Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Introduction: Regional Planning Context
The regional planning context for the Cookstown Area Plan 2010 is provided by The Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025 Shaping Our Future (RDS), A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland (the Rural Strategy), all prevailing Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) as prepared by both the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of the Environment (DOE), and the Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS).
The Department also prepares non-statutory supplementary planning guidance that applies throughout Northern Ireland.
Regional Development Strategy
The Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025 Shaping Our Future (RDS), which was formulated by the Assembly in September 2001, sets out a dynamic strategic spatial planning framework for Northern Ireland to guide physical development within the Region until 2025 and it provides an overarching strategic framework for development plans.
At the heart of the RDS is the principle of ensuring a better quality of life for everyone now and for generations to come by seeking to meet the objectives of sustainable development.
The RDS contains a Spatial Development Strategy which aims to provide a strategic focus which will guide future development in order to provide a balanced and equitable pattern of sustainable development across the Region. In the context of the RDS, Cookstown District lies within Rural Northern Ireland.
The overall aim of the RDS for Rural Northern Ireland is to develop an attractive and prosperous rural area, based on a balanced and integrated approach to the development of town, village and countryside contributing to the overall wellbeing of the Region as a whole. This is to be achieved by action on a series of Strategic Objectives and Supporting Strategic Planning Guidelines.
Regional Transportation Strategy
July 2002 and is a ‘daughter document’ of the RDS. Its purpose is to make a significant contribution towards achieving the longer-term vision for transportation contained within the RDS.
The purpose of the RTS is also to improve access to regional, national and international markets, thereby, contributing to sustainable patterns of development and movement, and to promote integration between different modes of travel.
The RTS identifies strategic transportation investment priorities and considers potential funding sources and the affordability of planned initiatives over the next 10 years.
A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland (the Rural Strategy), published in September 1993, contains a number of strategic policies, but essentially comprises a compendium of planning policies setting out, on a topic basis, the factors that the Department takes into account when assessing development proposals. The Rural Strategy applies to all of Cookstown District.
The Department has begun progressively to replace the Rural Strategy. The strategic section of the document is superseded by the RDS, whilst the topic sections are progressively being replaced by PPSs. Policies within the Rural Strategy remain material considerations until superseded.
Planning Policy Statements
Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) set out the policies of the Department on particular aspects of land use planning that apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. They provide a broad regional policy context for the site specific policies and proposals contained in development plans and directly influence decisions on individual planning applications. Details of PPSs are contained in Appendix 1.
Regional Supplementary Planning Guidance
The Department’s publication, A Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland, issued in May 1994, provides guidance for all those who are thinking of building in the countryside of Northern Ireland. Its purpose is to improve the quality of design and to help ensure that new buildings fit into the landscape.
The Department’s publication, Creating Places, issued in May 2000, provides guidance on the design, character and layout of new housing areas in Northern Ireland. The guide describes the contributions to quality and sustainability that developers will be expected to make through the design of new residential developments.
The Department also publishes and updates as necessary a set of Development Control Advice Notes, which explain the planning criteria, and technical standards, which the Department considers when dealing with specific categories or particular aspects of development in Northern Ireland. These are listed in Appendix 2. Good practice guides may also be issued to illustrate how concepts contained in PPSs can be best implemented.
It should be noted that the Department is continuously reviewing its regional planning policies and advice. It is, therefore, advisable to contact the Divisional Planning Office to ascertain the current relevant policies and supplementary guidance that apply within Cookstown District.