SGS6 Strategic Allocation of Land for Economic Development

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

SGS6 Strategic Allocation of Land for Economic Development

The allocation of economic development land (industry and business) will be distributed between the three main towns as follows:

Table 5.5 Strategic Allocation of Land for Economic Development

Main Town

Area (hectares)

Ballymena

51 ha

Carrickfergus

73 ha

Larne

43 ha

Borough Total

167 ha

These zonings will be complemented by Policy ECD2 Retention of Economic Development Land which aims to protect land in settlements currently or last used for economic development use.

Justification and Amplification

In recognition of the LDP Spatial Growth Strategy and their position in the top tier of the settlement hierarchy, the principal focus for economic development growth will be within Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne. In regard to the RDS, this also reflects the regional status of both Ballymena and Larne as ‘main hubs’ and of Carrickfergus as a key location within the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area. Larne is also designated as a ‘gateway’. Carrickfergus and Larne have benefitted from recent major road improvements which have significantly improved connectivity to Belfast. This, plus the proximity of Ballymena to the International Airport, further underlines their status as economic hubs and supports the LDP in focussing employment growth in these locations.

Our small towns are all located in close proximity to our three main hubs and therefore land will not be zoned in this tier of the settlement hierarchy. The principal focus for economic development growth remains in the three main hubs. However, in line with the Spatial Growth Strategy, the LDP will facilitate opportunities for appropriate business growth in the small towns.

In line with the SPPS, land will also not be zoned for economic development in our villages and smaller settlements as this could inhibit flexibility. However, the Council will give favourable consideration to small scale proposals that will not compromise the LDP Spatial Growth Strategy and provided the proposal is of a scale, nature and design appropriate to the character of the settlement.

The Council will continue to support and facilitate opportunities for sustainable economic development and diversification in the countryside.

It should be noted that vacant or underutilised lands within settlements that were last used for economic development will also contribute to the supply of economic development land in the Borough.

The operational strategic subject policies for economic development are set out in Part 2.

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