Planning Portal

Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland

As Minister for the Economy and the Environment I have had the pleasure of visiting many parts of Northern Ireland. Everywhere I am struck by the variety and the distinctive quality of the rural landscape.
I appreciate that many Ulster people identify with rural communities and wish to live in the countryside. The countryside, however, can only absorb development that it well designed and fits in to its landscape setting.
The Department of the Environment gave a commitment in the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland to produce guidance to prospective developers and in publishing this Design Guide it is hoped to improve the quality of rural development. I commend it to all who would wish to build in the countryside.
I would encourage prospective developers to study the Guide and to talk to planning staff before submitting a planning application.
The countryside is one of Northern Ireland's greatest assets and it is in everyone's interest to protect it from inappropriate or unsympathetic development. District Councils, rural communities, applicants, agents, builders and planners working together can ensure that new development makes a positive contribution to the landscape. In this way, the amenity of the countryside will be conserved and developed for the benefit of this and future generations.
Minister for the Economy and the Environment
May 1994
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