16.10.3 Residential Quality Standards – Apartments and Houses

Residential Quality Standards – Apartments and Houses

Public Open Space

The distinction between public and private open space has become less clear with the increasing prevalence of higher density developments containing communal open space. Public open space is genuinely accessible to the general public. Public open space is open space which makes a contribution to the public domain and is accessible to the public for the purposes of active and passive recreation, including relaxation and children’s play. Public open space also provides for visual breaks between and within residential areas and facilitates biodiversity and the maintenance of wildlife habitats. In new residential developments, 10% of the site area shall be reserved as public open space.

All public open spaces shall be of a high quality in terms of design and layout, be located in such a manner as to ensure informal supervision by residents and be visually and functionally accessible to the maximum number of dwellings. Existing features, such as mature trees, shall be retained and enhanced by the open space provided. A landscaping plan will be required for all developments, identifying all public, communal (semi-private) and private open space. The design and quality of public open space is particularly important in higher density areas. Consideration should be given to the provision of community gardens and/or allotments in new developments.

Where feasible, proposed development adjoining a river or canal bank should provide a linear walkway along the bank which is accessible to the general public and connects to any existing contiguous walkway along the bank.

Public open space will normally be located on-site, however in some instances it may be more appropriate to seek a financial contribution towards its provision elsewhere in the vicinity. This would include cases where it is not feasible, due to site constraints or other factors, to locate the open space on site, or where it is considered that, having regard to existing provision in the vicinity, the needs of the population would be better served by the provision of a new park in the area (e.g. a neighbourhood park or pocket park) or the upgrading of an existing park. In these cases, financial contributions may be proposed towards the provision and enhancement of open space and landscape in the locality, as set out in the City Council Parks Programme, in fulfilment of this objective.

Safety and Security

The design of all residential proposals should have regard to the safety and security measures outlined in the ‘Safety Design Guidelines’ Appendix and the ‘Design for Safety and Security’ guidance contained in the DEHLG ‘Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities – Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities’ (2007).

Design for safety works by optimising passive surveillance; clearly defining what is private, semi-private (communal), and public space; controlling access and minimising the number of households which share a common entrance, effectively managing space and using appropriate boundary treatments and lighting.

Acoustic Privacy

Acoustic privacy is a measure of sound insulation between dwellings and between

external and internal spaces. Development should have regard to the guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings contained in BS 8233:2014. The following principles are recommended for minimising disruption from noise in dwellings: ­

  • Utilise the site and building layout to maximise acoustic privacy by providing good building separation within the development and from neighbouring buildings and noise sources ­
  • Arrange units within the development and the internal layout to minimise noise transmission by locating busy, noisy areas next to each other and quieter areas next to quiet areas ­
  • Keep stairs, lifts, and service and circulation areas away from noisesensitive rooms like bedrooms. Particular attention should be paid to the siting and acoustic isolation of the lift motor room.

Proposals close to noisy places, such as busy streets, may need a noise impact assessment and mitigation plan. (Noise maps and Noise Action Plan are available at www.dublincity.ie).