Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan
The Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) is a development plan for a large area of Northern Ireland dealing with areas of housing, employment, environment and transport for the next generation.
It was launched in November 2004 and covers the City Council districts of Belfast and Lisburn and the Borough Council areas of Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Newtownabbey and North Down.
It will impact on a population of 650,000, representing 40 per cent of people in Northern Ireland and it includes proposed initiatives in a number of areas relating to planning for the future.
The Partnership has been proactively involved in the consultations and responded to the initial report; raising issues of concern in housing encroaching into the Belfast Hills, access to the Belfast Hills and landscape designations.
The areas the Partnership has responded to include housing proposals at Lagmore, Colin Glen, Hannahstown, Whiterock, Ligoniel, Antrim Road and Carnmoney Hill.
We appeared at the BMAP inquiry as another voice for the hills, conscious that conflict can arise between communities, developers and the Planning Service.
We went through all 3,700 initial responses to the BMAP proposals and submitted our responses; pinpointing our concerns about access routes that had been marked in the plan and proposed housing developments that are located close to areas such as the Colin Glen Valley.
We counter-objected to 30 local plans – most of which were seeking to build housing further up into the mountains.
We appeared in front of the public inquiry, making sure that the local environment had a platform at the proceedings.
The inquiry sessions have been running since May 2007.
Other issues BMAP seeks to address are:
- Green belt for entire rural area
- Coastal policy to protect amenity of coast
- Built heritage protected
- Areas of High Scenic Value (AoHSV) to protect Belfast/Castlereagh Hills
- Urban & rural Landscape wedges to protect open areas between settlements
- Additional protection for Lagan Valley Regional Park;
- 246 sites of local nature conservation importance;
- 296 local landscape policy areas;
- Community greenways;
- Improved walking and cycling provision
- Enhanced public transport;
- Improved rail and bus services
The Partnership will continue to scrutinize BMAP and place objections were needed while working in partnership with all those involved in the Belfast Hills. In the meantime, we continue to review and respond to current individual planning applications – click Planning.