Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Introduction: Plan Strategy
The Plan Strategy centres on the need to be in general conformity with the RDS and in particular the Spatial Development Strategy, a major thrust of which is to promote more sustainable patterns of development based on:-
- a polycentric network of growth poles integrated with the transport corridors and incorporating enhanced public transport;
- compact urban forms;
- more housing within existing urban areas; and
- the sensible and sensitive use of the built heritage and the rural environment.
In summary the Plan Strategy is to:-
- sustain a living and working countryside whilst supporting the growth and regeneration of towns and villages and protecting from inappropriate development those areas that are vulnerable to development pressure or that are visually or environmentally sensitive;
- identify, define and designate as appropriate, areas of conservation, archaeological, scientific, landscape or amenity importance or interest, within both the natural and built heritage of the District;
- provide a settlement hierarchy, designate settlement development limits, zone land and designate policy areas which will:-
- facilitate allocation of housing growth potential in accordance with the Regional Development Strategy (RDS), through a sequential approach, in support of urban renaissance and conservation of town settings and greenfield lands, by maximising as feasible the identified proportion within existing urban areas;
- facilitate a level of housing development in each designated settlement that is in accordance with the approach set out in the RDS regarding assessment of individual settlement capacity and any identified special housing needs;
- recognise that single dwelling development is likely to continue, at a level which is difficult to predict; and
- facilitate a level of overall growth in both Magherafelt and Maghera which reflects their individual status as towns and in reference to the RDS.
- establish key site requirements as appropriate against which particular site development proposals will be assessed in order to help achieve good quality development, to respect environmental assets and to facilitate the development of balanced communities in accordance with the strategic requirements of the RDS;
- designate additional industrial land to make provision for an adequate supply and choice of sites for employment uses which take account of accessibility to major transport routes and the provisions of the RDS including the proximity to the District population, particularly in areas of economic and social deprivation;
- identify, define, designate and safeguard as appropriate specific areas where the retention of, or provision of additional retail, services, recreational and other community facilities will positively contribute to the amenity and well being of the District population, subject to prevailing regional planning policy;
- define, as appropriate, transportation related proposals in accordance with the Regional Transportation Strategy which are intended to facilitate improved flow of vehicular traffic whilst promoting reduction in car travel and the use of alternative modes of travel.
It is proposed that the Plan will implement this Strategy through the Plan Proposals that are in accordance with, and also complement the Department's regional planning policies. The Plan Proposals are contained in Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Plan.