The Commons, Donaghadee

To sign up for the Zoom Consultation Session on Thursday 24 February 2022, 7.00pm- 9.00pm, please email

Consultation: The Commons Masterplan, Donaghadee

The Council has appointed AECOM as a landscape design led multi-agency disciplinary team to prepare a Masterplan for the Commons.

The Masterplan will seek to re-image the area as a great destination that can strengthen the market positioning and appeal of Donaghadee – both within Ards and North Down but also across Northern Ireland. 

The need for Commons Masterplan was identified in the Donaghadee Town Centre Masterplan, which sets out the strategic vision for the town as agreed following extensive local consultation.  The realisation of the Town Centre Masterplan continues to be overseen by the Donaghadee Town Advisory Group and the document is ‘live’ and flexible. Read the Donaghadee Town Centre Masterplan at Regeneration | Ards and North Down Borough Council

Within the Town Centre Masterplan, the Commons is identified as a key access point, a significant developmental opportunity, a hub for leisure and recreation and an opportunity for heritage and tourism products.

The draft Masterplan for the Commons has been developed by AECOM in conjunction with the Council and following engagement with several key stakeholder groups.  This engagement has helped to develop a greater knowledge of local aspirations for the development of the Commons, an improved understanding of the site and identified challenges and opportunities.

From this several proposals for The Commons Coastal Park have now been identified. 

We want to hear from you.

The proposals are not fully developed and we want to hear from local residents so their views can be reflected in the final Masterplan. 

An online survey is currently open for residents to share their views. The survey is available via the link below and the deadline for receipt of comments is Monday 28 February 2022.

Complete The Commons Survey on Citizen Space here

Online Consultation Events

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and being mindful of the safety of our residents, it has been agreed that the two consultations should be online via Zoom.

The project team will be available at both sessions to present the draft proposals, hear the views of key stakeholders and take any relevant questions. The dates and times for the consultations are below.

  • Thursday 27 January 2022, 7.00pm- 9.00pm
  • Thursday 24 February 2022, 7.00pm- 9.00pm (Please note, content at this session is a repeat of the previous public consultation held on Thursday 27 January 2022.)

Please note registration is required. For more information or to register, please email

After the consultation period ends, all responses received will be collated, reviewed, and considered before the development of the final Commons Coastal Park Masterplan.  The Masterplan will be a working document and the implementation of the action plan will be subject to the Council sourcing and successfully securing funding.

Summary of Proposals

Donaghadee has a long maritime heritage with key assets in the harbour and RNLB Sir Samuel Kelly.  It also has a wealth of listed buildings, structures and monuments which give the town its unique traditional character.  Conservation Area status has protected the built heritage within its boundary.

The coastline is also a major natural heritage asset protected through RAMSAR, ASSI and Outer Ards SPA designations.  The town has also benefited from retaining its open spaces of which the Commons is the most significant. This provides a unique opportunity to create a linear coastal park of local and regional significance which will appeal to both locals and visitors building on its combined maritime, built and natural heritage assets to create a unique and distinctive visitor experience as part of the popular Mourne Coastal Route.

The Concept Masterplan offers:

  • A new mixed use Visitor Hub with a primary focus on Donaghadee’s impressive history
  • Creation of a modern, high quality and sustainable Coastal Park that is a hub for leisure and recreation providing connections to the Town and into the wider greenway networks currently being developed
  • Eco trail exploration of the old railway line
  • Integration of the Marina / Boatyard / Tennis / Bowls clubs into the wider park proposals
  • High end recreational activities such as a Glamping site, an in ground pump track, skate park and natural play area / outdoor gym to encourage all ages

It is important to note that these are draft concepts and no decisions about any of the proposed developments have been made.

This consultation exercise aims to give local residents the opportunities to ask questions and give feedback on the proposals that have been identified in discussions with key stakeholders in the town.

This is your opportunity to have your say as we work together to enhance this part of Donaghadee for current and future generations: we want to hear from you!