Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Industry and Mixed Business (Page 1 of 2)
Cookstown District has a modest manufacturing base set against an important but declining agricultural sector and an expanding service sector. Dominant industries were traditionally based on the District's natural resources and significant employment is still provided in industries related to food processing and to the extraction of minerals and aggregates (see Minerals section).
Employment growth has continued in recent years, with notable expansion in Cookstown with Copeland Ltd at Derryloran and Unipork Ltd at Molesworth Road. The greatest potential for future employment growth may be in the service sector where the proportion of employment is currently well below the Northern Ireland average. The overall level of unemployment in the District was 3.5% compared to a Northern Ireland average of 4.1% (2001 Census).
The main focus of industrial development has been in Cookstown at the Derryloran and Ballyreagh Industrial Estates. Outside Cookstown, there has been significant development at the Ardboe Enterprise Park and at the Crieve Business Centre in Stewartstown. There is also a number of industrial sites and individual businesses elsewhere within the District.
The Department is keen to facilitate the development of new businesses on suitable sites and also encourage the appropriate future expansion of existing firms. The provision of serviced industrial sites is primarily the responsibility of Invest Northern Ireland (INI) which provides business support services in the District.
The need to maintain water quality, and the limited capacity of local waterways to receive treated effluent, may constrain industrial development. In considering applications for new industrial development, the Department will assess the nature of the process together with the potential pollution impact. Where consent for discharge is required under the Water Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, the existing water quality and available dilution will be a major consideration.
Regional Planning Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) identifies a strategic network of hubs, corridors and gateways as the focus for economic activity and development opportunities. The RDS has a strong commitment to reinvigorating town centres and recognises the importance of small and medium sized business enterprises, community enterprises and the creative industries of the arts. The RDS places an onus on Development Plans to make provision for a generous and continuous supply of land for employment purposes and provides the following guidelines:
- to promote a balanced spread of economic development opportunities across the Region focused on the Belfast Metropolitan Area (BMA), Londonderry, Craigavon and the urban hubs/clusters, as the main centres for employment and services;
- to exploit the economic development potential of the key transport corridors;
- to promote the regional gateways as economic development opportunities; and
- to create and maintain a regional portfolio of Strategic Employment Locations.
The Department's regional planning policies for industrial development in Cookstown District are currently set out in Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS 4): Industrial Development. PPS 4 contains policies for the full range of industrial development proposals from home working through to industries of an offensive or hazardous nature. It includes policies on non-industrial uses on zoned industrial land and the retention of existing industrial land and buildings. It also addresses rural enterprise and industrial projects in the countryside. This PPS is currently being revised and a public consultation draft PPS 4 - Industry, Business and Distribution was published in January 2003.
Directive 96/82/EC, known as the Seveso II Directive, was implemented in Northern Ireland by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (NI) 2000 and the Planning (Control of Major Accidents Hazards) Regulations (NI) 2000. These are specifically concerned with the implementation of Article 12 of the Directive which requires that the objectives of preventing major accidents and limiting their consequences are taken into account in land use planning policies and that these objectives are pursued through controls. There is also a requirement to set up appropriate consultation procedures to facilitate implementation of these Regulations.
The Plan does not identify new development sites for the use or storage of hazardous substances. The determination of planning permission for such proposals may entail the submission of an Environmental Statement, which may be accompanied by an application for consent to store hazardous materials on a site. Granting consent to store hazardous substances would establish a consultation distance within which Planning Service is required to consult with the Health and Safety Executive (Northern Ireland) and the Department's Environment and Heritage Service on proposals for new development.
Details of such guidance and procedures for controlling development in relation to hazardous substances are contained in the Department's publication entitled Development Control Advice Note 12 - Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances.