Wednesday 14 March 2018

New apartment guidelines published by the Department

Updated ‘Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (March, 2018) have just been published.

A Circular letter (FPS 03/2018) was issued by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to Chief Executives, City and County Councils Directors of Planning Services, City and County Councils, Senior Planners, City and County Councils and An Bord Pleanála on the 9th March 2018    

These guidelines which update and supersede the previous 2015 document takes account of:

§  experience in their implementation since 2015;

§  the need to enhance apartment output to secure both additional housing supply and more compact urban development patterns; 

§  departmental and stakeholder research and analysis into the deliverability of increased supply of apartments; and

§  submissions made during the public consultation period.

Accordingly, the 'Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities' guidelines aim to:

i. Enable a mix of apartment types more closely reflecting contemporary household formation and housing demand patterns and trends, particularly in urban areas;

ii. Encourage more refurbishment and small-scale urban infill schemes;

iii. Deliver greater policy clarity in relation to the emerging ‘build to rent’ and ‘shared accommodation’ sectors; and

iv. Remove requirements for car-parking in certain circumstances to support sustainable transport modes and in the interests of enhancing the economic deliverability of apartment schemes.

These guidelines are issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).  

Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanála are required to have regard to these guidelines in the course of carrying out their functions, and are required to apply certain provisions of the guidelines stated as Specific Planning Policy Requirements under Section 28 (1C) of the Act above. 

These guidelines are available to access here.

The Departmental Circular can be reviewed here.

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