Planning Portal

Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Settlement (Page 1 of 2)


Cookstown District has a strong rural settlement character with approximately two thirds of its population currently living in villages or the countryside. Major development proposals in the District have, nevertheless, centred primarily on the larger settlements, particularly Cookstown.
Cookstown is the principal administrative and commercial centre for the District. It is also the main industrial base, especially in manufacturing. Between 1981 and 2001 the town's population increased by 22%.
The four largest villages of the District, Moneymore, Coagh, Pomeroy and Stewartstown, have an important role as local social, educational and commercial centres for areas of rural hinterland. Elsewhere in the rural area a large number of smaller villages have each provided a focus for development which might otherwise have been scattered throughout the countryside.

Regional Planning Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) sets out a Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) to guide the physical development of the Region to 2025. The SDS is a hub, corridor and gateway framework designed to:
  • guide physical development throughout Northern Ireland over the next 25 years, subject to adjustment on review;
  • facilitate economic growth by identifying a network of locational opportunities for investment and development;
  • accommodate the necessary housing growth;
  • promote balanced community development;
  • create the conditions for improved and equitable access to a range of employment, commercial, health, education and community services across urban and rural areas; and
  • protect and enhance the natural and built environments.
The Spatial Development Strategy specifically identifies Cookstown as a main hub.
The Department's regional planning policies for development in the settlements of Cookstown District are currently set out in the various Planning Policy Statements published to date and A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland. These provide a coherent framework for future development within towns, villages and dispersed rural communities as appropriate. There is currently an ongoing programme of PPS preparation being carried out by both DRD and DOE
Plan Policy SETT 1 Settlement Limits
Favourable consideration will be given to development proposals within settlement limits including zoned sites provided the following criteria are met:
  • the proposal is sensitive to the size and character of the settlement in terms of scale, form, design and use of materials;
  • the proposal respects the opportunities and constraints of the specific site and its surroundings and, where appropriate, considers the potential for the creation of a new sense of place through sensitive design;
  • there is no significant detrimental affect on amenities;
  • there is no significant conflict with recognised conservation interests;
  • there are satisfactory arrangements for access, parking and sewage disposal;
  • where appropriate, any additional infrastructure necessary to accommodate the proposal is provided by the developer; and
  • the proposal is in accordance with the key site requirements and guidance contained in Part 3 of the Plan.
A settlement limit is designated for Cookstown and land zoned for the principal land uses. Settlement limits are also designated for the following villages:
Ardboe, Ardtrea, Ballinderry, Ballylifford, Ballyronan, Churchtown, Coagh, Desertcreat, Donaghey, Drapersfield, Drummullan, Dunnamore, Dunman, Gortacladdy, Grange, Killeenan, Moneymore, Moortown, Orritor, Pomeroy, Sandholes, Stewartstown, The Loup, The Rock, and Tullyhogue.
Settlement limits are designated in order to protect the individual character of each settlement and to prevent ribbon development and urban sprawl into the surrounding countryside, whilst creating suitably located opportunities to accommodate future development needs. In Cookstown, areas are also zoned for the principal land uses to promote orderly growth.
It must be stressed that inclusion of land within settlement limits does not imply automatic consent for any particular development, even on zoned sites. All development should contribute to a sustainable and quality environment.
The Department will require development proposals to be designed and implemented in accordance with prevailing regional planning policies and with the relevant Plan Proposals, including the key site requirements set out for zoned land. The key site requirements set out the most important matters which developers will need to address in bringing forward proposals for specific sites. They focus on the main infrastructure requirements and local design requirements.
Developers should, however, note that while the key site requirements for the development of zoned sites are set out in the Plan, the need for certain supplementary infrastructure works and/or mitigation measures necessary to facilitate the specific scale and form of development proposed may only be identified at planning application stage. An example may be as a result of an Environmental Impact Assessment or a Transport Assessment.
Many development sites will require the improvement of existing infrastructure and/or the provision of additional supplementary infrastructural works to enable the development to take place. The infrastructural works may include transport infrastructure, water and sewerage or land drainage. It is presently government policy that developers should bear the cost of works required to facilitate their development proposals. This policy applies to both public and private sector developments. Where appropriate, planning agreements under Article 40 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 may be used to enable developers to proceed. Developers are urged to liaise early in the preparation of their proposals with the relevant Department, Agency or service provider.
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