Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
District Proposals: Newtownabbey Countryside and Coast: Coast (Page 2 of 2)
Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development
By their nature, scale, location and duration of operation, mineral developments frequently impact more severely on the environment than any other form of development. They can damage or destroy sites of nature conservation or earth science value or sites of historic or archaeological interest. They can also have a significant visual impact on the landscape and have an adverse effect on the amenity of people nearby.
Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development are identified in order to safeguard the most valuable and vulnerable areas of the environment within the Borough from the detrimental effects of mineral extraction. Their identification has taken account of nature conservation interest, the archaeological and built heritage, landscape quality and character, visual prominence, amenity value and geological/ geomorphological interest.
In view of their scientific importance all Areas of Special Scientific Interest, Ramsar sites and Special Protection Areas are designated as Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development. SLNCIs are also designated as Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development.
Proposals for the development of mineral resources within those areas will be determined in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy, currently set out in Policy MIN 3 of the Rural Strategy and in addition Policy COU 8, as contained in Part 3, Volume 1 of the Plan.
The Belfast Hills Access Points
The Belfast Basalt Escarpment and Carnmoney Hill are recognised by the Belfast Hills Partnership Trust to make up the area known as the ‘Belfast Hills’. They are a striking landscape feature which frame Metropolitan Newtownabbey to the north and west and provide Newtownabbey with its unique natural setting and central green space at Carnmoney Hill.
The Belfast Hills are important for their landscape, natural heritage and visual amenity however they also have an important role in education, tourism and as a resource for countryside recreation. Much of the land within the Belfast Hills is privately owned which limits formal access. A series of access points are identified to improve accessibility, and provide for countryside recreation and amenity development.
Attention has been given to the distribution of designated access points to reduce visitor impact. The designated access points will facilitate access to the portion of the Belfast Basalt Escarpment which is within Newtownabbey District and Carnmoney Hill as designated at COU 6/04 and COU 6/03 respectively in Part 3, Volume 1 of the Plan.
The following sites NY 06/01 - NY 06/07 are designated as Belfast Hills access points and are identified on Map No. 1 – Newtownabbey Countryside and Map No. 2a - Metropolitan Newtownabbey.
Further details of each access point are contained in the Countryside Assessment Technical Supplement.
The access points NY 06/03 – NY 06/07 within Carnmoney Hill are located within the BMA Green Belt and Carnmoney Hill AOHSV as designated at COU 1 and COU 6/03 in Part 3, Volume 1 of the Plan. A number of the access points also fall within designated SLNCIs and the Carnmoney Hill LLPA.
Policy for the control of development within these designated access points is contained in Policy COU 11 as set out in Part 3, Volume 1 of the Plan and other plan policies relating to AOHSV, SLNCIs, LLPAs, Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development and prevailing regional policy.