Derry Area Plan 2011
Housing: Proposals/Policies (Page 3 of 3)
Planning permission will normally be granted in the defined Flats Zones for the conversion of buildings and the development or the redevelopment of sites to flats except in the following areas where flats are unlikely to be acceptable (see Map FL1):
- the residential areas of College Terrace, Aberfoyle Terrace, Clarence Avenue, Asylum Road, Fountain Street and Simpson’s Brae which are still in single family occupation;
- the ground floor of primary retail street frontages as defined in the Commercial Core (see Plan Policy CA 3, Section 15). Flat use will normally be acceptable only on the upper floors.
Demand for flat accommodation is likely to increase over the Plan period mainly in response to:
- the rapid growth of the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster, and
- the increase in the number of one and two person households.
The Flats policy introduced in 1986 has played a major role in helping to revitalise the Central Area by the identification of a substantial number of flat opportunities within the zones. Areas of Flat Exclusion within the Policy Zones have also remained relatively intact. Within the defined policy zones the significant areas of vacant floorspace which remain especially at upper floor levels present opportunities for flat accommodation provided the retail and commercial functions are not prejudiced.
Flat conversions will not be permitted outside the defined flats zones except where:
- a dwelling is considered to be no longer suitable for single family accommodation after an assessment of such factors as the size, age and condition of the dwelling, location, and adjoining land uses; or
- an exceptional local need for flat accommodation has been demonstrated to justify the creation of extra dwelling units. Where terraces are concerned a case based on exceptional local need is more likely to be acceptable where comprehensive schemes for the conversion of complete terrace blocks are proposed rather than haphazard proposals for single dwellings; or
- it is considered appropriate to renovate certain redundant non residential buildings.
While conversion of larger and mainly older houses to flats can make a useful contribution in meeting this demand, the spread of flat conversion into family housing areas will be resisted if it would result in a significant change in character of the area with a subsequent loss of residential amenity.
The development or redevelopment of a part of whole of a plot in low density suburban areas will not be permitted except where:
- it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Department that it is necessary to avoid vacancy or dereliction which in itself could be harmful to the residential amenity of these particular areas; or
- the development of a portion or whole of a plot would not result in development out of keeping with the character of adjoining or nearby residential areas.
Over the period of the Plan pressure may increase to satisfy part of the demand for small unit accommodation by the development or redevelopment of a part of whole of a plot within existing lower density suburban, residential areas. Such proposals may raise problems in relation to the amenity of these areas. More detailed guidance on design and car parking on low rise apartment development in existing residential areas is given in Development Control Advice Note 8: Housing in Existing Urban Areas.