Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy DES 3 The Settings of Towns and Villages

Policy DES 3 The Settings of Towns and Villages
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
To protect the settings of towns and villages from inappropriate development and urban sprawl.
A settlement's identity can be as much as a result of its setting, within the surrounding countryside, as with the quality of its buildings.
Landscapes around settlements have a special role to play in maintaining the distinction between town and country, in preventing coalescence between adjacent built-up areas and in providing a rural setting to the built-up area. However, proximity to urban populations brings special problems in some locations. There are often exceptional pressures for new development - demands for access, vandalism, rubbish dumping and trespass, creating problems for landowners. The fabric of the landscape can easily become downgraded if unprotected.
The principle of drawing a limit of development around each settlement, in the development plan, is partly to promote and partly to contain new development within that limit and so maintain the clear distinction between countryside and built up area. Some urban fringe landscapes will be more sensitive than others and, where appropriate, will be designated Green Belts.
Applications for built development in the countryside in the immediate vicinity of any defined settlement limit, or on a site which clearly mars the distinction between the open countryside and the built-up edge of the settlement will not normally be approved. Additionally urban fringe landscapes within Green Belts or Countryside Policy Areas will be subject to policies GB/CPA 1, GB/CPA 2, GB/CPA 3, GB/CPA 4.
Urban fringe developments should complement rather than detract from the amenity of the Green Belt or Countryside Policy Area. Similarly care must be taken to ensure that the visual amenities of the Green Belt or CPA are not injured by proposals which are conspicuous from the CPA.
Where green spaces are situated on the edge of urban areas and within the development limits, they may be of importance as significant links and buffers between the urban edge and open countryside. In considering planning applications for development in these spaces, special regard will be given to the relationship of sites to the open countryside; the need to protect green links between town and country; and the need to retain existing, and to create new, buffer areas to soften the impact of development on the urban edge.
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