Section 3 Residential Developments

Closeddate_range28 Sep, 2020, 9:00am - 9 Dec, 2020, 4:00pm

3.1 Single Dwellings in Rural Areas

3.1.1 Design Guidance for Single Houses in Rural Areas


Rural areas are more sensitive to development and therefore require a quality design response to help assimilate development into the landscape. Buildings in the rural landscape should be sited to take advantage of shelter and existing landscape features which will help assimilate the development into its surroundings.

Shelter and Enclosure

Siting should take advantage of opportunities for shelter in the following ways:

  • By locating houses away from the full force of prevailing winds;
  • By creating sheltered situations through planting of trees and hedgerows;
  • By using enclosing walls to create good micro-climates;
  • By using the house and its outbuildings in a way which created enclosure and shelter.


It is important to tailor the siting and layout of a development to the sloping contours of the site. Excessive excavation or the creation of artificial platforms can impact negatively on the visual amenities of the landscape and should therefore be avoided. The design and layout of the proposed development should work with the site contours. An example of this is split level dwellings or stepped levels.


The landscaping, garden design and boundary treatment should provide a link with the landscape and help assimilate the development into the landscape. Care should be taken to avoid suburban layouts and garden treatments in rural settings. Sites that have well established boundaries on all sides which will help assimilate development. In general, a site should aim to have at least two existing boundaries. Existing trees and hedgerows should be retained to help integrate the dwelling into its surroundings. The extensive removal of hedgerows and trees has a negative visual impact and changes the character of the countryside. Complete removal of the existing hedgerows should be avoided. Where new boundaries are proposed, these should include a selection of indigenous and naturalised hedging plants. The construction of long stretches of solid walls or fences along the front boundary is not acceptable on rural sites (See Section 2.8.1). The extent of hard landscaping around a house should also be minimised.

The environmental and visual impact of rural housing can be minimised by guiding it into coherent patterns at a suitable scale for the rural environment so that rather than competing with the landscape, houses use it to their advantage, setting themselves into its folds, using trees and hedges to shelter and complement the house design and helping the development become part of the landscape.

The position of a dwelling on a site should not be determined solely by its position relative to the road. Historically many houses were built with the gable to the road and the front garden enclosed by outhouses creating an attractive courtyard garden. The siting of a house in the middle of a landscaped lawn results in a suburban layout which can detract from the visual amenities of a rural area.

Table 3-1 Principles for Siting
  • Buildings should be set into the landscape;
  • Avoid exposed,  elevated and prominent locations where potential for visual impact is greatest;
  • Take advantage of shelter and existing landscaping / trees / hedgerows;
  • Avoid altering the natural levels of the site;
  • Avoid excessive cut and fill and locating dwellings on platforms;
  • Orientate the house to maximise sunlight and reduce exposure to the wind.

Rural Architecture

Rural house design should deliver high quality buildings that cater for modern lifestyles while respecting and embracing their rural setting. Well-designed dwellings that achieve high energy performance will be cheaper to run and comfortable to live in. The design of new dwelling houses should be sympathetic to the surrounding landscape and where appropriate reference traditional building characteristics.

The size of the proposed dwelling should be appropriate for the size of the site in order for the site to be able to assimilate the development into the landscape. On sites that are elevated or exposed and where new development has the potential to be conspicuous, development should be restricted to single storey. New dwelling houses should try to replicate simple traditional forms and ensure that the dwelling in terms of proportion, height, scale and form is appropriate for a rural setting. Where a large dwelling is proposed, the design should include measures to break down the massing of the house in order to reduce bulk.

Traditionally in Wexford, farm buildings were used effectively to create enclosure and sheltered space. There are still examples where houses and outbuildings are used together to create both farmyards and gardens with remarkable control of space and form. Examples include gables to the road or long windowless barns placed along the roadside frontage with strong composition of wall, gable, roof and gateway punctuating the roadside. As agriculture has intensified and the scale of farm buildings has increased, this building typology is no longer common. However, it represents an excellent example of breaking down overall mass and creating an attractive collection of smaller buildings.

Table 3-2 Principles for Rural Architecture
  • Restraint - A modest selection of materials and finishes reflecting the simple colour structure of vernacular architecture.
  • Simple palette of quality materials.
  • Composition of the buildings.

3.1.2 Standards for Single Dwellings in Rural Areas

A planning application for the development of a single dwelling in a rural area will be required to demonstrate compliance with the following development management standards:

  1. The applicant must satisfy the rural housing criteria for that location as set out in Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing Strategy. Compliance with the rural housing criteria alone does not infer that planning permission be granted.
  2. The site must be capable of accommodating a suitably designed private wastewater treatment system which meets required current regulations and a satisfactory and safe supply of drinking water. Both the on-site wastewater system and the water supply must be located within the site edged red (save unless provided by public infrastructure).
  3. The site must be capable of being safely accessed in perpetuity with the necessary sightlines for the category of road being achievable within the site edged red and with a minimal removal of existing hedgerow and natural boundaries. Where the hedgerows are required to be removed this will be assessed in accordance with Section 2.8.1 and Section 6.2.  Where vehicular access is proposed from a private lane, the necessary legal consents should be in place and the lane should be in satisfactory condition to accommodate the development.
  4. The development should not result in ribbon development as defined in Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing.
  5. The development of the site should not have adverse impacts on protected structures, archaeological sites or designated sites of nature conservation value (SACs, cSACs, SPAs and pNHAs).
  6. The site must be capable of accommodating the dwelling which has regard to and avoids potential adverse impacts on existing properties adjoining the site.
  7. The development must not be vulnerable to flood risk (See Chapter 9 Infrastructure) or coastal erosion (See Chapter 12 Coastal Zone Management).
  8. The site should be capable of accommodating a dwelling house which blends into, and is not visually intrusive in the landscape.
  9. The site must be capable of accommodating proposals to manage surface water drainage within its boundaries and without significant discharges affecting public road drainage.

In terms of siting, scale and design, the proposal should have regard to the principles of rural house design as set out in Section 3.1.1.The Planning Authority will require the following to be demonstrated and complied with:

  • New dwellings in rural areas should be appropriately sited, in accordance with Table 3-1 Principles for Siting, to take advantage of shelter, topography and existing landscape features, which will help assimilate the development into its surroundings and minimise their impact on the visual amenities of the area.
  • New rural dwellings must be well-designed, simple, unobtrusive, respond to the site’s characteristics and be informed by the principles for rural architecture. All new rural dwelling houses should demonstrate good integration within the wider landscape. The external materials should enable the development to blend into the landscape. Log cabins may be considered in appropriate settings e.g. forested sites or well-screened sites and where that type of development is not out of character with the existing built form.
  • New rural dwellings must be give adequate consideration to existing neighbouring development in terms of siting, setting and design and affords adequate protection to existing residential amenity.
  • New vehicular entrances in rural areas should be designed to be discreet and attractive and easily assimilated in their rural setting in accordance with Section 2.8.1. 
  • Landscaping and boundary treatments must be appropriate for a rural setting and should not erode the rural character of the area. The siting, scale and design should minimise adverse impacts on existing site specific landscaping, e.g. trees and hedges with medium and long term landscaping/screening value and demonstrate that Objective GI01 in Chapter 11 Landscape and Green Infrastructure is complied with, where relevant. The Planning Authority may request that a planning application be accompanied by a detailed landscaping plan, prepared by a suitably qualified landscape professional, which specifies all proposed landscaping of the site.
  • Provisions must be made within the site for biodiversity, and in this regard, the following standards will be applied (see Table 3-3):
    • For rural dwellings with a floor level over 100m2 to 300m2 a minimum of 20% of the site must be set aside for additional tree planting and measures to promote biodiversity.
    •  For dwellings over 300m2 50% of the site area must be set aside for additional tree planting and measures to promote biodiversity

Plans for these areas  must be included with any planning application for a single rural dwelling 

  • The set back of the dwelling from the roadside boundary will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The size of the dwelling house comply with the site size/floor area ratios set out in Table 3-3.
Table 3-3 Site Size, Dwelling Floor Area Ratio and Biodiversity Requirements

Dwelling Floor Area

Site Size Hectares




Boundary reinforcement



20% of site



20% of site



50% of site

3.1.3 Applications for Single Houses on Backlands Sites in Rural Areas

The Council recognises that lands to the rear of an existing dwelling house may afford people the opportunity to build their own dwelling house, in close proximity to their family. The Council will consider this type of development where the following is demonstrated:

  • There is no undue loss of privacy to adjoining properties.
  • The access arrangements, including the vehicular entrance and traffic movements associated with the new dwelling house, would not detract from the residential amenities of adjoining properties or give rise to a traffic hazard.
  • The development complies with the relevant standards set out in Section 3.1.2 and other normal planning and environmental criteria.

3.2 Domestic Garages/Stores

The development of a domestic garage/store for use ancillary to the enjoyment of a dwelling house will be considered subject to compliance with the following standards:

  • The domestic garage/store shall be single storey only, shall be a maximum floor area of 80m2   and a maximum ridge height of 5m. In urban areas, a domestic garage and stores will be assessed on the scale of the space about the dwelling an any impact on neighbouring properties.
  • The design and external finishes of the domestic garage/store shall be in keeping with that of the dwelling house.
  • The domestic garage/store shall only be used for purposes ancillary to the enjoyment of the dwelling house.

The Planning Authority may consider exceptions to these criteria having regard to the need for the development and the location and characteristics of the subject site.

3.3 Self-contained residential unit for a family member

The provision of a self-contained residential unit for a family member will be considered subject to compliance with the following standards:

  • The applicant must demonstrate that there is a need for the unit in accordance with Section 4.9.5 in Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing.
  • The unit must be attached to the main dwelling house and must be accessible from the main dwelling house via an internal access door.
  • The unit should consist of no more than a combined kitchen/dining/living room, a WC bathroom which must be fully accessible and contain no more than two bedrooms.
  • Where required, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the existing on-site wastewater treatment facilities serving the main dwelling house are adequate and can facilitate the additional loading from the family flat. Where this cannot be demonstrated, it will be necessary for the on-site wastewater facilities to be upgraded as part of the development proposal.
  • The design criteria for extensions to dwelling houses will be applied to these units.
  • A condition will be applied restricting the sale or letting of the unit separate to the main dwelling house, and when use of the unit is no longer required it must be integrated into the main dwelling house.

3.4 Extensions to Dwelling Houses

The continued use of existing dwellings and the need for people to extend and renovate their dwelling houses is recognised and encouraged. Accordingly, appropriate extensions to existing dwelling houses will be considered subject to compliance with the following criteria:

  • The proposed extension must be of a scale and position on the site which would not be unduly incongruous with its context.
  • The design and external finishes of the extension need not necessarily replicate or imitate the design and finish of the existing dwelling. Contemporary designs and finishes often represent a more architecturally honest approach to the extension of a property and can better achieve other objectives such as enhancing natural light. It should be noted that a different approach may apply in the case of a Protected Structure or within an Architectural Conservation Area.
  • The extension should not have an adverse impact on the amenities of adjoining properties through undue overlooking, undue overshadowing and/or an over dominant visual impact.
  • The extension should not impinge on the ability of adjoining properties to develop a similar extension.
  • Site coverage should be carefully considered to avoid unacceptable loss of private open space.
  • The degree to which the size, position and design of the extension is necessary to meet a specific family need, for example, adaptations to provide accommodation for persons with a disability.
  • Where required, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the existing on-site wastewater treatment facilities serving the main dwelling house are adequate and can facilitate the additional loading from the extension. Where this cannot be demonstrated, it will be necessary for the on-site wastewater facilities to be upgraded as part of the development proposal.

3.5 Sub-Division of a Dwelling

The sub-division of a dwelling which has public waste water and water infrastructure will be considered where it does not detract from the character of the property, adjoining properties and the amenities of the area. The proposal will be required to meet the minimum standards relating to residential developments including services, private open space and car parking.

3.6 Temporary Accommodation

The provision of a static caravan, trailer caravan/mobile home, motor home/camping van for use as a permanent residence will not be considered save for the exceptional circumstances outlined in Section 4.9.7 of Chapter 4 Sustainable Rural Housing.

Planning applications for temporary accommodation will be assessed with regard to the applicable standards for residential dwellings in urban/rural areas, in particular, traffic safety and suitable wastewater treatment and water supply arrangements.

3.7 Corner/Side Garden Sites

The development of a residential unit in the side garden of an existing residential plot or on a corner site would contribute to the efficient use of lands and can enhance a streetscape. These proposals should comply with the requirements relating to infill development as set out in Chapter 5 Towns and Villages and:

  • The site should be sufficient in size to accommodate an additional dwelling and an appropriate set back should be maintained from adjoining dwellings.
  • The dwelling should generally be designed and sited to match the established building line and respond to the roof profile of adjoining dwellings.
  • The design of the dwelling should respond to the character of the area and adjoining dwellings and contribute to a sense of harmony. Contemporary and innovative proposals that respond to the local context will be encouraged, particularly on larger sites which can accommodate a number of dwellings.
  • Corner developments should provide a dual frontage in order to avoid blank elevations and maximise surveillance of public areas.

3.8 Backland Residential Development

The development of backlands will contribute to an efficient use of land and contribute to urban consolidation. These proposals should comply with the requirements relating to infill development as set out in Chapter 5 Towns and Villages and:

  • Avoid piecemeal development that adversely impacts on the character of the area and the established pattern of development in the area.
  • Development that is in close proximity to adjoining residential properties should be cognisant of the height of adjoining dwellings and location/orientation of private open spaces, to reduce overshadowing and overlooking.
  • Access for pedestrians and vehicles should be clearly legible and, where appropriate, promote mid-block connectivity.

3.9 Nursing Homes/Residential Care Homes

A residential service/care home is a designated centre where older people are accommodated or people in need of care by reason of a disability. This includes nursing homes. Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing sets out the objectives relating to the preferred locations for this type of development.

In considering applications for these developments, the Planning Authority will have regard to the following:

  • The development should comply with the relevant standards set out in the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland (Health Information and Quality Authority, 2016) or any updated version of these guidelines or new guidelines.
  • The standard of accommodation and facilities offered, including fully accessible en-suite WC and wet room for each bedroom, where possible.
  • The quality, design and landscaping of external open spaces, walkways and communal areas for enjoyment by the residents and the provision of suitable exercise facilities.
  • The proposal should provide accessible links to the settlement.
  • The development must be served by suitable wastewater treatment and water supply facilities.
  • The potential impacts of the proposed development on adjoining developments and the character of the area including traffic safety.
  • The requirements relating to sightlines must comply with those set out in Section 6 of this Manual.
  • In large developments or developments which are not located adjacent to local facilities the provision of pray rooms/chapels, shops, hair dressing facilities will be required.

3.10 Sheltered Housing

These are residential schemes with on-site communal facilities and allow for assisted independent living. These schemes usually have an on-site supervisor and include care supports such as the provision of meals and health care assistance. Communal on-site facilities include recreation areas, alarm system and laundry facilities. These developments shall comply with the relevant standards set out under Section 3.9.

3.11 Retirement Villages

A retirement village is an integrated residential complex containing separate and independent homes for people who have retired, and which includes a range of care needs to serve the residents of the complex. Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing outlines where these developments should be located, and they should comply with the standards set out in Section 3.9, in so far as they relate to this type of development.

3.12 Multi-Unit Residential Schemes in Towns and Villages

The Council will require the development of high quality residential developments, both in respect of the home itself and with regard to its setting and context. The Council will have regard to the following guidelines in the provision of advice on and the assessment of residential proposals:

  • Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (Cities, Towns and Villages) Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DEHLG, 2009)
  • Urban Design Manual. A Best Practice Guide and Companion Document to Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (DEHLG, 2009).
  • Quality Homes for Sustainable Communities: Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes and Sustaining Communities (DEHLG, 2007).
  • Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments. Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DHPLG, 2018).
  • Urban Development and Building Heights-Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DHPLG, 2018).

Applications for multi-unit (two or more units) residential scheme will be assessed against the foregoing and the design criteria set out in Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and the companion Urban Design Manual. While the Urban Design Manual is primarily focused on design issues associated with housing schemes of 30-50 units per hectare, it is also relevant to schemes of higher or lower density and mixed use development.

All multi-unit residential schemes should be accompanied by an appropriately detailed design statement which addresses, inter alia, the 12 urban design criteria which are set out in Chapter 5 Towns and Villages and the Urban Design Manual.  

The Planning Authority will require planning applications for residential schemes of 2 or more dwellings to be accompanied by a phasing schedule detailing the number of dwellings, quantum of public open space and infrastructure which will be developed as part of each phase. It will necessary for each phase to deliver the quantum of public open space commensurate to the number of dwellings in that particular phase.

The Planning Authority will require an Access Statement to be submitted with planning applications for residential schemes of 5 units or more and  in accordance with Appendix 6 of Buildings for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach (National Disability Authority, 2012).

3.12.1 Mix of Dwelling Types

The overall dwelling mix in residential schemes should provide for a balanced range of dwelling types and sizes to support a variety of households. The mix of house types and sizes should provide far greater diversity than the traditional 3-bed semi-detached type housing development. Section 4.7.5 in Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing sets out the requirements relating to type mix in both houses and apartments developments.   

Design Statements for residential or mixed use development proposals with a residential element will be required to address the mix of dwelling types.

3.12.2 Dwelling House Design

The design and layout of individual dwellings should provide a high quality living environment for the future residents. Designers should have regard to the targets and standards set out in the Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities Guidelines, DEHLG (2007) with regard to minimum room sizes, dimensions and overall floor areas when designing residential accommodation. All houses must accord with or exceed the minimum floor area standards set out in Table 3-4 below. Dwellings should also be designed to provide adequate room sizes that create good quality and adaptable living spaces. The Planning Authority may consider deviations from these floor area requirements, however, at minimum the floor areas must comply with the minimum set out in the Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities Guidelines (See Section 5 of those Guidelines).

The Planning Authority will require that a minimum of 20% of dwellings in new residential developments of five dwellings or more are Lifetime Homes, suitable to accommodate or are adaptable to provide accommodation for people with disabilities and older people. Planning applications will be required to demonstrate compliance with this objective and to show an accessible route to the residential units from the boundary of the property. Proximity and access to local services must also be considered relative to the units which are accessible.

All houses must accord with or exceed the minimum private open space standards set out in Table 3-4. Private open space should be located behind the front building line of the house and be designed to provide for adequate private amenity. Theses spaces should be designed to maximise sunlight, privacy and shelter from winds. Narrow or awkward spaces, spaces which are not private and spaces also used for parking will be excluded from private open space calculations. In general a minimum distance of 22m should be achieved between opposing first floor windows at the rear of dwellings.

The Council will consider exceptions to these standards/allow flexibility where an otherwise high quality design solution is proposed, which has full regard to the characteristics and context of the site whilst protecting the residential amenities of existing residents in the vicinity and the future residents of the development.

Table 3-4 Minimum Floor Area and Private Open Space for Dwellings

Type of Unit


Private Open Space

One Bedroom

50 m2

48 m2

Two Bedroom

80 m2

55 m2

Three Bedroom

92 m2

60 m2

Four Bedroom or more

110 m2

70 m2

3.12.3 Apartment Standards and Design

An apartment refers to a dwelling unit that is not a house and may comprise an apartment or duplex unit. All apartments, including the new concept ‘Built to Rent’ and ‘Shared Living’ residential accommodation, must comply with the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DECLG (2018), in particular, the specific planning policy requirements (SPPR) set out in therein. Table 3-5 provides a summary of Section 2-5 of the Guidelines, relevant SPPRs and where they are addressed in this Plan with Table 3-5 setting out the detail of SPPR 3-6.

Table 3-5 Incorporation of the Apartment Guidelines SPPR into the County Development Plan.






Location of apartments, future housing need and housing mix

1 and 2

Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing


Apartment design standards

3 Floor Areas

4 Dual Aspect Ratios

5 Floor to ceiling heights

 6 Lift and stair cores


Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing and here


Standards for communal facilities in apartments including access and services, communal facilities, refuse storage, community amenity space, children’s play, car parking, and bicycle parking.



Chapter 14 Recreation and Open Space and Volume 2 Development Management Manual


Build to Rent and Shared Accommodation Standards

7, 8 and 9

Chapter 4 Sustainable Housing and Volume 2 Development Management Manual.

Table 3-6 Specific Planning Policy Requirements 3-6 of the Apartment Guidelines





Minimum Floor Areas**

Studio apartment (1 person) 37m2

1-bedroom apartment (2 person) 45m2

2-bedroom apartment (3 persons) 63m2 ***

2-bedroom apartment (4 persons) 73m2

3-bedroom apartment (5 persons) 90m2                   


Dual Aspect Ratios

 (i)   A minimum of 33% of dual aspect units will be required in more central and accessible urban locations, where it is necessary to achieve a quality design in response to the subject site characteristics and ensure good street frontage where appropriate.

 (ii) In suburban or intermediate locations it is an objective that there shall generally be a minimum of 50% dual aspect apartments in a single scheme.

(iii) For building refurbishment schemes on sites of any size or   urban infill schemes on sites of up to 0.25ha , planning authorities may exercise further discretion to consider dual aspect unit provision at a level lower than the 33% minimum outlined above on a case-by-case basis, but subject to the achievement of overall high design quality in other aspects.


Floor to Ceiling Heights

Ground level apartment floor to ceiling heights shall be a minimum of 2.7m and shall be increased in certain circumstances, particularly where necessary to facilitate a future change of use to a commercial use. For building refurbishment schemes on sites of any size or urban infill schemes on sites of up to 0.25ha , planning authorities may exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis, subject to overall design quality.



A maximum of 12 apartments per floor per core may be provided in apartment schemes. This maximum provision may be increased for building refurbishment schemes on sites of any size or urban infill schemes on sites of up to 0.25ha, subject to overall design quality and compliance with building regulations.

* The Guidelines outline that the floor area parameters set out in SPPR 3 shall generally apply to apartment schemes but do not apply to purpose-built and managed student housing.

** The majority of all apartments in any proposed scheme of 10 or more apartments shall exceed the minimum floor area standard for any combination of the relevant 1, 2 or 3 bedroom unit types, by a minimum of 10% (any studio apartments must be included in the total, but are not calculable as units that exceed the minimum by at least 10%)

*** In line with the Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities guidance published by the Department in 2007, for application to social housing schemes, planning authorities may also consider a two-bedroom apartment to accommodate 3 persons, with a minimum floor area of 63 square metres. This type of unit may be particularly suited to certain social housing schemes such as sheltered housing. However, no more than 10% of the total number of units in any private residential development may comprise this category of two-bedroom three-person apartment. This is to allow for potential social housing provision further to Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), or, if this type of unit is not required to meet social housing requirements, that it would allow for an acceptable level of variation in housing type.

Appendix 1 of the Guidelines sets out the following standards for apartments which must be complied with:

  • Minimum overall apartment floor area.
  • Minimum aggregate floor areas for living/dining/kitchen rooms, and minimum widths for the main living/dining rooms.
  • Minimum bedroom floor areas/widths.
  • Minimum aggregate bedroom floor areas.
  • Minimum storage space requirements.
  • Minimum floor areas for private amenity space.
  • Minimum floor areas for communal amenity space.

Requirements relating to public open space are also set out in Chapter 14 Recreation and Open Space.

A planning application for an apartment scheme or a mixed housing development that include apartments must include a Schedule which:

  • Details the number and types of apartments and associated individual unit floor areas.
  • Identifies the proposed apartments that are at least 10% greater than the minimum floor area standard in schemes with 100 or more apartments and all those apartments that exceed the minimum floor area standard in schemes with 10-99 apartments.
  • Details the private amenity and internal (any external) storage space associated with each apartment.
  • Reference the primary staircore/life access point to each apartment.

Floor areas should be in square metres and should be calculated from internal room dimensions. In addition to the above, planning application drawings must include the principal dimensions of each room as well as the aggregate floor area of each room.

3.12.4 Public Open Space

Public open space shall be provided as an integral part of the design of new residential and mixed use developments. Open space must provide areas to promote bio-diversity by including native planting and encourage wildlife habitats.  Detailed guidance on the design of public open spaces is included in Chapter 14 Recreation and Open Space Strategy. The Section 28 Sustainable Residential Development Guidelines and the Apartment Guidelines also provide detailed guidance on the provision of open space in new residential developments, and regard should be had to these Guidelines.

Public open spaces must be designed and laid out to a high standard and an emphasis must be placed on the quality and long term sustainability of the open space. The maintenance of open spaces will be dealt with by the condition of the planning permission. Public open spaces shall be provided in accordance with the requirements set out in Chapter 14 Recreation and Open Space Strategy. Areas not suitable for development or recreational use such as a sloping areas or narrow pieces of open space must be excluded from the calculations.

3.12.5 Play Facilities

The Planning Authority will require the provision of suitably designed and landscaped plays areas in new residential developments. Play facilities should cater for defined age groups and provide for a variety of facilities and play opportunities, and shall be provided in accordance with Objectives ROS21 and ROS22 in Chapter 14 Recreation and Open Space.

Play facilities should be located where they are overlooked and do not create unreasonable nuisance to neighbours. Play facilities should be fully inclusive and accessible to all children.

The applicant is advised to agree the proposed option during pre-planning. The type of option preferred will depend on the existence of play facilities in the vicinity and the proximity of the development to a Destination Park or Neighbourhood Park.

The planning application shall include details of proposals relating to the provision of play facilities. These proposals which must include the design specification shall be clearly identified with the site edged red. The maintenance of the play facilities will be dealt with by condition of the planning permission

3.12.6 Other Design Considerations for Multi-Units Schemes


The external materials used for dwelling houses and apartments shall create an attractive and welcoming home environment. The materials shall be durable, easy to maintain, adaptable to the occupiers preferences without affecting the overall design quality of the development and all the rear and side elevations shall be of a suitable attractive and durable quality.  

Boundary Treatments

The side and rear boundaries of gardens shall be 1.8-2 metres in height and shall be formed by concrete block walls .  Wooden fences will not be permitted. Where existing hedgerow and/or mature trees are present, these should be retained where possible and complimented with additional boundary treatment where required.

Two metre high walls shall be provided between areas of public open space and gardens to the rear of dwellings. The public road side of these walls shall be suitably finished, such as a dashed finish, and shall not be of unpainted concrete or block work.

Energy Efficiency

All new dwellings must comply with the amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations (relating to the conservation of fuel and energy in dwellings) and which give effect to the European Union (Energy Performance Of Buildings) Regulations 2019, aiming to improve the energy performance of buildings and make an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Comfort, Privacy and Security

Home should be designed to be as secure and comfortable as possible. Natural light reaching internal spaces should be maximised and there should be ease of access to private amenity space. Good quality noise insulation should be provided. Durable boundary treatments should be proposed which do not adversely affect visual amenities or public safety. Where the overall design concept proposes home frontages close to a public footpath, front garden spaces of a minimum of 1m depth should be provided.


The site of each home should be designed to facilitate safe and convenient access in a manner which does not adversely affect visual amenities or public safety. The Council will discourage vehicular access points in excess of 5m wide and excessive hard standing areas on home frontage. Parking areas at the side of houses should be considered for semi-detached and detached dwellings. Safe pedestrian access should be provided to the rear of terraced houses. Charging points for electric vehicles must be provided on all private parking areas.

Refuse Storage

The Council will required that all housing developments include convenient and well-designed proposals for the storage of waste and recycling receptacles (3 receptacles per home). With regard to apartment schemes, the development should comply with the refuse storage requirements set out in Sections 4.8-4.9 of the Apartment Guidelines.

3.12.7 Social Infrastructure

The Planning Authority may require developers of residential schemes, especially in some of the smaller settlement areas, to submit a report that provides an assessment of the likely impact of their development in relation to (amongst others):

  • The need for community/health facilities;
  • Accessibility to community facilities and services;
  • Public transport facilities and services;
  • Crèche/childmind facilities;
  • Educational facilities and provision; and
  • Recreation and sport facilities and provision.

The Planning Authority will require that all new residential development planning applications of 100 units or more units on zoned land are accompanied by a Social Infrastructure Assessment (SIA) to determine if social and community facilities in the area are sufficient to provide for the needs of the future residents in accordance with the requirements of Objective SC34 in Chapter 15.

3.13 Taking in Charge of Residential Estates

The term “Taking in Charge” means that the Council assumes liability and responsibility for the roads, footpaths and public areas associated with a particular estate.  When a residential development is completed in accordance with the planning permission, the developer or the majority of home owners may make a written request to the Planning Department to have the estate taken in charge. 

3.14 Broadband Infrastructure in Residential Developments

All residential developments shall include infrastructure to faciltiate the provision of ‘fibre to the home’ broadband.