Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Policy Framework: Environment and Conservation (Page 2 of 2)

Policy CON 1 Areas of High Scenic Value
In determining applications for planning permission within Areas of High Scenic Value (AoHSV), the Department will consider how the proposals will conserve and enhance the landscape of the AoHSV and will have particular regard to the siting, massing, scale and design, materials, finishes and landscaping of proposals in order to ensure that development will:
• integrate well into the topography and landscape of the local environment; and
• respect the scale of, and materials used in, existing vernacular and traditional buildings in the surrounding area.
Where the boundary of the AoHSV follows the line of a road, the outer edge of the AoHSV is defined at 100m beyond the road line. The landscapes of the proposed AoHSV are considered to be of local and regional importance. Planning applications in these areas will be considered within the context of prevailing policy, but in addition, a proposed development must demonstrate that it can further satisfy the above criteria to ensure that it will not result in adverse changes to the character or quality of the landscape.
High design standards will be required of developments within AoHSV and re-use of traditional buildings and vernacular features may be preferred to new build. Landscape analysis should accompany development proposals to indicate the likely effects of the proposed development on the landscape. Planting of indigenous tree species should generally be an integral part of these proposals, and the site must be large enough to accommodate any mitigation measures identified.
Areas of High Scenic Value have been designated at Magheraknock Loughs and Craigantlet Escarpment as identified in the Countryside Section in Part 3 of Volume 1 of the Plan and indicated on the relevant Countryside Maps.
Policy CON 2 Local Landscape Policy Areas
Planning permission will not be granted to development proposals which would be liable to adversely affect the environmental quality, integrity or character of these areas.
Local Landscape Policy Areas (LLPAs) are those areas, within or adjoining settlements, which are considered to be of greatest amenity value, landscape quality or local significance, and therefore worthy of protection from undesirable or damaging development. They include:
  • archaeological sites and monuments and their surroundings;
  • listed and other locally important buildings and their surroundings;
  • river banks and shore lines and associated public access;
  • attractive vistas, localised hills and other areas of local amenity importance; and
  • areas of local nature conservation importance, including areas of woodland and important tree groups.
LLPAs proposed in association with the settlements listed below will help to ensure that new development does not dominate their distinctive landscape and townscape characteristics. They may also function as buffer zones between different uses and help to reduce the likelihood of over¬intensive development. LLPAs located outside settlement limits will help to protect those features considered of greatest importance to the local landscape setting.
Where trees, groups of trees and woodlands in LLPAs contribute significantly to visual amenity, or where they are considered to be under threat from development, tree preservation orders will normally be used.
Where riverbanks are included within LLPAs the Department will normally require, as part of any development proposal, that access be provided to the river corridor. A landscape buffer may also be required between any development and the river corridor to maintain its intrinsic environmental value.
Local Landscape Policy Areas may contain significant parts of Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes, conservation areas, listed buildings and archaeological monuments to which prevailing regional planning policies contained within PPS 6 will also apply.
Local Landscape Policy Areas have been designated in and adjoining the following settlements:
Newtownards, Comber, Donaghadee, Balloo, Ballyhalbert, Ballywalter, Carrowdore, Cloughey, Greyabbey, Killinchy, Kircubbin, Millisle, Portaferry, Portavogie, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch, Newcastle, Ardglass, Castlewellan, Crossgar, Killyleagh, Saintfield, Annsborough, Clough, Drumaness, Dundrum, Killough, Shrigley, Strangford and The Spa and in or adjoining the following small settlements:
Ballyboley, Ballycranbeg, Ballydrain, Ballystockart, Glastry, Kilmood, Annacloy, Bryansford, Carrickinab, Drumaghlis, Kilclief, Kilcoo, Kilmore, Loughinisland, Maghera, Raholp, Saul and Seaforde.
The LLPAs are identified on the relevant Settlement Maps, and Countryside Maps and further information on the environmental quality, integrity and character of each area is set out in Volumes 2 and 3 of the Plan.
Policy CON 3 Sites of Local Nature Conservation Importance
Planning permission will not be granted to development proposals that would be liable to have a significantly adverse effect on the nature conservation interests of these site.
Where a development is permitted which might adversely affect conservation interests, the Department will endeavour to ensure that such effects are kept to a minimum, and that appropriate mitigation measures are implemented.
In assessing development proposals on or adjacent to these sites, priority will be given to the protection of their nature conservation interests. Planning permission where granted will be subject to conditions in order to protect the conservation interest, or to require appropriate mitigation measures.
Where appropriate, developers may be asked to enter a Planning Agreement to secure these outcomes.
Sites of Local Nature Conservation Importance have been designated within the open countryside and Newtownards settlement limit as identified in Volumes 1,2 and 3 of the Plan and on the relevant Countryside Maps and in Appendix 5.

Areas of Townscape Character

Areas of Townscape Character are designated in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 6 and Addendum (PPS 6): Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage in Newtownards, Comber, Donaghadee, Greyabbey, Kircubbin, Kearney area, Newcastle, Dundrum, Bryansford and Seaforde as indicated on the relevant Settlement Maps and Countryside Map and Appendix 7 (for Kearney). Planning applications within Areas of Townscape Character will be considered in the context of prevailing planning policy. All settlements have their own identity and character, derived from the sense of place that comes from human activity, which over time has shaped the present built form. In some places, the variety, or consistency of the overall character, including style of construction and in some instances landscaping, is particularly distinctive or pleasing, and merits specific protection from inappropriate change.
The Department wishes to ensure that new development respects the distinctive character and appearance of the townscape in the designated areas. The Department also considers that the characteristic built forms in these areas can inform developers in preparing development proposals elsewhere in these settlements, in order to reinforce local identity. More detail on the traditional character, appearance and key features of the designated Areas of Townscape Character and advice on development within these areas is provided within the Countryside Section in Part 3 of this Volume (for Kearney) and within Volumes 2 and 3 of the Plan.
Policy CON 4 Areas of Significant Archaeological Interest
Planning permission will not be granted for proposals for large-scale development or the erection of masts or pylons within these areas unless it can be demonstrated that there will be no significant impact on the character and appearance of this distinctive historic landscape. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of proposals when viewed from the monuments and other critical viewpoints within this area and on the impression gained while moving in and around the various monuments and the area.
An Area of Significant Archaeological Interest is designated within and adjoining Downpatrick and adjoining Dundrum as identified in Volume 3 of the Plan and indicated on the relevant Settlement Maps and Down Countryside Maps.
The Department will use its development control powers to ensure that the setting of the monuments is preserved and that development does not have a detrimental effect on sites and monuments or the character, appearance or visual amenity of the surrounding landscape. Accordingly, there will be a general presumption against large-scale developments within the ASAI, such as quarrying or mining operations, waste disposal, industrial units or major tourism schemes and proposals for the erection of masts or pylons as it is considered the scale and overall impact of such proposals could be particularly damaging to the distinctive appearance, character and heritage interests of the area. Other development proposals will be determined on their merits having regard to the Department’s regional planning policies and the policies and guidance in this Plan.
Should planning permission be granted for development within this area the Department will require the implementation of mitigation works.
Policy CON 5 Areas of Archaeological Potential
Within designated Areas of Archaeological Potential, developers will normally be required to submit an archaeological assessment or archaeological evaluation to accompany planning applications.
Areas of Archaeological Potential are designated within the following settlements as identified in Volumes 2 and 3 of the Plan: Newtownards, Comber, Donaghadee, Ballyhalbert, Greyabbey, Millisle, Portaferry, Ardmillan, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch, Newcastle, Ardglass, Castlewellan, Clough, Killyleagh, Saintfield, Strangford and Kilclief and on the relevant Settlement Maps or Countryside Maps.
These areas indicate to developers that, on the basis of current knowledge, it is likely that archaeological remains will be encountered in the course of future development or change within the area. Submission of an archaeological assessment or evaluation in support of a planning application will therefore allow informed and reasonable decisions to be taken.
Prevailing regional policy on archaeological excavation and mitigation is currently set out in PPS 6 “Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage”.
Advice on the treatment of archaeological sites and monuments within residential developments is contained within the Department’s Publication “Creating Places: achieving quality in residential developments”.
Developers are strongly advised to liaise with the Department before submitting any proposals within these areas.
Previous Next
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)