CS6 Developed Coast (Belfast Lough Shore)
The Developed Coast is designated along the Belfast Lough shoreline between Greenisland and Whitehead as shown on District Proposals Map 3.
Planning permission will only be granted for development proposals within the Developed Coast (Belfast Lough Shore) which meet the following criteria:
the development proposal is of overriding regional or sub-regional economic importance so as to outweigh any potential detrimental impact on the coastal setting and /or environment; or
the proposed development is for the provision of new flood defences or upgrading of existing flood defences to safeguard against coastal flooding15; or
it can be demonstrated that the proposed development will not have an unacceptable effect, either directly, indirectly, or cumulatively on the coastal setting and / or environment, including any heritage asset associated with the natural or historic environment.
Proposals that comply with the above criteria will be positively supported where they assist with the following aims:
the creation or enhancement of public access to the coast (for example through new or extended walkways, cycleways or green infrastructure);
the enhancement of public enjoyment of the coast (for example through the provision or improvement of amenity areas or minor works to provide for water based recreation such as fishing or canoeing); and
the delivery of environmental benefit (for example through the protection of wildlife or habitat).
Where permission is granted, and where appropriate, adequate mitigation and compensatory measures must be agreed and fully secured through planning conditions or a planning agreement.
All development proposals will also be required to meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP and have regard to the Marine Policy Statement and Draft Marine Plan for NI.
Justification and Amplification
The RDS (SFG5) requires the setting of the Belfast Metropolitan Area and its environmental assets (which includes the Belfast Lough Shoreline) to be protected and enhanced. The SPPS states that along the developed coast there will be a presumption in favour of development that promotes the enhancement and regeneration of urban waterfronts.
The Developed Coast along Belfast Lough extends from Greenisland to Whitehead. Although this shoreline is developed, it is an area of significant nature conservation and biodiversity interest, this being reflected in the range of natural environment designations pertaining to the coastal zone16. It is also of significant recreational and amenity value through facilities such as walkways, play spaces, beaches, quays and Carrickfergus Marina. This shoreline provides a distinctive setting to a number of assets associated with the historic environment of Mid and East Antrim, for example Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus Conservation Area, Shore Road Area of Townscape Character, and Sea Park Historic Park Garden and Demesne.
This policy will provide additional protection for the coastal environment, landscape/seascape and marine historic environment17, as well as the special natural and historic conservation interests of this area. The policy will not restrict appropriate development that avoids adverse impacts on these interests. It will also positively support development that respects the coastal location and setting whilst promoting public access to and enjoyment of the developed coast. Where development has the potential to have a detrimental impact on the coastal setting and/or environment, including any heritage asset associated with the natural or historic environment, adequate mitigation and compensatory measures must be agreed with Council and complied with. Full account must also be taken of any legal obligations associated with natural heritage/nature conservation designations along the Developed Coast. The Marine Policy Statement and draft Marine Plan for Northern Ireland will also be taken into account in assessing such proposals.