Derry Area Plan 2011
Natural Environment: Proposals/Policies (Page 3 of 3)
Development proposals will be expected to take account of existing trees and hedges which in the interests of visual amenity or wildlife habitat should be retained. Proposals will be expected to provide appropriate landscaping as an integral part of the design.
The Department will seek to increase the amount of tree cover by ensuring that where development occurs, new tree planting is secured and that as many existing landscape features as possible are retained by sympathetic design and layout. The Department will require that where existing trees and hedges are an important element of the landscape, a survey is carried out which indicates how the trees and features are to be protected during construction. Before development is carried out, the Department will require the submission of a site survey, accurately showing the positions, species, heights and canopies of all significant trees and existing hedgerows. The features to be retained should be indicated as should the existing and proposed levels. In considering development proposals the Department will seek to achieve site layouts which avoid the root systems of existing trees and proposed trees and also have regard to the impact of development on drainage. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to keep development outside the falling distance of mature trees. The Department will seek to ensure the protection of such features through the inclusion of conditions in any permission granted.
Proposals will be expected to indicate the means by which the landscaping helps to visually integrate new development. Particular importance will be placed on proposals adjacent or close to the development limits of settlements where landscaping will usually be required to help assimilate development impacts on the open countryside, Green Belt and on the Areas of High Scenic Value.
Development which is likely to introduce or increase water pollution to an unacceptable extent or adversely alter the water levels in any body of water, watercourse or groundwater will not be permitted.
There are a number of major water resources and features within the District including the River Foyle, River Faughan and associated tributaries, Enagh Loughs, open water bodies along the Foyle Estuary and other small lakes and ponds. These are important not only as valuable habitats but also as a source of drinking water supply, fishing and recreation activities. Changes in water levels and water quality can have adverse impact not only on fishing and recreation interests but also on the associated habitats. It is necessary to ensure that new developments do not cause a deterioration in current water quality and where possible, development proposals should take the opportunity to improve this resource.
Development will only be permitted adjacent to major rivers and open water bodies where it can be demonstrated that proposals meet all the following provisions:
- will have no permanent adverse impacts on their landscape character or setting;
- will not involve a loss of significant views of, and from the rivers and water bodies;
- will not prejudice existing or the potential for future public access; and
- are in conformity with other Plan policies.
The policy is primarily aimed at protecting the landscape adjacent to the River Foyle, the Faughan and its tributaries, Enagh Loughs and the water bodies along the Foyle Estuary. Particular attention will be paid to the opportunities for conservation, enhancement of the existing tree cover and improved public access. Exceptions to the policy relate to the riverside area within the City where the need to find new uses for major areas of dereliction adjacent to the riverside area requires special consideration. The Department will encourage redevelopment along the riverside which would improve the environment and townscape of those areas currently marred by dereliction and under-use. This is reviewed more fully within the Central Area (see Section 15).