Derry Area Plan 2011
Development Strategy: Major Determinants
The major determinants on the future strategic physical growth of the City are:
General urban development will be restricted in the main to below the 100 metre contour line
The vast majority of zoned land is below this level, although to ensure clearly defined boundaries and include lands previously zoned where appropriate, the Plan occasionally departs from this stricture. As a result, most of the land proposed for development lies below this contour line and is not, therefore, subjected to the same degree of exposure and adverse climate, which generally prevail above this altitude.
General urban development will be restricted along the River Foyle and the River Faughan
This policy will safeguard the unique setting of the City in relation to these river valleys and their associated landscapes of outstanding amenity interest.
Water Quality within the Faughan System
Development within the River Faughan catchment will be restricted so as to maintain the quality of water available in the river.
This strategic policy will continue to safeguard the River Faughan both as an important source of potable water for the City and in its role as a commercial fishery.
The Department designates a Green Belt around Londonderry and appropriate Countryside Policy Areas.
These policies will restrict development within the areas so designated to that outlined in the Department’s “Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland”.
Since 1945 Londonderry has expanded in a generally northerly direction on either side of the River Foyle. The Plan proposes a continuation of this long established trend. On the urban west bank the principal direction of growth will be along the Buncrana Road axis to make full use of existing and projected investment in roads, drainage and social and community facilities. On the urban east bank the main thrust of development will be along Clooney Road, Glenshane Road and east of Crescent Link.
A City Development Limit has been established around all future development areas beyond which there will be a presumption against further urban development. This Development Limit separates the City from Culmore, Newbuildings and Strathfoyle. The Department is satisfied that there is sufficient land within the Development Limit to provide for all of the City’s needs.
Although most of the City’s growth will, by necessity, have to be accommodated on the periphery of the built-up area, the Department identifies a number of opportunity sites within the City. These will assist in meeting development needs and contribute to the creation of a more vibrant inner city.
Because of their size and local importance as service centres, Claudy, Culmore, Eglinton, Lettershendoney, Newbuildings, Park and Strathfoyle are designated as villages. A village development limit has been established around each having regard to environmental issues, physical features, availability of services and the nature of development pressure. Within the limit new development will normally be acceptable provided it reflects the scale and character of the village. Within the villages, land has not been generally zoned for specific purposes as this has proved in the past to be an inflexible approach. However, important recreation/open space areas have been designated where permission for other development will not normally be granted. In Eglinton and Culmore, Areas of Village Character are designated where development proposals will be expected 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.
Thirteen small settlements have been identified throughout the District. These are smaller in population terms than villages and do not possess the same range of services yet act as local focal points in the countryside. Development limits have been established for each within which proposals for new development will be approved provided they reflect and respect the character and scale of each settlement.