Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Policy Framework: Regional Policy Context
Newtownards, Comber, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch and Newcastle are in the Other Urban category of the RTS and the majority of the Plan area is in the rural category.
Planning Policy Statement 3, (PPS 3 revised) Access, Movement and Parking and Planning Policy Statement 13, (PPS 13), Transportation and Land Use, both published in February 2005, had envisaged that Local Transport Studies for the large towns identified in the RDS would be undertaken in conjunction with the preparation of development plans and any emerging schemes would be included in the SRTP for the relevant districts. However, due to timing inconsistencies and the fact that the preparation of the Draft Plan was so far advanced ahead of the emergence of this regional policy requirement, this has not been possible in the case of the Ards and Down Area Plan 2015. DRD Roads Service subsequently commissioned detailed Local Transport Studies for the large towns in Plan area in 2004, which were completed in 2006. These studies, which were based on the land use proposals contained in the Draft Plan, were used to inform the development of the SRTP for Ards and Down council areas, published in June 2007.
The RSTNP, published in March 2005, identified four general locations for road improvement schemes along the A7. Any emerging schemes, which are envisaged to have minimal land take implications, will be subject to a separate public consultation process undertaken by DRD. The RSTNTP also includes proposals for highway improvements throughout the sub regional network for Ards and Down.
The SRTP, published in June 2007, also contains schemes that emerged following the Local Transport Studies carried out for each town. Any emerging schemes will be subject to a separate public consultation process undertaken by DRD. The SRTP was based on a consideration of the Draft Plan land use proposals and projections and includes schemes identified in the Draft Plan, e.g. those major housing distributor roads planned for Newtownards, Downpatrick and Ballynahinch. DRD will also carry out a continuous assessment and public consultation on traffic flows, car parking and the need for improvement to the transport infrastructure within rural settlements and the rural road network throughout the Plan area.
The Department’s current regional planning policies on the roads aspects of transportation policy are set out in PPS 3. This sets out the Department’s planning policies for vehicular and pedestrian access, transport assessment, the protection of transport routes and parking and those matters which will be taken into account in determining planning applications involving development which affects the public road network and road safety. For example, applicants will be required to demonstrate the impact of their proposals on the transport network and provide appropriate measures to mitigate them.
PPS 3 contains the current regional planning policy in relation to the designated Protected Routes Network, which is to restrict existing accesses onto selected roads. Protected Routes within the Plan area are shown on the relevant Countryside maps and settlement maps and listed below:
• A20 Newtownards – Dundonald
• A21 Bangor – Newtownards – Comber – Saintfield – Ballynahinch
• A48 Newtownards – Donaghadee
• B21 Donaghadee – Bangor
• A23 Belfast – Ballygowan
• A22 Dundonald – Comber – Downpatrick
• A25 Downpatrick – Clough – Castlewellan – A25/B8 junction
• A7 Downpatrick – Crossgar – Saintfield –Carryduff
• B6 Saintfield – Lisburn
• A24 Clough – Ballynahinch – Carryduff
• A49 Ballynahinch – Lisburn
• A2 Clough – Newcastle – Kilkeel
• A50 Newcastle – Castlewellan
PPS 13 flows directly from the Strategic Policy Guidelines within the RDS and forms part of the implementation process of the Strategy. The Statement recognises the significance of the RTS in delivering the transportation vision of the Strategy. Its primary objective is to promote an integrated approach to the planning of transportation and development at all levels in the formulation of policy.
Supplementary Planning Guidance is contained in Development Control Advice Note 15 (2nd edition): Vehicular Access Standards, August 1999.