Craigavon Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Industry
Craigavon Borough has a much stronger than average manufacturing base in both the Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom context. This is set against an expanding services sector and declining agricultural sector.
Significant employment is provided in industries related to food processing, light engineering, metal fabrication and textile manufacture. Despite a recent decline in the sector, the prominence of manufacturing in the Borough points to the importance of Craigavon as a Northern Ireland manufacturing centre. There is also potential for employment growth in the service sector where the proportion of employment is currently below the Northern Ireland average.
The overall level of unemployment in the Borough was 3.51% compared to a Northern Ireland average of 4.14% (2001 Census).
The main focus of industrial development is in Portadown and Central Craigavon at the Seagoe and Carn Industrial Estates, respectively. There has been some more limited expansion in Lurgan at the Annesborough, Silverwood and Halfpenny Valley (Portadown Road) Industrial Estates.
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 Borough.
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 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 Craigavon Borough 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 lands 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 Accident Hazards) Regulations (NI) 2000. The latter regulations amended the Planning (Development Plans) Regulations (NI) 1991 by requiring that in formulating plans, the Department shall have regard to the objectives of the Directive of preventing major accidents and limiting the consequence of such accidents for man and environment. In doing so, the Department will need to take into account the siting of establishments where hazardous substances are used or stored, and the development of land within the vicinity of establishments where hazardous substances are, or may be present.
The Health and Safety Executive (Northern Ireland) advises the Department of a consultation distance around these hazardous installations and the Department consults the Executive on planning applications within this consultation zone. The determination of such planning applications may require the submission of an Environmental Statement. Information on the extent of consultation zones and potential restrictions on development within the zones may be obtained from Divisional Planning Offices or Planning Service Headquarters.
In implementing the Seveso II Directive, the Department has identified the existing establishments which use or store hazardous substances and are subject to the above regulations (see Appendix 3), and has taken into account the requirements of the Directive and regulations in formulating the policies and proposals of the Plan.
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 of Environment's Environment and Heritage Service on proposals for new development.
Details of guidance and procedures for controlling development in relation to hazardous substances are contained in the Department's publication Development Control Advice Note 12: Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances.
In accordance with Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS 1): General Principles, zoned land, along with the key site requirements which developers will be expected to meet, is set out and shown in Part 3 of the Plan. The zoning of land provides a basis for rational and consistent decisions on planning applications and provides a measure of certainty about which types of development will and will not be permitted.
It is in the national and local interest that adequate sites are retained for industrial and mixed business use. Accordingly, the Department identifies areas of existing industrial land within Craigavon Urban Area which should be retained for economic, infrastructural and access reasons. Inappropriate non conforming uses should be restricted in these areas to safeguard employment opportunities and the operations of existing or future businesses.
In addition to protecting existing sites within Craigavon Urban Area, the Department zones land for new industrial uses to meet the anticipated needs of INI and private sector industrial and business enterprises over the plan period. The key site requirements affecting zoned lands are set out in Part 3 of the Plan. These include requirements for the provision of infrastructure, landscaping and appropriate access arrangements, as well as matters relating to the form, design and layout of development. It is considered that the range of existing sites and new zonings will provide flexibility in choice of site for developers.
Major existing industrial areas and land zoned for industry are shown on Map No. 5 Craigavon Urban Area.