PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Among the numerous and wide-ranging responsibilities of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland are planning and heritage protection. The Department is the unitary planning authority for Northern Ireland and is responsible for regulating development and the use of land in the public interest. The Planning Service, an agency within the Department, administers its planning functions. The identification, recording and conservation of the archaeological and built heritage in Northern Ireland is primarily a responsibility of the Environment and Heritage Service, also an agency within the Department.
The Department has a statutory duty, laid down in Article 3 of the Planning Order (NI) 1991 to formulate and co-ordinate policy for securing the orderly and consistent development of land and the planning of that development. The Department’s planning policies are normally issued through Planning Policy Statements and PPS 1 “General Principles” advises that:
“Planning Policy Statements set out the policies of the Department on particular aspects of land-use planning and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents will be taken into account in preparing development plans and are also material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.”
This Planning Policy Statement, PPS 6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage sets out the Department’s planning policies for the protection and conservation of archaeological remains and features of the built heritage and advises on the treatment of these issues in development plans1. It embodies the Government’s commitment to sustainable development and environmental stewardship.
The PPS is therefore of direct relevance to the public and those whose actions have a direct physical impact upon the natural or man-made environment including land owners, developers, government departments and agencies, district councils, other statutory undertakers, conservation organisations and voluntary bodies.
The policies of this Statement will supersede the following provisions of the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland:
- Policy SP 15: Heritage
- Policy HOU 14: Conversion to Houses
- Policy CON 4: Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
- Policy CON 5: Conservation Areas
- Policy CON 6: Archaeological Sites and Monuments
- Policy CON 7: Historic Parks and Gardens
- Bullet 3 of Policy GB/CPA 4: Redundant Buildings
Where the above policies are referred to elsewhere in the Planning Strategy the policies of this Statement will take precedence.
Nothing in this document should be read as a commitment that public resources will be provided for any specific project. All proposals for expenditure by the Department are subject to economic appraisal and will also have to be considered having regard to the overall availability of resources.
1 Paragraphs 2.23 & 2.24 of the PPS allow for the designation of local landscape policy areas by development plans. These areas may also include features of the natural environment. Accordingly these paragraphs insofar as they relate to features of the natural environment shall be treated as an addendum to PPS 2 "Planning and Nature Conservation".