The ‘Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ have now been issued to local authorities following previous public consultation in 2023.
The Guidelines expand on Government policy in the National Planning Framework, in particular policies in relation to compact growth and sustainable living spaces.
Issuing the Guidelines, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:
“I very much welcome the publication of the Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities. They are timely particularly in light of the Government’s overall objective to increase housing supply as set out under Housing for All and expand on the higher-level policies of the National Planning Framework (NPF) in relation to the creation of settlements that are compact, attractive, liveable and well designed. While progress continues to be made on housing delivery, the greater flexibility oﬀered by these guidelines will help in achieving our aim of providing a broader range of housing options to meet the needs of a growing and more diverse population.”
The Guidelines focus on the interaction between residential density, housing standards and quality urban design and placemaking. The Guidelines outline:
The Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell TD, said:
“The approach in relation to residential density enables appropriate standards to be applied across a greater range of settlements. Furthermore, greater flexibility in residential design standards will support the delivery of compact ‘own door’ housing and a greater range of aﬀordable housing options. The Guidelines also respond to our national obligations under European Directives and international agreements relating to the management and protection of the environment and biodiversity and the transition towards net zero by 2050.”
The Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities are issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Section 28 of the Act provides that planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála shall have regard to Ministerial guidelines in the performance of their functions. Where the guidelines contain specific planning policy requirements (SPPRs), planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála are required to apply these requirements in the performance of their functions.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
A copy of the Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities is available here.
Housing standards: recognising the significant population growth forecast and changing demographics, and to achieve compact growth, medium density housing models should be facilitated, alongside traditional housing and apartment developments. Among the standards contained in the Guidelines are:
1 bed house 20 sq.metres
2 bed house 30 sq.metres
3 bed house 40 sq.metres
4 bed + house 50 sq.metres
with provisions for further reductions where an equivalent amount of semi-private open space is provided in lieu of private open space.
Subject to the enactment of the Government’s Draft Planning and Development Bill 2023, these Ministerial guidelines are proposed to be updated to National Planning Statements. The National Planning Statements are proposed to be approved by Government and alignment with Policies and Measures contained therein will be mandatory, in that there will be a requirement for other plans to be materially consistent with them. Associated Policy Guidance will outline how these policies may be implemented. This will bring greater clarity and consistency to where national policy and guidance interacts with the planning system.