SGS8 Tourism Strategy

The LDP Tourism Strategy comprises the following elements:

  • Protection and safeguarding of key tourism assets: Ensure key tourism assets (mainly significant features of the natural and historic environment that attract or have the potential to attract tourists) are protected, conserved and, where possible, enhanced. Delivered through policy on Safeguarding of Tourism Assets to protect their amenity, setting and tourism value.
  • Promote a sustainable approach to tourism development, including tourist accommodation and tourist amenities to meet future tourism demand: Direct tourism developments to settlements and carefully manage tourism development in the countryside in the interest of rural amenity and sustainability objectives. Delivered through policies on Tourism Development in Settlements, Tourist Amenities in the Countryside, Tourist Accommodation in the Countryside and Major Tourism Development in the Countryside – Exceptional Circumstances.
  • Identification of potential tourism growth areas: In addition to a presumption in favour of appropriate tourism development in all settlements, designate, along the Causeway Coastal Route, two tourism opportunity zones with accompanying policy at Carnfunnock Country Park and the former Magheramorne Quarry.
  • Environmental considerations: Tourism proposals will be required to meet the General Policy criteria as well as other relevant provisions of the LDP.
  • Contribution of tourism to sustainable economic development, conservation and urban regeneration: Delivered largely within settlements through council regeneration and place making initiatives. This will be supported in the LDP Local Policies Plan through policies on design and place making.

Justification and Amplification

In order to provide broad direction on the potential opportunities and constraints for tourism development in Mid and East Antrim Table 5.7 sets out three categories as follows:

  • Vulnerable
  • Sensitive
  • Opportunity

The potential for tourism development within each category is set out below.

Vulnerable Category: includes many of our already designated areas. In these areas the quality and character of the landscape is considered so special and/or the conservation interests are of such significance, that little or no development for tourism or recreation should be permitted within the majority of their extent. The reason is to safeguard the integrity of these assets which underpins their attractiveness to tourists.

Sensitive Category: includes the open countryside and a number of our already designated areas. In these areas the character of the landscape, the conservation interest or the existing level of development are such that whilst there may be scope for development, proposals must be sensitive to the particular characteristics of the surrounding environment. Sympathetic development, which by its nature and scale would not be damaging to nature conservation interests or historic environment, and which is sensitive to the landscape could be acceptable at some locations.

Opportunity Category: these areas include the remainder of urban and rural settlements particularly where these are located along the coastline. There are also two proposed Opportunity Zones, namely Carnfunnock Country Park and the former Magheramorne Quarry. Such areas are considered to offer opportunities for the development of a range of appropriate quality tourism and recreation schemes in order to build on the existing tourism base and enhance the tourism product. In some cases this may involve the expansion of existing tourism developments.

Table 5.7 Categories for Tourism Potential in Mid and East Antrim


Tourism Development should not be approved within majority of their extent


Tourism Development should be strictly controlled to respect local environment and characteristics of the area


Largely urban-based and two new proposed areas where majority of Tourism Development will be expected to be located

Undeveloped Coast

Developed Coast

Urban Remainder

Special Countryside Areas (SCAs)

The Countryside

Rural Settlements

Sites of Archaeological Interest
(ASAI, State Care Monuments, Scheduled Monuments)

Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Carnfunnock Country Park

Nature Conservation Designations
(Ramsar sites, SPAs/SACs, ASSIs, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves)

Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes

Former Magheramorne Quarry

Rural Landscape Wedges

Conservation Areas
(Gracehill Conservation Area Glenarm, Carnlough, Whitehead, Carrickfergus)



Areas of Townscape Character

Areas of Constraints on High Structures
(Islandmagee - Muldersleigh Hill and White Head, Slemish Mountain, Eastern Garron Plateau and Scarp Slopes, Knockdhu, Sallagh Braes, Scawt Hill to Glenarm Headland, Carrickfergus Escarpment and Lough Beg and the Lower Bann River Corridor)

Local Landscape Policy Areas (LLPAs)

Clár ábhair