Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy CO 2 The Developed Coast

Policy CO 2 The Developed Coast
This policy is superseded by PPS 16 Tourism (insofar as it relates to tourism development or the protection of tourism assets from inappropriate development).
To encourage and support proposals for the enhancement and regeneration of urban waterfronts.
Many of Northern Ireland's towns and cities have a coastal location. Within such urban areas the shoreline can exhibit a wide range in character and use - from docks and heavy industries, to tourist resorts and well maintained public recreation areas. In some settlements an attractive feature has been made of the waterfront while in others it can have a run-down or even derelict appearance. Certain waterfront areas contain impressive historic features such as harbours, lighthouses and sea defences some of which have been listed. The developed coastline includes not only urban areas but also other major developments such as ports, isolated industrial units and power stations.
There are many opportunities to enhance and regenerate areas of urban waterfront. Already much has been achieved by public and private investment. Favourable consideration will be given to further schemes proposed by local authorities or private investors to improve urban waterfronts.
Where new development requires a coastal location, it will normally be directed into urban areas, where there are many waterfront areas which would be suitable locations for such uses. The imaginative reuse of redundant ports and industrial areas will be encouraged. Tourist development can make a contribution to the regeneration and upgrading of existing seaside resorts.
In dealing with the future development of coastal settlements through the area plan process, new build development will generally be accommodated on the landward boundary of the settlement rather than permitting additional development along the coast.
In considering proposals for development on the coast within existing urban areas, opportunities will be sought to:
  • enhance the waterfront by the careful siting and design of new development and by the implementation of appropriate and attractive landscaping schemes;
  • retain and where possible seek further development of public access to and along the coast;
  • protect existing wildlife habitats and where appropriate seek opportunities for new habitat creation;
  • protect existing coastal open space within settlements;
  • conserve areas and/or buildings of historical architectural or landscape significance;
  • safeguard archaeological sites and remains;
  • encourage suitable tourist and recreational proposals and strengthen where appropriate the existing tourist role of settlements;
  • use the assets of the coastal location as development opportunities;
  • encourage uses which will help promote a vibrant and attractive waterfront; and
  • open up additional views of the sea from existing public areas.
Development proposals should be of a design appropriate to the particular location and of a high visual quality when viewed from adjacent public areas and from the shoreline. Proposals which would locate unsightly rear elevations or services provision on the coastal aspect will not normally be considered acceptable.
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