Derry Area Plan 2011
Built Environment: Proposals/Policies (Page 1 of 4)
The Department will require development proposals to make a positive contribution to townscape and be sensitive to the character of the area surrounding the site in terms of design, scale and use of materials. Development proposals should respect the opportunities and constraints of the specific site and have regard to the potential to create a new sense of place through sensitive design.
The Department wishes to emphasise the importance of urban design within the City and settlements. The design of a new building within the historic City of Londonderry can pose a very difficult challenge. The building should add to the special character of the historic city without devaluing it by pale imitation or an unsympathetic contrast. The challenges outside the historic core can be just as great where there may be the need to create a new sense of place, where little may exist. The Department will expect new development to have regard to the opportunities of creating new and interesting public spaces, buildings and pedestrian linkages. Areas which may have little urban quality because they are derelict or green field sites should be viewed as opportunities to create a sense of place with new reference points.
Within the smaller settlements the character of the townscape varies greatly. They include rapidly developing commuter settlements such as Eglinton and Culmore with good access to the City and adjacent industrial estates, to Carnanreagh, a small rural cluster of housing at a crossroads in the Sperrin foothills. Many of the smaller settlements display an essentially rural character and proposals for development should reflect this character.
There will be a general presumption in favour of the preservation of all buildings listed as being of special architectural or historic interest. Only in the most exceptional circumstances will consent be granted for demolition.
The District contains a number of Listed Buildings with the greatest concentration being within the City, particularly in the vicinity of the City Walls. Whilst the City is renowned for its historic Walls and its planned historic centre, it contains a relatively small number of important buildings with less than 50 listed buildings within the Walled City. It is, therefore, important to retain these remaining buildings as representative of the growth and historical development of the City.
Buildings listed for their architectural or historic importance have statutory protection and consent is required for their demolition or for any alterations. Some of the largest and oldest Listed Buildings have outlived their original use and require appropriate re-uses to ensure their survival (see Plan Policies BE 3 and BE 9).
The Department will encourage the sympathetic restoration of buildings of historic/architectural interest particularly where they are at risk from dereliction or demolition.
In an effort to increase public awareness of historic buildings in need of restoration, the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in association with the Environment and Heritage Service has published “Buildings at Risk”, a series of catalogues of historic and important buildings in Northern Ireland which appear to be threatened. This includes a number of buildings in the District for which the Department would encourage sympathetic restoration schemes.