Since pre-historic times people have settled near the coast. This stretch of the Lower Bann between Coleraine and the sea helps us to understand the reasons for this. Land close to the coast is usually flatter and the soil is more fertile, providing good land for farming and building. Transport links such as roads and railways are easier to build and if you are near the coast it is easier to import and export goods to other countries. The sea also provides a useful source of food. Added to this the climate near the coast is more temperate - there are fewer extremes of temperature than there would be further inland or higher up.
In addition to these benefits, the scenery and activities of coastal areas such as the North Antrim Coast are added attractions for visitors. Accommodation and facilities must be provided for the visiting tourists.
This is Portballintrae, a popular sea-side resort on the North Antrim coast.
The local authority has to strike a balance between the jobs and money that tourists bring to the area against the building and visual pollution of the extra facilities.
Here we can see caravans, bungalows and apartments which some people argue ruin the very thing that the tourists come to see.
It is therefore quite difficult to get planning permission in the area. Planning controls prevent the area being over-run with housing but also make it more difficult for young people to find a house that they can afford.
Many of these houses are second homes, which are only used over the summer. In winter the visitor numbers decline, and with so few locals, many of these towns are left deserted, leaving local amenities such as schools, public transport and shops struggling to survive.
Since pre-historic times people have settled near the coast because the land is flatter and more fertile and the climate more temperate.
The scenery and outdoor activities of coastal areas such as the North Antrim Coast attract visitors to the area.
In Portballintrae, caravans, bungalows and apartments have been built to accommodate the visiting tourists.
In winter the visitor numbers decline, leaving local amenities such as schools, public transport and shops struggling to survive.