Planning Portal

Craigavon Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Settlement


Craigavon Borough has a strong urban character and its town settlement pattern is unique in Northern Ireland. The main urban area is comprised of the traditional towns of Lurgan and Portadown and the New Town development at Brownlow and Craigavon Central Area. The Plan will describe the New Town area as Central Craigavon. This distinctive urban pattern and the relationships within it present particular challenges and opportunities for future planning.
The estimated population of the Borough is 80,671 (2001 Census). Craigavon Urban Area has around 70% of this population (56,568).
Craigavon Borough also has an established tradition of farming and settlement patterns, focused on villages and smaller settlements in which the majority of rural dwellers live. These settlements also provide local community and service centres for those living in the countryside.

Regional Policy 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 Craigavon as a main hub.
The Department's regional planning policies for development in the settlements of Craigavon Borough are currently set out in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland and various Planning Policy Statements published to date. These provide a coherent framework for future development within towns, villages and smaller settlements as appropriate. There is currently an ongoing programme of PPS preparation being carried out by both the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of the Environment (DOE) (see Appendix 1).
Plan Policy SETT 1 Settlement Limits
A settlement limit is designated for the Borough' s main urban area which comprises Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon (Craigavon Urban Area). Land is zoned, within this settlement limit, for the principal land uses.
Settlement limits are designated for the following villages:
Settlement limits are designated for the following smaller settlements:
Favourable consideration will be given to development proposals within settlement limits and on 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 and planting;
  • there is no significant detrimental affect on amenities;
  • there is no significant conflict with conservation interests;
  • there are satisfactory arrangements for access, parking and effluent disposal;
  • any additional infrastructure necessary to accommodate the proposal is provided by the developer; and
  • the proposal is in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy and the policies, requirements and guidance contained in the Plan.
In accordance with PPS 1: General Principles, zoned land, along with key site requirements which developers will be expected to meet, is set out and shown in Part 3 of the Plan. The zoning of land provides a basis for rational and consistent decisions on planning applications and provides a measure of certainty about which types of development will and will not be permitted.
Within the settlement limit of Craigavon Urban Area, land is normally either developed or zoned for a particular use. There remains, however, some land which is neither developed nor zoned for a particular use and this is generally known as "white land" . Plan Policy SETT 1 applies to both zoned land and white land in the Urban Area. On some of this white land there are physical or environmental constraints to development and development will only be permitted if constraints can be overcome and the proposed development is acceptable in planning terms. Within the settlement limits of villages and smaller settlements land is not normally zoned for any particular use and is all termed "white land" . Plan Policy SETT 1 also applies to this.
Settlement limits are designated in order to protect the individual character of each settlement and to prevent ribbon development and urban sprawl in the surrounding countryside, whilst creating suitably located opportunities to accommodate future development needs. In Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon, areas have also been 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 policy and with the relevant Plan proposals, including the key site requirements set out for zoned land and other development sites as appropriate. 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 land and other development sites, as appropriate, 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.
Some development sites will require existing infrastructure, such as major water mains and sewers, and designated watercourses, to be safeguarded. This may include ensuring that such infrastructure is not built over and that necessary wayleave strips are retained to facilitate maintenance. It is the responsibility of the developer to liaise with the relevant Agencies in this regard.
The settlement limit and land use zonings for Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon and the settlement limits of the villages and smaller settlements are shown on the relevant maps. Specific requirements and guidance for each settlement and the zoned sites are contained in Part 3 of the Plan.
Plan Policy SETT 2 Villages and Smaller Settlements Phase 2 Development Land
Land is zoned in villages and smaller settlements as Phase 2 development land. This land will not be released for development, either in part or in full, prior to a review of village and smaller settlement development land in 2005. Until the review is completed, planning permission will normally only be granted for development proposals on Phase 2 land that are in accordance with Green Belt policies and will not prejudice comprehensive development. Exceptions may be made for health and educational uses where a need has been established.
Within some villages and smaller settlements land is zoned as having potential for development in a Phase 2 release. The phased release of land is intended to ensure that the settlements accommodate new development in a manner that will protect their identity, character and setting. Additionally, the availability of infrastructure to support new development maybe a major constraint in some settlements.
Plan Policy SETT 3 Protection of Access
A number of protected access points are PolicyTableed in the Plan on zoned land in Lurgan, Portadown, and Central Craigavon, and, where appropriate, within villages and smaller settlements.
Planning permission will be refused for development proposals that would prejudice the provision of satisfactory access through these access points to neighbouring backlands.
Elsewhere, within settlements, there will be a presumption against development proposals that would prejudice future potential development opportunities.
The Department PolicyTables the position of certain access points for a range of sites within the urban area, the villages and smaller settlements which it considers are important to protect. These are at locations where future access opportunities are limited by the extent of existing development or where, in the interests of traffic safety, access will be restricted to certain points. The Department wishes to ensure that development proposals will not encroach upon or prejudice the future provision of satisfactory access, including visibility splays, at these locations. Elsewhere within settlement limits, the Department wishes to ensure that proposals will not unduly restrict the development potential of adjoining lands and will, therefore, consider the effect any proposal may have on the accessibility of such lands.
The identification of these access points does not necessarily indicate that they are suitable in their present condition for use as access to the site. Depending upon the scale of the development proposed, access points may have to be upgraded to meet the Department for Regional Development's Roads Service standards. These access points are identified in the key site requirements set out in Part 3 of the Plan.


The Department will continue to encourage the physical regeneration within the central areas of towns, through the application, where appropriate, of the range of powers, measures and programmes available to it.
Previous Next
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)