4. Vision and Strategic Objectives

Closeddate_range16 Oct, 2019, 9:30am - 11 Dec, 2019, 5:00pm

4.1 Vision

4.1.1Given the close inter-relationship and statutory link between the LDP and the Community Plan, our Vision for the LDP is based on the Community Plan vision, in that it aspires to improve the quality of life for everyone. However, it is adapted to place special emphasis on the particular place making role of the LDP and on three important elements that contribute to good place making. The vision for the LDP is:

Mid and East Antrim will be shaped by high quality, sustainable and connected places for people to live, work, enjoy, invest and visit, so as to improve the quality of life for all

4.1.2The Vision is a positive statement that expresses Council’s aspiration of what the planning system should strive to deliver for Mid and East Antrim by 2030. Because our Community Plan has been shaped by extensive consultation with the public and a wide range of stakeholder groups, Council is assured of the authenticity of this Vision for the Borough. Whilst a range of partner organisations will work with Council to improve the quality of life for everyone, the specific contribution of the LDP will be to deliver development that is sustainable and of high quality and that helps to create good places.

4.1.3In seeking to realise this Vision, the LDP will strive to deliver sufficient housing that is of good quality, in locations convenient to jobs and services and that meets local requirements in regard to factors such as size, house type and affordability. Quality residential development will also be addressed through appropriate provision of open space, landscaping and links to a wider green infrastructure network within settlements and linking to the surrounding countryside.

4.1.4The LDP will aim to maintain the individual identities of our towns, villages and smaller rural settlements. This will require the conservation of heritage assets, enhancement of town and village centres as key places for social and economic activity, and protection of the setting of the settlement.

4.1.5Quality of life is also influenced by the economic prosperity of individuals and communities. Mid and East Antrim has long been a centre for local entrepreneurship, as well as a home for larger scale manufacturing. Unfortunately, the recent closures of some of these larger enterprises has resulted in significant job losses and negative impacts on our local economy. Council, in partnership with other organisations, is seeking to instigate economic recovery and greater diversification through a number of mechanisms and initiatives, for example to encourage entrepreneurship, support business growth and enhance labour skills. The planning system also has a role in this. The LDP will seek to meet the land requirements and the necessary infrastructure to facilitate new economic development, particularly for new and emerging sectors which offer the prospect of well paid jobs and financial security for our citizens.

4.1.6The character, quality and diversity of the natural and historic environment of Mid and East Antrim is arguably its greatest asset and key to the unique character and identity of the area. Such assets as the Antrim Coast Road, the Gobbins Cliff Path, Carrickfergus Castle, and Slemish mountain not only express this identity, but also serve to underpin our growing tourism sector and support the local economy. The LDP will therefore seek to protect such assets and their wider settings from inappropriate or unnecessary development, and where possible enhance their appeal for the enjoyment of visitors and local communities.

4.2 Strategic Objectives

4.2.1The strategic objectives are designed to assist in the delivery of the complementary Visions of the Community Plan and the LDP whilst taking full account of the regional direction set out in the RDS, the SPPS and a range of other government strategies, including the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS). The LDP strategic objectives encompass the three ‘pillars’ of sustainable development which embrace economic, social and environmental priorities.

4.2.2The SPPS requires planning authorities to deliver on all these themes in a balanced way. Accordingly, in setting out these strategic objectives for the LDP, no one objective or theme is regarded as having priority over any other. This recognises that all are to some degree inter-related and to a large extent, mutually beneficial. The LDP strategic objectives should therefore be seen as collectively contributing to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.3

4.2.3The LDP strategic objectives set out below largely reflect those proposed in our POP, given the strong support emerging from responses to the public consultation. However, some amendments have been made to take account of specific comments raised through the public consultation on the POP, including the views of some statutory consultees.

Economic objectives

LDP Topic Areas:

Sustainable Economic Growth
Transportation, Infrastructure and Connectivity

Most Related Community Plan Theme:

Sustainable Jobs and Tourism

Most Related SPPS Core Planning Principle:

Supporting Sustainable Economic Growth

  1. To provide a sufficient supply and choice of sites for business and employment uses so as to assist in promoting sustainable economic growth in Mid and East Antrim and in meeting the locational needs of particular sectors, including new and emerging sectors;
  2. To support and sustain vibrant town centres in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus;
  3. To protect strategically important transportation assets and routes (including disused transport routes) and, where possible, to facilitate enhanced connectivity within Mid and East Antrim and between the Borough and other centres;
  4. To support tourism as a key growth sector in Mid and East Antrim by facilitating opportunities for sustainable tourism development and by safeguarding key tourism assets from inappropriate development;
  5. To facilitate sustainable economic development in the countryside, provided it is suitably located and is of an appropriate nature and scale for the rural context;
  6. To facilitate the provision or upgrading of public utilities infrastructure (including water, wastewater, energy and telecommunications) to meet economic and community needs; and
  7. To support the generation of energy, particularly from renewable sources, in a balanced way that takes due account of environmental impacts and on sensitive or vulnerable landscapes.

Social Objectives

LDP Topic Area:

Building Sustainable Communities

Most Related Community Plan Themes:

Improving Health and Wellbeing
Improving Community Safety and Cohesion

Most Related SPPS Core Planning Principles:

Improving Health and Wellbeing
Supporting Good design and Positive Place Making
Creating and Enhancing Shared Space

  1. To support the role of main towns, small towns, villages, and small settlements in accordance with the LDP Spatial Growth Strategy and commensurate with their place in the settlement hierarchy;
  2. To support rural communities by providing appropriate opportunities for sustainable development in the countryside;
  3. To provide a sufficient supply of land for new mixed tenure housing in convenient locations to meet the anticipated housing need of around 7,500 dwellings for the period 2012 to 2030, including any identified special housing needs;
  4. To deliver quality residential environments (including associated public open space and linkages to green infrastructure networks);
  5. To facilitate confirmed needs for the development of new health, educational, recreational and community services at locations accessible to local communities through various modes of transportation;
  6. To support, and where possible enhance, the recreation and leisure offer within Mid and East Antrim, including safeguarding and promoting access to the coast and to heritage assets;
  7. To promote active travel and increased opportunities for walking and cycling while protecting existing active travel routes and networks; and
  8. To facilitate regeneration initiatives, particularly where they will provide for quality public places and ‘shared spaces’ that are accessible to and valued by everyone, or where they improve the quality of life for disadvantaged local communities.

Environmental objectives

LDP Topic Areas:

Countryside Strategy
Stewardship of our Built Environment and Creating Places
Safeguarding our Natural Environment

Most Related Community Plan Themes:

Our Environment
Good Health and Wellbeing

Most Related SPPS Core Planning Principles:

Preserving and improving the Built and Natural environment
Improving Health and Wellbeing

  1. To protect, conserve and where possible, enhance environmental quality, biodiversity, and the natural processes underpinning the delivery of ecosystem services in Mid and East Antrim;
  2. To protect areas of high quality landscape within the Borough, particularly those which are designated within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  3. To protect sites designated for their nature conservation or scientific importance and to avoid harm to protected species;
  4. To safeguard the unique character and amenity of our coastline (particularly the undeveloped coast), loughs and the main river corridors;
  5. To protect, conserve and where possible enhance our historic environment, including the full suite of heritage assets which are associated with the historical evolution of Mid and East Antrim;
  6. To avoid new development in areas known to be at significant risk from flooding, coastal change or land instability, taking account of increased vulnerability associated with climate change;
  7. To contribute towards climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, where practicable through the planning system;
  8. To promote and facilitate the use of energy, water and drainage, and mineral resources in an efficient and sustainable manner and to support initiatives for the reduction and recycling of waste;
  9. To promote high quality design standards in all development so as to reflect local distinctiveness and further positive place-making; and
  10. To focus significant new development in accessible locations particularly for public transport services and to promote integration between transportation and new development so as to reduce the need for travel and to reduce dependency upon travel by private car generally.
  • 3 - This is the United Nations Assembly definition of sustainable development, which in turn is reflected in the RDS 2035 and supported by the SPPS.

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