Derry Area Plan 2011
Natural Environment: Proposals/Policies (Page 1 of 3)
The Department defines Areas of High Scenic Value on both banks of the Foyle north and south of the City and the Faughan Valley south east of Drumahoe to Burntollet Bridge
These areas are shown on the District Strategy Map 1. The quality, character and importance of the AoHSV derives from a combination of the following factors:
- the contribution they make to the setting of the City;
- their relatively unspoilt nature and their relationship with the Rivers Foyle and Faughan in providing an attractive setting for the enjoyment of the rivers;
- their proximity to the urban area and their contribution in providing a high quality environmental image along the major approach roads to the City; and
- their intrinsic landscape quality based on the inter-relationship between river, riverbank, large country houses, many of considerable historic character set in mature parkland/woodland and well maintained agricultural land uses.
Proposals for development which would adversely affect or change either the quality or character of the landscape within the Areas of High Scenic Value will not normally be permitted.
All AoHSV lie within the Green Belt and will remain undeveloped in the long term interests of the City and District. Whilst a limited number of uses may be acceptable within the Green Belt this does not imply that these uses will necessarily be acceptable within the AoHSV. In addition to meeting Green Belt policies, the development must demonstrate that there will be no adverse impacts or changes on the character or quality of the landscape.
Particular attention will be paid to the way proposals conserve and enhance the landscape of the AoHSV. The AoHSV are also identified as Areas of Constraint on Minerals Development (see Plan Policy MN 1) and will be subject to the constraints of that policy. Proposals for waste disposal within AoHSV will be determined in accordance with Policy WD1.
Where development is permitted within the Areas of High Scenic Value, it must have special regard to siting, massing, shape, design, finishes and landscaping in order that it may be integrated into the landscape.
The highest standards in design will be required within the AoHSV. Development should be seen as an opportunity to maintain and enhance the landscape quality. Landscaping proposals should indicate the overall impacts of the proposal on the landscape together with any mitigation measures. Proposals for tree planting of appropriate tree species should form an integral part of all proposals and in this respect the site must be large enough to accommodate the landscape element.
Within the Areas of High Scenic Value, favourable consideration will normally be given to the provision of pathways and informal recreational facilities of an appropriate scale and in a suitable location provided they are visually integrated with the landscape.
The Areas of High Scenic Value can provide new opportunities for informal recreational activities and quiet enjoyment of the countryside, e.g. riverside and countryside walks, with potential to be linked by footpaths to the urban area. The City Council is actively involved in creating pedestrian access around Boom Hall to the north of the Foyle Bridge and in extending the Foyle Valley Railway to the south along the Letterkenny Road.
The Department defines the following areas as Areas of Local Nature, Conservation and Amenity Importance: Castle River, Cumber, Enagh Loughs, Foyle Park, Gransha Intake, Learmount and Prehen Wood.
A number of Areas of Local Nature Conservation and Amenity Importance (AoLNCAI) have been defined either within or close to settlements. These are identified on Maps LCA1, LCA2, LCA3, LCA4, SE1 and SE6. The areas are of particular local importance as they are found close to where development pressures are normally greatest and where there is a relative lack of other nearby nature conservation and amenity areas. Some of the areas contain important historic buildings, monuments and important stands of woodland. A description of these areas and further guidance is provided in Appendix 2.