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Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy PSU 2 Major Projects

Policy PSU 2 Major Projects
Major Projects will be subject to the most rigorous examination of potential environmental impacts.
It is necessary to strike a balance between econimic growth and protection of the environment. All major development, both public and private, will be required in its conception, design, implementation and use to take full account of the need to protect the environment so that the present day, sometines short term, needs can be met without compromising the long term ability of future generations to benefit from the same or an enhanced environment, Stewardship must underline all environment policies. It is our duty to look after the environment prudently and conscientiously and to hand it on in good order to our children and their children.
Some major projects will be clearly acceptable. Others will cause concern because of their potentisl planning or environmental effects. The planning process will allow for the informed examination of all lissues associated with such proposals. In considering the balance between the development proposed and its potential effects some proposals may be approved because there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest. In any case where permission is granted appropriate conditions will be applied to minimise or mitigate adverse impacts or effects.
Major development projects will be assessed taking account of:
  • the contribution of the proposal to the national or regional economy or to meeting national or regional needs,
  • it's environmental effects; and
  • the availability of alternatives.
A developer will need to demonstrate that there is an overriding national or regional reason for the development and where appropriate, that a thorough exploration of alternatives has been made and that the alternatives are unsuitable.
It will be the responsibility of the developer to explore all environmental impacts both local and of wider consequence. The Department will consider not only the immediate needs and benefits but the wider long term environmental effects of the proposal.
Certain types of major public and private development projects require a formal assessment of their potential effect on the environment where planning permission is sought. The projects requiring formal environmental assessment are listed in the Schedules to the Planning ( Assessment of Environmental Effects)Regulations Northern Ireland 1989. The Department's Development Control Advice Note 10: Environmental Impact Assessment, gives general guidance on the implications of these regulations. Each application for a development of a type listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations must include an Environmental Statement. Those developments in Schedule 11 may require an Environmental Statement where the Department considers they have significant environmental effects. The Appendix to Developmnet Control Advice Note 10 lists criteria and thresholds for the categories of project on Schedule 11 which inidcate the types of development that, in the Department's view may require formal environmental assessment.
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