Planning

Planning – general

There are occasional planning applications made for developments in the Groomsport area.

You can make an objection to a planning application by post or email. You need to include your name and address, the planning reference number and the reasons for your concern.

This should be sent to: The Planning Officer, ANDC, 2 Church Street, Newtownards, BT23 4AP

email: planning@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

We would encourage objectors to consult the Planning Policy Statements at:

Planning Statements and Guidance

Area of Townscape / Village Character Questionnaire

North Down and Ards Council have posted a questionnaire on the planning section of their website, the purpose of which seems to be to canvas the opinion of people living within the zone affected by the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) 2015. This affects the residents of Groomsport because BMAP designates what are considered to be important urban zones as ‘Areas of Townscape / Village Character’ (ATCs).

Groomsport is included under the auspices of BMAP and additionally, has the harbour area designated as an ATC. You can perhaps get a flavour of the attraction of the area from this piece written by Paul Maddern in The Guardian – Winter beauty wrought by wear and tear.

You should study the following maps – produced as part of the BMAP brief, before you complete the questionnaire.

Groomsport:

1 - area of archaeological interest

2 - local landscape policy area, showing settlement development limits.

3 - area of village character

4 - composite map 6, showing open space, coastal policy area, housing land use policy area, housing limit etc

These maps can be accessed at: http://www.planningni.gov.uk/bmap_northdown_library_villages.htm

It is important to recognise that the ATC - shown most clearly by Map3, does not include the whole village – just the harbour area. Your comments should therefore focus on that area in particular.

It is worth bearing in mind that a comprehensive study was conducted in early 2013 by The PaulHogarth Company and an Integrated Village Plan was produced. You can access the plan here on the GVA website.

The Groomsport Village Association committee hopes that the view from Main Street, across the harbour towards the coasts of Antrim and Scotland would be maintained following any future developments and that the view from the harbour, towards the village would not be sullied by the inappropriate placement of apartment blocks etc. in the Main Street area.

We would stress that, in our view, future development within the Groomsport ATC should be very limited, in order to preserve this village as a retreat from the bustle of local high density urban areas. The character should be of a calm, relaxing seaside village – a small step back into the past perhaps! We would emphasize that the integrity of the grassy areas of Holme Field and the harbour entrance area, should be preserved.

We think that development, whether it be within the constraints of traditional style and materials or using more modern, innovative styles and materials, should be sympathetic and complementary to the existing built environment. High quality, well justified design is of paramount importance within the Groomsport ATC.

We would encourage all villagers to complete the questionnaire – available here.

Rifle and Pistol Outdoor Shooting Range at Ballymacormick

The Groomsport Village Association Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday 11th August. This was the first official opportunity for the planning application LA06/2016/0523/F to be discussed.
There was detailed discussion about all aspects of the planning application for the Ballymacormick Outdoor Rifle and Pistol shooting range.
The Committee came to the unanimous decision that this facility (if constructed) would make a serious and adverse impact, on the quality of life for people and wildlife living within the Groomsport Area of Benefit. Our constitution compels and empowers the Committee to act in the interests of the people of Groomsport in such circumstances.
The Committee therefore decided to embark on a series of actions, over the next few months. These actions will be timed to keep this issue to the forefront of everyone concerned.
All Committee members had already submitted individual written objections, prior to the meeting. In addition to this, a letter of objection has been composed and forwarded by email to the local Planning Officer. The GVA will also be contacting all local councillors, MLAs and our local Member of Parliament, about this issue.
You can copy this sample letter if you wish to object.