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Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Housing


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The need for new housing in Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough 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 those people with disabilities.
Whilst the majority of residential developments continue to locate within Dungannon, Coalisland and the larger villages, there has also been significant development pressure in many of the other settlements and for individual houses in the rural area. 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.

Regional Policy 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 Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough of 4,400 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.
Under the provisions of The Planning (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, the Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan is an ‘excepted plan’ for which the need to be ‘in general conformity with’ the RDS does not apply. The RDS has however, been a material consideration in formulating the Plan. Thus, the housing policies and proposals in the Plan 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.
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/recreational facilities, landscaping and neighbourhood facilities. For each site zoned for development in the towns, additional key site requirements which developers will be expected to meet are set out in Part 3 of the Plan. Guidance on the form of new housing development in villages is also contained in Part 3 of the Plan.
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 that will demonstrably result in the creation of quality places with a unique identity.
Planning Policy Statement 12 (PPS 12): Housing in Settlements, is being prepared by the Department for Regional Development. A consultation draft was published in November 2002.
In addition, the Department has published a revised Development Control Advice Note 8 (DCAN 8): Housing in Existing Urban Areas. This will be material to the determination of planning applications for small-unit housing within existing urban areas.
Plan Policy HOUS 1 Housing Zonings
257 hectares of land are zoned for housing within Dungannon and 121 hectares are zoned in Coalisland, to be released in two phases.

Phase 1 Housing Zonings:

109 hectares of land are zoned for Phase 1 housing in Dungannon and 80 hectares for Phase 1 in Coalisland.  Favourable consideration will normally be given to proposals for the comprehensive development of housing on such land subject to compliance with prevailing regional planning policy and the policies and key site requirements contained in the Plan (see Plan Policy SETT 1).

Phase 2 Housing Zonings:

148 hectares of land are zoned for Phase 2 housing zonings in Dungannon and 41 hectares for Phase 2 in Coalisland.  This land will be safeguarded for housing, but will not be released for development, either in part or in full, prior to a housing land review in 2005.  Until the review is completed, planning permission will only be granted on Phase 2 land for single dwellings that are in accordance with Green Belt policies - under Policy GB/CPA 1 of A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland or any subsequent revisions, and that do not prejudice comprehensive development.  Exceptions may be made for health and education purposes where a need has been established.
Following the review, land in Phase 2 identified for release will be subject to the controls under Phase 1.  The residual land will continue to be protected under the provisions of Phase 2.
Dungannon is the principal settlement within the Borough and is identified as a main hub in the Regional Development Strategy. Large scale housing development will continue to be located in the town where there is ease of access to employment opportunities and a range of shopping, recreation and community facilities. Dungannon is also the preferred location for new housing development in terms of infrastructure and communications. Coalisland also has an important role in providing for new houses as the Borough’s second key settlement.
The housing zonings will more than accommodate the anticipated need for additional dwellings over the Plan period, as identified by the housing growth indicators in the Regional Development Strategy. Accordingly, a phased approach to the release of housing land has been adopted. In distributing land between Phase 1 and Phase 2, a sequential approach has been adopted, taking into account previous zonings, commitments, land uses, opportunity to achieve a more compact settlement form and potential for comprehensive development.
Land within Phase 1 is sufficient to meet anticipated need well beyond the housing land review in 2005. Provided all the key site requirements for these sites are met, proposals for their comprehensive development will normally receive favourable consideration at any time over the Plan period. Phase 2 housing zonings will be held in a land bank and safeguarded for potential future housing development. The Department will monitor new housing development in Dungannon and Coalisland and the release of Phase 2 zonings will be the subject of a housing land review in 2005. The need to release this land, either in part or in full, will be dependent upon the uptake of Phase 1 land and the available capacity of Dungannon and Coalisland’s sewerage systems. Consideration will also be given to the Regional Development Strategy and any subsequent revisions.
Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 housing zonings are able to cater for a range of housing densities. However, some infrastructure improvements may be required and as a result, where necessary, individual sites may need to be developed in stages to keep pace with the provision of that infrastructure.
In zoning sites for housing, care is taken to ensure that these do not unduly interfere with environmentally sensitive areas, either in terms of features of the natural environment or heritage interest. However, on some sites, specific conservation and amenity interests will need to be adequately protected in designing the site layout. Key site requirements are set out for each housing zoning in Part 3 of the Plan and these should be addressed in the submission of comprehensive design schemes to accompany planning applications for the development of these sites.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 housing zonings are identified on Map Nos. 61a and 62a.
Plan Policy HOUS 2 Town Centre Housing
Protected town centre housing areas are designated in Dungannon town.
Changes of use of existing dwellings to non-residential uses will not normally be permitted within these areas. Elsewhere within the town centre, planning permission will normally be granted for residential uses above existing shops and commercial premises or as an integral part of mixed-use developments on Development Opportunity Sites.
The protected town centre housing areas based around Charlemont Street, Union Place, Circular Road/Castlefields, Park Road and Barrack Street are shown on the Dungannon Town Centre Map No. 61b. These areas contribute positively to the attractiveness, security, vitality and viability of the town centre and it is important that they are protected from pressures of other land uses. The key site requirements for many of the Development Opportunity Sites indicate that housing will be an acceptable use either in whole or as an integral part of the development in association with other uses.
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