippers, although in recent years the tourist function has changed with the loss of local caravan sites for housing development. The village is located on the A2 trunk road and has a regular service and express public bus service.
The village has witnessed considerable pressure for development over the last decade.
The summits of Slieve Croob and the Mourne Mountains provide the backdrop to the village to the north west and south west. To the immediate north the impressive ruins of an Anglo-Norman Castle and surrounding treescape dominate the settlement. These features, together with Cloghram Hill to the north west, provide an important and distinctive landscape setting for the village as identified in the Northern Ireland Landscape Character Assessment. The approaches to the village from both Newcastle and Belfast along the A2 are particularly important as they provide vistas of Dundrum Bay. The village is situated within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dundrum Castle is an historic monument in state care. In addition there are a significant number of listed buildings dispersed throughout the village which, combined with the number of mature trees along Main Street, gives the village its individual townscape character.
Proposal DM 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. 3/012, Dundrum Settlement Map.
The designated Settlement Limit is intended to preserve the form and natural setting to the village and includes existing and committed housing areas.
The limit excludes the coastal areas, where possible, in order to protect key views to the Bay. It also excludes those key elements of its natural setting referred to above.
The following housing areas developed since the commencement of preparation of this Plan are included and contribute to the housing land supply over the Plan period:
  • east of Dromara Road;
  • north of Manse Road;
  • the Quay; and
  • Main Street
Proposal DM 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. 3/012 Dundrum Settlement Map. Development of the lands below will be subject to the following Key Design Considerations:
HPA 1 Lands to west of Dromara Road
  • existing vegetation along the north west and south west boundaries with the open countryside shall be retained and enhanced with a 8-10 metre belt of trees of native species to provide screening for the development and help integrate it into the surrounding countryside; and
  • the highest parts of the site to be kept free of all types of built development. The exact extent of these areas to be agreed with the Department at the time of the planning application.
HPA 2 Lands north and north west of De Courcey Way
This site was approved on appeal for 74 dwellings and development is complete.
Proposal DM 03 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. 3/012, Dundrum 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 St Donard’s Church and adjoining buildings and surroundings

  • listed church and gates, listed Manor House and Lodge and outbuildings within landscaped grounds bordered by mature trees;
  • listed buildings are setback behind walls with mature trees and gardens to front presenting an attractive frontage onto Main Street;
  • industrial heritage interest – site of former corn mill and linked to former mill pond to west via mill race;
  • rear lawn area surrounded by mature trees and young planting;
  • attractive stone built Parochial Hall on opposite side of road ties in with appearance of listed buildings; and
  • important mature trees along verges in front of the church, Manor House and hall are an important visual amenity and entrance into the main street.

LLPA 2 Dundrum Castle and setting

  • castle ruins of major historical significance in state care on prominent landform provide a unique landscape setting to Dundrum village and significant feature in the wider landscape;
  • significant areas of surrounding woodland provide an attractive visual amenity and immediate setting to the castle; and
  • surrounding sloping open agricultural lands provide wider setting to the hilltop castle.
Proposal DM 04 Area of Significant Archaeological Interest
An Area of Significant Archaeological Interest is designated in accordance with Policy CON 4 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/012, Dundrum Settlement Map and the relevant Down Countryside Map.
The Area of Significant Archaeological Interest has been identified, following consultation with the Historic Monuments Council, at the Castle Hill/ Drundrum castle and surrounding lands.
  • Dundrum castle is a landmark feature of historical and archaeological significance. The importance of this feature is related to its location overlooking Dundrum Bay, its historical association with the original village of Dundrum, and its relationship with Lecale. It is also an area with a long history of human activity culminating in the fine castle ruins standing here today.
  • The combination of historical and archaeological features represents a cultural landscape of considerable antiquity and significance in terms of the local tradition of Dundrum, Lecale and of Ireland. This area is an important element of the landscape and visual setting of Dundrum.
Proposal DM 05 Area of Townscape Character
The following Area of Townscape Character is designated in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS 6): Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage and as indicated on Map No. 3/012, Dundrum Settlement Map and the relevant Down Countryside Map.
The distinctive character, appearance, key features and intrinsic qualities of the designated area and the basis for its designation as an Area of Townscape Character derive from:
  • the mature plantations and landscaping from the Castle, running through the village to Murlough Demesne;
  • the conformity of the buildings in scale, style, materials, and finishes along Main Street;
  • the interspersed period and historic buildings which articulate the street scene; and
  • from seaward, the stone armouring of the railway line and the stone built quays of the harbour.
The setting of the village consisting of the sea, it’s landscaping, the varied terrain and the silhouette of the town including the Castle, is crucial to its character. The historic core of the town lies below the Castle Mount, along a single street that follows the shoreline of the bay and is protected by the natural landform. An architectural cohesiveness is achieved along Main Street by the mainly two storey, rendered and painted buildings in traditional classically based styling of the mid-19th Century. This grouping contains individual buildings of quality in particular, The Rectory, Churches and the picturesque Gothic style National School and Master’s House and the grouping of old railway, estate and business offices at the Harbour. The same consistent character continues up into Manse Road.
This townscape has an architectural style and scale typical of Victorian seaside resorts. Its significance is enhanced by a number of fine set piece buildings and the broad tree-lined Main Street. To protect and sustain this special character there is a presumption in favour of conservation and re¬use of existing buildings. Proposals should value and respect patterns of existing development and land use and be subordinate in terms of massing, form, style and function and be accurate in matters of detail, material and finishes.
Where new development is appropriate, contemporary solutions are not ruled out but quality of design should reflect the existing townscape and its setting in terms of scale, materials, massing and general character.
It is considered that Dundrum is of sufficient architectural, cultural and historic significance to merit designation as a Conservation Area. It is the Department’s intention to do so when resources permit.
Proposal DM 06 Existing Amenity Open Space and Recreation
The following area of existing amenity open space and recreation use is designated in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 8 (PPS 8): Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation and as indicated on Map No. 3/012, Dundrum Settlement Map.

Active Open Space

St Donard’s Walk: Playground
There are other areas of existing amenity open space and recreation located just beyond the settlement limit.
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