Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Conservation (Page 4 of 5)
Within Cookstown District there is a number of important local landmarks that are distinctive elements within the landscape and townscape and which offer a sense of place and identity. They include churches, civic buildings and raths. Many settlements also benefit from important views and vistas over the open countryside, which contribute to their distinctive character. It is important that full consideration is given to the effect of new development upon these. In many cases, it will be possible to respect local landmarks and protect important views through care in location and siting and good design with attention to the height, size and massing of individual buildings.
Beaghmore is the most extensive stone circle complex in Northern Ireland and one of the major complexes identified in Ireland. The stone circles are in public ownership and managed by the Department's Environment and Heritage Service. The Area of Significant Archaeological Interest (ASAI) contains the distinctive area of historic landscape in Cookstown District within which the stone circle complex and related features are visible, representing the lives and activities of local prehistoric communities. It is designated following consultation with the Historic Monuments Council. This landscape can be appreciated as an area of countryside shaped by continuing traditional farming activities, with no large developments to catch the eye, and as one in which there are many indications of the 8,000 years during which it has been farmed. The Department will use its development control powers to ensure that the setting of the stone circles is preserved and that development does not have a detrimental effect on sites and monuments or the character, appearance or visual amenity of the surrounding landscape. Accordingly, there will be a general presumption against large-scale developments within the ASAI, such as quarrying or mining operations (see also Plan Policy MN 1), waste disposal, industrial units or major tourism schemes and proposals for the erection of masts or pylons as it is considered the scale and overall impact of such proposals could be particularly damaging to the distinctive appearance, character and heritage interests of the area. Other development proposals will be determined on their merits having regard to the Department's prevailing regional planning policies and the policies and guidance in the Plan. The precise boundary of the ASAI is identified on
These areas indicate to developers that, on the basis of current knowledge, it is likely that archaeological remains will be encountered in the course of future development or change within the area. Within these areas developers will therefore normally be required to provide an archaeological assessment or evaluation in support of a planning application to allow informed and reasonable decisions to be taken. Where it is decided to grant planning permission this will normally be conditional on archaeological mitigation in accordance with regional planning policy as set out in PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage. Developers are strongly advised to liaise with the Department before submitting any proposals within these areas.
The boundaries of Areas of Archaeological Potential are identified on Cookstown and Moneymore Map Nos. 36a and 53b.