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Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy DES 10 Landscaping

Policy DES 10 Landscaping
A landscape scheme will normally be required for all development proposals involving new building.
Trees are a vital element in the environment. Apart from their visual appeal, they help to reduce pollution, form screens to break up and soften the landscape, integrate developments into the landscape and are invaluable to many forms of wildlife.
Existing trees should be protected as an environmental resource. New development offers the opportunity to improve and enhance this resource, through the planting of new trees. A development site will be considered, not only in terms of building design but also, in terms of the contribution that it can make to the amenity of the surrounding area. Each development scheme involving new buildings will normally require a landscape scheme.
The requirements of a landscape scheme will include:
  • a full survey of existing landscape features such as trees, hedgerows and other vegetation, and archaeological and historic features;
  • details of the protection proposed, throughout the construction period, for all existing features which are to be retained;
  • appropriate provision for the planting and initial maintenance of new trees and vegetation; as well as
  • details of all hard and soft landscaping.
In areas with poor tree cover particular attention will be paid to the need for appropriate new tree planting in development proposals. Even where existing tree cover is good there may be a need to renew the tree stock. There will be a preference for native trees in the rural area.
Where a development proposal affects a site containing trees or woodlands of significant amenity value, a Tree Preservation Order may be made to protect the trees while the application is being considered.
There will be a presumption against proposals which cause unacceptable tree loss, which do not allow for successful retention of existing trees or which do not make adequate provision for replacement planting to compensate for the potential loss of trees which would result from development.
This policy applies to development sites in both urban and rural situations. Its basic objective is to sustain and increase a scarce local resource and it is intended to complement the landscaping requirements for built development set out in policies DES 2 and DES 5.
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