Derry Area Plan 2011
Housing: Proposals/Policies (Page 1 of 3)
595 hectares of land are zoned for housing purposes in Londonderry
The majority of the District’s population lives in Londonderry where much of the demand for new housing will be met with the balance accommodated in the villages, small settlements and the countryside. The Department designates a number of housing sites within an extended City Development Limit. These zonings, if developed at mid range density, (see Appendix 6), could provide approximately 11,500 dwellings which is well in excess of the anticipated need of 8,500 houses. However, recent trends demonstrate that higher density is being achieved on schemes under construction and in addition residential accommodation has resulted from development of a number of opportunity sites/redevelopment areas not included in the housing zoning calculations. A potential output of over 13,000 units is, therefore, much more likely.
The policies governing any proposed residential development are set out below while additional information on individual housing zonings is contained within Appendix 7. The zonings are convenient to employment opportunities, main roads, public transport, recreation land and other community facilities. They provide an adequate stock of potential housing land and a measure of choice to make them attractive to residents and developers alike. In identifying new sites for housing the Department has taken into account the undeveloped land within the existing development limits.
Mixed Use Zoning: Iona Park
A 2 ha site at Southway has been identified as suitable for housing or light industrial use or an appropriate mix of both uses (see Appendix 7).
Within the villages, land has not been generally zoned for housing purposes as this has proved in the past to be an inflexible approach (see Plan Policy SE 1, Section 16).
The Department will require high standards of Design and Layout in all new housing developments and will have regard to the following:
- the scale and density of new developments should respect the location and characteristics of the site such as topography, landscape features and the character of surrounding development;
- the layout should contribute to townscape and respect the residential amenity of both existing and prospective occupiers. Layouts should endorse relevant policies and proposals within Section 5 “Built Environment” of the Plan;
- house type and design;
- landscaping proposals should include the retention of significant existing mature trees and vegetation worthy of protection (as agreed with the Department) and provide appropriate planting and boundary treatments. Layouts must also pay regard to Policies ENV 6 and ENV 7 of the Plan;
- the provision of satisfactory arrangements for access, roads layout, pedestrian and cycle linkages, car parking, sewerage and drainage;
- the provision of Open Space (see also Plan Policies H 2 and R 3);
- the Quality Initiative. Proposals for housing development must be consistent with the principles of the Quality Initiative to which the Department is committed. Policy statements and supplementary guidance referred to in Section 1 are material to the consideration of new residential environments. Major zonings will be approached comprehensively and, where appropriate, will be subject to the preparation of an agreed Concept Master Plan.
Housing need varies widely in dwelling size, type and tenure according to such factors as family needs, household size, age, health, personal preference and financial circumstances. Developers will therefore be encouraged to design imaginative and interesting housing layouts incorporating a range of house types and densities to meet the needs of the community and provide variety and choice. Good standards of landscaping, pedestrian links to amenity areas where appropriate, and to existing public footways will be required in order that pleasant living environments are achieved. Proposals will be expected to indicate the means by which landscaping helps to visually integrate new development into the landscape.
Particular importance will be placed on proposals adjacent or close to the development limit of the City where landscaping will usually be required to help assimilate and soften development impacts on the open countryside and on Areas of High Scenic Value. The mix of dwelling types in a housing development may be regulated where a specific need has been identified or where required by site and environmental conditions. Within housing developments, certain non residential ancillary uses, such as small shops or social and community facilities may be acceptable and the Department will expect these uses to be indicated as part of the overall planned layout. The Department will also ensure the need for access to be provided to any adjoining land in order to safeguard future development potential.
Where any site abuts the former Ballyarnett Racecourse, a strip of 3 metres on either side of the racecourse will be excluded from the curtilage of any dwelling and kept free of built development to provide a buffer zone which will protect the line of the racecourse and its setting. The Department will seek through the Development Control process to ensure that this 3 metre strip is planted with appropriate native species of trees and shrubs. No built development including development normally permitted under Article 3 of the Planning (General Development) Order (NI) 1993, will be permitted within 10 metres on either side of the racecourse.
Roads within housing areas will require approval under the Private Streets (NI) Order 1980 and the Private Streets (Amendment) (NI) Order 1992. The Department’s “Layout of Housing Roads Design Guide” (1988) provides the guidelines which will be applied in consideration of road layouts and related matters in proposed housing areas. A new design guide will be produced early in the Plan period. Upon satisfactory completion roads built in accordance with the appropriate standards will normally be adopted and subsequently maintained by the Department.