Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Housing (Page 1 of 2)
The need for new housing in Cookstown District over the plan period will primarily be due to the formation of new households through continuing population increase and the long established trend towards smaller average household size. It is also recognised that there are a variety of different housing needs in terms of dwelling size, type and tenure. Of particular importance are the specialist needs of certain groups within society, such as those on limited incomes, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
In recent years much of the development pressure experienced in the District has been for individual houses in the rural area. Through the designation of villages, where there is a presumption in favour of individual dwellings and small housing developments, it will be possible to facilitate much of this demand. Dwellings proposed in the countryside will continue to be determined by the Department in accordance with the provisions of A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland or any subsequent prevailing regional planning policy.
The Department will also take account of the accommodation needs of the traditional Travelling Community in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy.
Regional Planning Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) takes a long-term perspective and sets out a strategic approach to the distribution and form of housing throughout Northern Ireland. The aim is to ensure the future pattern of housing, and its critical relationships with employment, transport and the environment are managed within the principles of sustainable development to secure the maximum benefits for all people.
The major themes in the RDS relating to housing include:
- managing housing growth and distribution;
- supporting urban renaissance; and
- achieving balanced communities.
The RDS has set a housing growth indicator up to 2015 for Cookstown District of 3,300 dwelling units. The target for the share of the housing growth to be accommodated within the existing urban areas is set at 60% for towns with over 5,000 population. Progress towards meeting this target will depend upon the nature and character of these towns and the likely availability of land and buildings, which should contribute to the urban housing drive.
As mentioned previously, under provision of The Planning (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 the Cookstown Area Plan is an 'excepted plan' for which the need to be in general conformity with the RDS does not apply.
The housing policies and proposals in the Plan will complement the regional policy context to ensure that an adequate supply of housing land is available to meet the housing needs of the Plan area in a manner consistent with the objectives of the Quality Initiative.
Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS 7): Quality Residential Environments requires designers of new housing schemes to pay careful attention to the characteristics of each development site, including the landform, landscape and wider setting. In this way, new buildings can be successfully integrated into their surroundings. Each site will be required to be developed in accordance with the provisions of PPS 7 and in so doing to make adequate provision for open space, landscaping and neighbourhood facilities. For each site zoned for development, additional key site requirements which developers will be expected to meet are also set out in Part 3 of the Plan. In the villages, village design statements can identify the features contributing to the character of the village and give guidance as to ways in which designs for new development might respond.
The policies contained in PPS 7 apply to all residential development proposals in Northern Ireland with the exception of proposals for single dwellings in the countryside which will continue to be assessed under policies contained in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland.
Supplementary planning guidance for residential development is contained in Creating Places - Achieving Quality in Residential Developments. It is the principal guide for use by developers in the design of all new housing areas. The guide is structured around the process of design and addresses the following matters:
- the analysis of a site and its context;
- strategies for the overall design character of a proposal;
- the main elements of good design; and
- detailed design requirements.
The guide emphasises that a flexible approach will be taken for designs which will demonstrably result in the creation of quality places with a unique identity.