Fermanagh Area Plan 2007
Economy: T7 Tourism Strategy Lough Erne
|The Department has identified 13 zones around Lough Erne and in immediate hinterland for which strategic guidance has been provide the potential for tourism and recreational development.|
The Department acknowledges that Lough Erne is of such local, national and international importance for tourism and recreation, that proposals for tourism development in the area have potential to achieve local economic regeneration and also to contribute significantly to the Northern Ireland economy.
It is also accepted that the shore and it's immediate hinterland of Lough Erne could come under significant pressure for development, principally due to the quality of the landscape but also because of the ease of access for water based recreation and the need to provide appropriate shore based facilities to serve the cruiser fleet. It is further anticipated that there will be pressure for additional facilities particularly on Upper Lough Erne as a result of the opening of the Shannon-Erne Waterway increasing boating traffic in the Erne system.
The Lough Erne shoreline is designated a Countryside Policy Area (see Plan Policy Nat Env 2) to protect it from over-development in view of its importance for landscape and nature conservation. The islands of Lough Erne are designated a Countryside Policy Area to protect their unique landscape and nature conservation interest. Development within the Green Belt or the Countryside Policy Area will have to comply with Plan Policies Nat Env 1 and Nat Env 2.Where the proposal is for a tourism scheme, shoreline proposals will be balanced against the objectives of protecting these areas and keeping new development to a minimum. Individual tourism proposals will be assessed against the conservation importance of the site.
On the islands, only proposals which consolidate existing development or which are in the wider public interest will be permitted.
In assessing proposals for tourism or recreation around Lough Erne and its immediate hinterland the Department will seek to ensure that the existing character of the landscape is retained, and the nature conservation interest and man-made heritage are protected so as to conserve this key tourism asset.
In view of the extent of Lough Erne and its hinterland the Department considers it appropriate to sub-divide the area into 13 zones in order to provide strategic guidance on the potential for tourism or recreational development. Development proposals in any settlement located around the Lough shore will be assessed according to Plan Policy T3.
The strategic guidance provided is intended to assist prospective developers in choosing appropriate locations for tourism or recreational development in the vicinity of Lough Erne, by advising on the relevant issues in each zone. Individual planning applications will be treated on their merits, in the light of the strategic guidance outlined below and within the context of relevant policies of the Plan and strategic and regional planning policies. In all cases the onus will be on the developer to demonstrate that individual proposals comply with the policies and the strategic guidance provided.
The landscape character and capacity of each zone has been assessed, together with the nature conservation interest, the man-made heritage, existing facilities, potential pressure and opportunities. Each zone has been designated as either a Conservation Zone, a Sensitive Zone or an Opportunity Zone.
Where a site is located on the boundary of two or more zones the Planning Service will have regard to the guidance given for each relevant zone in determining planning applications.