16.10.4 Making Sustainable Neighbourhoods

Making Sustainable Neighbourhoods

New neighbourhood developments should harmonise with the local character and further develop the unique character of these places, and should also make a contribution to social infrastructure to enable the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods (see also Chapter 12).

Proposals should have regard to the DEHLG’s Guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and the accompanying Urban Design Manual 2009, the Guidelines on Local Area Plans and the related Manual, 2013 and the joint DTTS and DECLG’s Design Manual for Urban Streets and Roads (DMURS), 2013 in the making of sustainable neighbourhoods, as well as the principles and key characteristics of a good neighbourhood, as set out in the chapter on Sustainable Communities and Neighbourhoods.

In addition, the following standards will apply depending on the nature and scale of the proposal, whether residential, mixed-use or public transport infrastructure. Applicants for larger schemes should contact the City Council in relation to the preparation of community/social infrastructure audits so that information may be shared.

15 Units or 1,500 sq. m

All proposals for new development over 15 units or 1,500 sq. m must demonstrate how the proposal constitutes a positive urban design response to the local context and how it contributes to place-making and the identity of an area, whether an urban village or a neighbourhood or district centre, as well as the provision of social infrastructure to facilitate the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods, with regard to the key characteristics of a good urban neighbourhood.

100 Units or 10,000 sq.m and Public Transport Infrastructure

Proposals for new development greater than 100 dwellings or 10,000 sq.m and for public transport infrastructure, in addition to making a contribution to social infrastructure, shall include an Urban Design Statement that addresses the following issues: ­

  • How any proposed access points, routes or new streets are interconnected logically with the existing local network of streets, to aid legibility, permeability and walkability and complement local ‘desire lines’ ­
  • How the development will contribute positively to the quality of the streets and public spaces surrounding it; this should include graphic material showing how the development will contribute to the character of the street and its activity and to the quality of the pedestrian environment ­
  • How the development will contribute to a coherent enclosure for the street or public space including consideration of the proportions and activities of the buildings on both sides of a street or surrounding a public space ­
  • How the proposals impact on, or are affected by, other planned development in the local area. Where a number of developments are proposed in proximity to each other, they may have the potential to cumulatively exert significant change on a neighbourhood. Where this is the case, any potential conflicts or opportunities for synergies or economies should be examined ­
  • How the layout and design of buildings, public realm or infrastructure respond to the series of non-prescriptive questions as set out in the DEHLG’s Urban Design Manual, to be considered during the key stages of the design and planning process; proposals should also demonstrate how they address the principles as set out in the Neighbourhood Section of the Urban Design Manual ­
  • How communal amenity spaces within residential developments are designed to be clearly distinct from fully public spaces and their scale and activities appropriate so as to fit within the local network of planned or existing public spaces.

50 Units or 5,000 sq.m

Proposals for new large development must make a contribution to an area in terms of community facilities and social infrastructure where significant shortfalls are identified. When submitting plans for large-scale residential, typically over 50 units depending on local circumstances, and/or mixed-use schemes (i.e. circa 5,000 sq.m and above), developers will be required to submit an audit of existing facilities within the area and to demonstrate how the proposal will contribute to the range of supporting community infrastructure.

Proposals in excess of 50 dwelling units must be accompanied by an assessment of the capacity of local schools to accommodate the proposed development in accordance with the above guidelines and the DES and DEHLG’s Code of Practice on the Provision of Schools and the Planning System 2008. 

Dublin City Council may also require developers to submit a phasing and implementation programme for large residential schemes in excess of 50 units, to ensure an agreed co-ordinated approach is taken to the timely delivery of key physical and social infrastructure elements that are essential for sustainable neighbourhoods. Proposals of this scale must also be accompanied by an Urban Design Statement (as set out above).