Planning Portal

Larne Area Plan 2010
Minerals: Regional Policy Context

The Department's regional development control policies for minerals which apply in Larne Borough are currently set out in the Rural Strategy. This contains a range of policies for the control of mineral development taking into account environmental protection, visual amenity, public safety and traffic considerations. It also includes policies for mineral reserves, valuable minerals, areas of constraint on mineral development and restoration of mineral workings.
The Department's publication Planning Policy Statement 2 (PPS 2) - Planning and Nature Conservation contains policies for the protection of peatland sites. Government Policy on peat extraction is also expressed in "Conserving peatland in Northern Ireland - A Statement of Policy" and is supplemented by the policies contained in the Rural Strategy.
The Department intends to update its policies on Minerals, including peat extraction, in a forthcoming Planning Policy Statement.


Area of Constraint on Mineral Development.
The Area of Constraint comprises those areas along the Coast Road, in the Glens and on that portion of the Garron Plateau which is within the Borough boundaries which are recognised as being the most scenically valuable parts of the Antrim Coast and Glens A.O.N.B. It also contains areas of considerable conservation value. In particular, the Department has declared the peat bogs of the Garron plateau to be an Area of Special Scientific Interest and is proposing an Area of Significant Archaeological Interest at Knockdhu. (See MAN EN 1)
The limestone quarry at Munie Road, Glenarm is the only working quarry within the Area of Constraint. There will not be a presumption against further extension of this quarry but any proposal for its further development will be expected to give full recognition to the landscape sensitivity of the coast and glen and will only be permitted if the Department is satisfied that the landscape will not be adversely affected to any substantial degree.


In the event that hydrocarbon exploration identifies the possibility of commercially viable reserves of oil or gas, applications for planning permission to sink wells for the purpose of appraising the nature or extent of the discovery may be considered in the context of the long term suitability of the sites for production purposes.


The Department will not normally approve commercial peat extraction from sites which have been declared Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI’s).
In locations outside ASSI’s planning permission for the extraction of peat will only be granted where there is little of recognised nature conservation value and where the amenity of the site, particularly within the Antrim Coast and Glens A.O.N.B. will not be compromised by the operations. Where peat extraction is likely to have a significant effect on the environment the Department may require the submission of an Environmental Statement with the planning application. Any consent granted to extract peat will include conditions to safeguard environmental interests, which would include water quality, during the operation and rehabilitation of the site. It is the Departments intention to ensure that worked sites are rehabilitated to a satisfactory standard.
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