Speaking at a launch event in the Magee Conservation Area, he released his department’s leaflet promoting a greater understanding of Conservation Areas in Northern Ireland.

The leaflet looks at preserving architectural gems as well as protecting the province’s towns for the enjoyment of future generations.

He said: “The leaflet explains the importance of Conservation Areas and the legal framework leading to their designation.

“It provides information on policy considerations to be taken into account in the determination of planning applications and the implications of Conservation Area designation for property owners.

“It also contains information and advice on the advantages of designation and how we all can play a part in ensuring that our conservation areas are conserved or enhanced.”

“The guide is an essential support mechanism for the designation and seeks to promote a high standard of design, which will help conserve or enhance the individual character and appearance of the Magee Conservation Area and protect the special quality of its townscape for the benefit of future generations.

“It also seeks to promote conservation-led regeneration which can make a contribution to economic vitality and growth by offering an attractive living and working environment.”

The Magee Conservation Area was established in 2006 in recognition of the area’s distinctive qualities.

The new guide will replace interim guidance, which has informed decisions since.

Mr Poots said it was an acknowledgement of the city’s unique attributes and a further indication of his department’s commitment to conservation.

Copies of the guide and information leaflet are available from the Londonderry Divisional Planning Office, Orchard House, Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AT.

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