Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy IC 4 Retention of Industrial Land

Policy IC 4 Retention of Industrial Land
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 4-Planning and Economic Development
To retain land currently or last used for industrial and business purposes for the continuance of employment uses.
The loss of industrial and commercial land within existing towns and villages to other uses can result in the erosion of a balanced provision of available industrial land and a decline in employment located near to large sectors of the workforce. The Department is keen to support the diversity of the local economy and the retention of existing sites for industry and curnt business which are well located and suited for such purposes.
The retention of industrial land in central locations can, not only make a substantial contribution to the renewal and revitalisation of towns, but also provide employment opportunities accessible to large sections of the urban population and the rural hinterland. The existence of redundant factory premises and derelict industrial land can be an important resource for the creation of new job opportunities in areas of high unemployment.
Planning permission will not normally be granted for the change of use, or the redevelopment for other uses, of sites or premises which were last used for industrial purposes. In particular, changes of use to offices or retailing, are unlikely to be acceptable. Redevelopment of existing industrial sites might include other uses, in addition to industry, as a specific regeneration initiative to meet the needs of a particular locality.
Exceptions to the policy will be where:
  • continued use of the existing site would be detrimental to the amenities of the surrounding area or would give rise to serious environmental problems;
  • the individual site has serious constraints making it unsuited to modem industry
  • an alternative use would secure the future of a building listed as being of architectural or historic merit;
  • the land is required for other purposes as set out in a statutory area plan; or
  • there is clearly a gross overprovision in the local supply of industrial land. In such cases redevelopment of these sites is preferable to development of greenfield sites.
Where buildings currently used for industrial purposes are no longer suitable for that use favourable consideration will be given to:
  • schemes to provide a range of small industrial and business units by the sub-division and adaptation of existing buildings; or
  • redevelopment of the site for industrial purposes.
Where there is no reasonable possibility of redevelopment ofrindustrial purposes, favourable consideration may be given to proposals for other commercial uses or an appropriate meded use package providing, where possible, new employment opportunities.
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