PPS 4 (Draft): Industry, Business and Distribution
Policy Context: Regional Development Strategy
1.8 The Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025 (RDS), published by the Department for Regional Development in September 2001, provides a strategic spatial planning framework for Northern Ireland and guides physical development in the region up to 2025. It seeks to promote a balanced distribution of development which will facilitate economic growth and competitiveness, complementing Strategy 2010 and distributing the benefits of economic opportunity throughout the region.
1.9 The RDS provides an overarching strategic framework for the preparation of planning policy and development plans. The framework provides the basis for the strengthening of the regional economy, for the reduction of social disadvantage and for the planning of future development in a sustainable way.
1.10 The Strategy seeks to ensure that a network of economic opportunities is provided, with development plans making provision for a generous and continuous supply of land for employment purposes. It facilitates a spread of economic opportunities across the region, identifying a strategic network of hubs, corridors and gateways as the focus for economic activity and development opportunities. There is a strong commitment in the Strategy to the reinvigoration of town centres, ‘brownfield’ initiatives and the principle of mixed-use development.
1.11 Great importance is placed on the identified regional gateways as suitable locations for major economic development, freight distribution activities and additional employment generation. The promotion and exploitation of the potential for economic development at selected locations on the key transport corridors will involve creating and maintaining a regional portfolio of Strategic Employment Locations, facilitating the clustering of engineering and high technology office type businesses, and locating transport dependent industries in the corridors at well accessed nodes normally on the edge of towns.
1.12 While economic development opportunities will be focused on the cities and the urban hubs/clusters, the RDS seeks to facilitate the development of rural industries, businesses and enterprises in appropriate locations and of appropriate nature and scale, and to ensure they are satisfactorily integrated with the settlement or rural landscape.