Page 15 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
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Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Considering the place: Rural Northern Ireland Landscape considerations Northern Ireland has a rich and varied rural landscape. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency in its assessment iden- tified 130 distinct Landscape Character Areas. Designers of rural social housing should be aware of each area’s distinct features and respond appropriately. Within this context there are four generalized areas which, especially in the past generation, have experienced widely different development influences. THE UPLAND AREAS Within these broad areas there is a rich mosaic of individual landscapes, with the following particularly Mostly higher than 250 metres above sea level, and largely devoid of human occupation. These areas of ridges and distinctive areas:- crests, extensive open moors, hill grazing and conifer plantations, are most extensive across the Sperrins, the Antrim Hills and in Fermanagh and West Tyrone. Rathlin Island Portrush Ballycastle REMOTER RURAL AREAS Coleraine THE FLAT THE ANTRIM These extend across the centre, west, north and south of the Region, beyond the distance that most are willing or able to LANDS OF COAST & GLENS commute daily into the Greater Belfast area. This area includes much of the drumlin lowlands so evocative of the North- THE FOYLE BASIN ern Irish landscape of hills interspersed with small lakes or wet-lands, winding minor roads, pastoral fields with hawthorn L’DERRY hedgerows and small farms. Within this area there is considerable difference between those areas closer to the larger THE BANN VALLEY towns and the more remote communities; particularly in south and west Fermanagh, west Tyrone and mid Ulster. The FOYLE LOWLANDS decline of rural communities remains a concern within many of these areas. VALLEY Strabane Ballymena THE HILLS & Magherafelt RURAL AREAS IN PROXIMITY TO THE REGIONAL CITIES AND TOWNS MOUNTAINS OF Antrim MID-ULSTER The main towns typically have a wide range of services, facilities and opportunities and a greater influence on neigh- THE SHORES OF bouring rural areas. The largest of these towns have considerable influence on their neighbouring rural areas including:- Cookstown LOUGH NEAGH BELFAST • Derry city and its urban satellites, with a population of almost 100,000; Omagh & THE BANN VALLEY • Newry city and its urban satellites, with a population of about 45,000; • The north coast triangle area of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart, with a population of about 40,000; Dungannon LISBURN THE ARDS • Ballymena and its nearby villages, also with a population of nearly 40,000; THE ERNE PENINSULA & LECALE • Tyrone’s county town, Omagh, with a population of 25,000, and in addition; LAKELANDS • The large towns/service centres including Enniskillen, Strabane, Dungannon, Cookstown and Magherafelt. Enniskillen ARMAGH THE DRUMLIN BELT Downpatrick RURAL AREAS WTHIN THE COMMUTER BELT OF URBANISED GREATER BELFAST NEWRY THE MOURNES & The Greater Belfast Metropolitan Area has a major impact on those rural areas that are relatively accessible. Typically THE RING OF GULLION these rural areas are close to the main road network radiating out from the Greater Belfast area. These areas, particularly within the past 40 years, have experienced a large influx of new residents often without any significant ties or input into their local rural community and along with major changes in agriculture have had a major impact on the rural landscape. 14 15
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