Government of Ireland
Forecast growth in the Irish economy and population indicates that strong demand for housing will continue with the number of homes in Ireland possibly rising from its current level of 1.8 million to over 2.5 million by 2020. With the majority of these houses to be built in urban areas, it is vitally important that this is achieved in a way which supports the development of sustainable, integrated neighbourhoods within our cities, towns and villages. In some cases, residential development will be part of a mixed use scheme, where there will be design challenges in ensuring the amenity of residents, but there are also inherent benefits if these challenges can be met.
The aim of these guidelines is to set out the key planning principles which should be reflected in development plans and local area plans, and which should guide the preparation and assessment of planning applications for residential development in urban areas.
These guidelines are accompanied by a non-statutory residential design manual prepared on behalf of the Department by a team of consultants led by O’Mahony Pike Planning Consultants. The best practice design manual is intended to be read in tandem with these guidelines, because it illustrates how policy principles can be translated into practice by developers and their design teams and by local authority planners. The design manual cites examples of good practice from across the spectrum of development locations, ranging from major brown-field sites to village infill sites. Also, “Green City Guidelines: Advice for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity in medium to high-density urban developments” (2008) are a useful reference for planning authorities and planning professionals.
These guidelines should also be read in conjunction with the Department’s planning guidelines on design standards for new apartments (which were published in September 2007). Those guidelines are also intended to promote sustainable housing, by ensuring that the design and layout of new apartments provide satisfactory accommodation for a variety of household types and sizes – including families with children - over the medium to long term.
|A block interior in Vauban, Freiburg (an example of sustainable design), photo by Payton Chung|
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