Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Ards Borough: Newtownards Development Strategy
Newtownards is substantially larger than any other settlement in the Plan area. The close proximity of Newtownards to the BMA, the opportunities which that creates to promote public transportation, and the extensive economy, infrastructure, services and facilities available in the town, ensure that it is the most sustainable location for new development in Ards Borough in a manner consistent with the RDS. The economic and infrastructural changes already underway in the town are indicative of its growth potential and the Plan seeks to harness those changes to assist in its further planned growth.
In response to the issues impacting on the Town and to ensure consistency with the RDS the Development Strategy is to:
- extend the current settlement limit in order to identify sufficient lands for development in a variety of locations throughout the Plan period;
- continue growth on the eastern side of the town, between Donaghadee Road and Bowtown Road, where development can be accommodated with the least impact on the landscape setting of the town, and which will least affect separation between Newtownards and neighbouring towns;
- provide choice of housing sites by identifying lands to the west of the town avoiding visually sensitive areas;
- relieve existing and potential congestion on the Movilla Road and junctions approaching the town centre by proposing a road link between Portaferry Road and Donaghadee Road, to be implemented and funded by the phased release of new housing developments in that area and to link to the Southern Link Road between the Portaferry Road, Comber Road and Belfast Road;
- provide for the E-Way and a site for a modal interchange;
- improve the supply of lands for industrial and business use in Newtownards, with a variety of sites and choice of locations with good access to the Regional Strategic Transportation Network to accommodate the needs of small and medium sized enterprises;
- provide for the commercial expansion of its town centre by extending its town centre boundary;
- facilitate the redevelopment of vacant under used lands by identifying a range of development opportunity sites;
- seek to protect and to enhance the town’s environmental quality by safeguarding open space within the town and local landscapes on the urban fringe which contribute a degree of visual amenity, or which contain particular features, locally valuable and worthy of retention; and
- designate and protect Court Street and Court Square as an Area of Townscape Character.