Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: The Coast

Northern Ireland is noted for its beautiful and relatively unspoilt coast including such well known features as the Giant's Causeway (World Heritage Site), Benone Strand, Antrim Coast Road, Strangford Lough and the Mournes Coast. The coastline - which is some 650 kilometres in length - is an unique part of our natural heritage.
The undeveloped coast includes a wide variety of landscapes many of which are of high scenic quality. It is also of immense importance in terms of its scientific interest, nature conservation value and its wildlife habitats. Coastal areas have also attracted settlement and provided food for man since earliest times. Today the coast is still the location of many of our towns while its seaports provide a strategic economic link to Britain and Europe. It is important that the undeveloped coastal environment is protected - in particular from increasing urbanisation, industry, pollution and recreational demands. Opportunities exist within coastal towns not only to locate developments which require a coastal location but also to enhance and regenerate existing waterfront areas.
The landward limit of the coastal zone is more difficult to define but it will generally be determined by the geographical extent of coastal natural processes and human activities related to the coast. In some areas the coastal zone will be relatively narrow - for example along cliff lines, however in low-lying areas and estuaries it will be much wider.
The Coast section of the Regional Planning Policies contains the following policies:
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