Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Conservation (Page 3 of 3)
The character and appearance of the landscape of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough owes much to the division and enclosure of the landscape, and its management and planned enhancement, since the 17th Century. These designed landscapes - parks, gardens and demesnes - have been so changed by time, neglect or new uses that in many cases, their historical character may not be obvious, and indeed some sites in the Borough which are now valued for their natural heritage interest were originally 'planned' landscaping. Most of the mature individual and hedgerow trees, tree clumps and areas of 'natural' woodland, which are seen in the countryside today, were once planted to provide attractive surroundings and views for landowners, and timber for revenue and use on their estates. Whatever their present individual character and condition, these designed landscapes continue to contribute to the distinctive appearance and character of the local landscape of the Borough.
Within the Borough a number of parks, gardens and demesnes retain their original character and design to an extent that they are valuable for their special historic interest and these are designated by the Department. A number of additional sites retain only some elements of their original form and these are identified as supplementary sites. Part of the Demesne of The Argory (Armagh) lies within Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough and is also of historic importance. It is managed by the National Trust and is shown, by symbol only, on Map No. 1 b.
These areas are detailed in a Register of Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes in Northern Ireland, which is published by the Department's Environment and Heritage Service. This Register summarises the historical significance of each site and the contribution such planned features make to the local landscape. It also seeks to encourage the public, as well as owners, to value and support the protection and maintenance of such sites.
The Department's policy for the protection of historic parks, gardens and demesnes is contained in PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage. The location of the designated sites is shown by symbol on the Borough Map Nos. 1 a and 1 b and on relevant settlement maps. Definitive boundaries are shown on Map Nos. 53 - 60, with the supplementary sites detailed on Map Nos. 110 - 116 in Appendix 3.
Whilst the Department appreciates that all settlements have their own unique identity, there are certain parts of some settlements which exhibit a distinct character based on their historic built form and layout. In many of these areas, listed buildings make a significant contribution to their character. In recognition of the distinct character and intrinsic qualities present in parts of Dungannon, Coalisland and some of the villages, Areas of Townscape Character (ATCs) are designated.
The Department wishes to ensure that new development respects the character and appearance of the townscape displayed within these areas. It is also considered that the characteristic built forms displayed in these areas can help inform developers in preparing development proposals elsewhere in these settlements in order to reinforce local identity. In determining all development proposals affecting an ATC, full regard will be given to 'Areas of Townscape Character', the public consultation draft Addendum to PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage, or any subsequent alterations to the prevailing regional planning policy.
The boundaries of the ATCs are identified on the relevant settlement maps, with an outline of their essential characteristics contained in Part 3 of the Plan.
The Coalisland Canal historically played an important though brief role in the industrial development of Coalisland. It is an important industrial heritage feature with nature conservation interest along its length and has the potential for improved public access. Much of the southern side of the canal from Coalisland Town Centre to the Torrent River to the south is already accessible on foot. In the long term, there is potential to restore the canal and, in conjunction with any future restoration of the Ulster Canal, provide a major tourist and economic resource for the area.
Part of the Canal basin has been infilled at Lineside and will need to be safeguarded from development to ensure that potential for restoration is not prejudiced. In assessing development proposals adjacent to the Canal within Coalisland, the Department will require that development fronts onto and makes use of the Canal setting, that there is a consistent landscape design approach, and that recreational interest is enhanced.
The Ulster Canal was also a significant transportation waterway, running from the Erne-Shannon system to Lough Neagh. It is an important industrial heritage feature and there is now significant support for its eventual re-opening. Whilst the most of the Ulster Canal lies beyond the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough, an important section of the Canal was the River Blackwater - from immediately northeast of Charlemont to Lough Neagh at Maghery Canal.
Where necessary, the Department will consider withdrawing permitted development rights in order to safeguard both canal routes.
A number of zonings adjoin the Coalisland Canal and further details on the key site requirements for these zonings are set out in Part 3 of the Plan. The route of the Coalisland Canal is identified on the Borough Map No. 1 b and the Coalisland Map Nos. 62a and 62b, with the River Blackwater being shown on the Borough Map No. 1 b, as well as Map Nos. 77 and 91.
Trees are a vital component of the landscape, providing visual and nature conservation interest, and creating a varied, interesting and attractive landscape. The use of trees particularly within urban areas where development pressures are normally greatest, can help assimilate new development and contribute to sustainability principles. They can provide an attractive backdrop for new development and the Department will require that adequate consideration be given to their retention, protection and integration within site layouts.
In order to avoid damage to the roots system and drainage of trees, development should be kept outside the crown spread or half the height of the trees, whichever is the greater. This is a minimum standard and in some instances, particularly for residential development, it will be necessary to maintain a greater separation distance between trees and development. This will help ensure their long-term retention, and can also help prevent potential amenity problems that may arise for occupants of properties, such as loss of light or leaf fall due to proximity to trees. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to keep development outside the falling distance of mature trees. Further details are included in 'Trees Development - A Guide to Best Practice', which is available from the Department.
Further guidelines on tree protection for zoned housing and industrial areas within Dungannon and Coalisland are contained in Part 3 of the Plan.