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Craigavon Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Community Uses

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Responsibility for the provision of educational facilities in Craigavon Borough rests mainly with the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), supplemented by a number of voluntary authorities. The Department of Education for Northern Ireland retains overall responsibility for education policy and finance.

Pre-School Education

The Government is committed to the provision of pre-school education for all children whose parents wish it. This commitment is likely to be met through a combination of statutory, voluntary and private sector provision, co-ordinated by the Pre-School Advisory group of the SELB. It is anticipated that the demand for additional facilities for the provision of pre-school education in Craigavon Borough will be met on the sites of existing nursery and primary schools, or at other appropriate locations within settlements.

Primary and Secondary School Education

St Teresa's Primary School, Tarry Lane, Lurgan, has been awarded Capital Funding by the Department of Education to build a new primary school to cater for an enrolment of 291-320 children. The recommended opinion is to build the school on a new site located opposite the current school and to the south side of Tarry Lane, subject to planning approval. The Department identifies an area of Education and associated Open Space for this purpose as shown on Map No. 5 Craigavon Urban Area.

Further Education

Further Education facilities in the Borough are provided by the Upper Bann Institute of Further and Higher Education at campuses in Portadown and Lurgan, as well as in Banbridge. It is anticipated that any land requirements for the expansion of these facilities over the plan period can be met on the existing sites.

Libraries and Youth Services

The SELB is also responsible for library provision within the Borough. There are branch libraries in Portadown, Lurgan and Brownlow as well as an Information Service at Portadown. A mobile library service is provided for the remainder of the Borough. No change in respect of library facilities is anticipated over the plan period.
The SELB's Youth Service provides youth centres in Lurgan (at Taghnevan Youth and Community Centre and at the Lurgan Youth Centre) and in Brownlow (at Tullygally, Drumgor and the Brownlow Youth Resource Centre) as well as providing financial assistance to a number of church and community based clubs throughout the Borough.

Health and Social Services

It is the currently the responsibility of the Southern Health and Social Services Board to assess the health and social care needs of people living within Craigavon Borough and, with General Practice Fundholders, to secure care to meet those needs in keeping with available resources. Provision of community health and social care services to meet those needs at present rests mainly with the Craigavon and Banbridge Community Health and Social Services Trust, supplemented by a number of smaller agencies. The Department of Health and Social Services retains overall responsibility for policy and funding of major capital works.
The largest health care facility in the Borough is Craigavon Area Hospital which offers an accident and emergency service, 24-hour emergency operating theatres and a day surgery. There is also a number of day centres within the Borough and a number of specialised facilities which includes Moylinn House Resource Centre in Craigavon, Bocombra Child and Family Unit and Forest Lodge both in Portadown, and Trasna House in Lurgan. In addition to these, there is a number of private residential and nursing homes located throughout the Borough. No major development in respect of health and social services facilities is anticipated over the plan period.

Regional Policy Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) identifies Craigavon as a main hub. The RDS states that the town centres of these hubs will be developed as locations providing employment, essential services and a range of cultural and leisure amenities. Decisions on the future location of new public sector development for a variety of functions, including health and education, will take into account the strategic role of the main towns.
The Department's regional planning policies for community uses in Craigavon Borough are currently set out in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland.
Plan Policy COM 1 Community Uses
Planning permission will be granted for community uses within settlement limits provided this can be integrated into comprehensive development, particularly on zoned sites, and where all the following criteria are met:
  • there is no significant detrimental effect on amenity;
  • there is no significant conflict with conservation interests;
  • the proposal is in keeping with the size and character of the settlement and its surroundings;
  • where necessary, additional infrastructure is provided by the developer;
  • the proposal is not located on zoned industrial land;
  • there are satisfactory access, parking and effluent disposal arrangements; and
  • the proposal is in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy and the policies, requirements and guidance contained in the Plan.
Applications for planning permission for community related facilities will be considered in the context of prevailing regional planning policy and the Plan policies and proposals. An unforeseen demand for new community facilities may arise over the lifetime of the Plan. Accordingly, a flexible approach is required in considering such development within settlement limits in order to make the most effective use of existing facilities, infrastructure, utilities and resources. For the purposes of interpreting this policy, Community Uses refers to those uses specified in Use Classes 13 and 15 of the Planning (Use Classes) Order (Northern Ireland) 1989 as amended.
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