16.10.7 Guidelines for Student Accommodation

Guidelines for Student Accommodation

The City Council supports the provision of high-quality, professionally managed, purpose-built third-level student accommodation, either on campus or in accessible locations adjacent to quality public transport corridors and cycle routes, in a manner which respects the residential amenities of the locality.

Student accommodation should make a positive contribution to the built environment, in terms of design quality, scale, height and the relationship to adjacent buildings. The external layout, including any necessary security arrangements, should be designed to avoid isolating developments from the surrounding community.

The student accommodation should be designed to give optimum orientation in terms of daylight to habitable rooms. Given the nature of student occupancy, the residential standards in relation to dual aspect may be relaxed. Proposed developments shall be guided by the principles of Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight, A Guide to Good Practice (Building Research Establishment Report, 2011).

Adequate open space of suitable orientation should be provided within developments for the amenity of students, which can include terraces, courtyards and roof gardens, where appropriate. All proposals must provide appropriate indoor and outdoor communal and recreational facilities for students at a combined level of at least 5-7 sq.m per bedspace. The provision of indoor communal space is particularly important for schemes with a high proportion of studio units, to allow students to interact outside the studio room (in study rooms, tv rooms etc). Where accommodation is provided on-campus, communal facilities will be assessed on a case-by-case basis having regard to the level of and access to oncampus amenity. Details are to be provided as part of the application.

In assessing proposals, the planning authority will have regard to the pattern and distribution of student accommodation in the locality, and will resist the overconcentration of such schemes in any one area, in the interests of achieving a sustainable mix of development, whilst also providing for successful urban regeneration, good public transport/cycling/ walking connectivity, and the protection of residential amenity.

The applicant will be requested to submit evidence to demonstrate that there is

not an over-concentration of student accommodation within an area, including a map showing all such facilities within 0.25 km of a proposal.

The provisions of Part V (Social and Affordable Housing) of the Planning Acts do not apply to student accommodation in the City Council area.

The following internal standards will apply to all proposals for student accommodation: ­

  • Student accommodation to generally be provided by grouping study bedrooms in ‘house’ units, with a minimum of 3 bed spaces with an overall minimum gross floor area of 55 sq.m up to a maximum of 8 bed spaces and a maximum gross floor area of 160 sq.m. ­
  • Single/double occupancy studio units that provide en-suite bathroom facilities and kitchenettes/cooking facilities will also be considered, with a minimum gross floor area of 25 sq.m and a maximum gross floor area of 35 sq.m. ­
  • Within campus locations consideration will be given to the provision of townhouse, ‘own-door’ student accommodation with a maximum of 12 bed spaces per townhouse. ­
  • Shared kitchen/living/dining rooms shall be provided, based on a minimum 4 sq.m per bed space in the ‘house’ and ‘town house’ unit, in addition to any circulation space. ­
  • Minimum bedrooms sizes for ‘house’ and ‘town house’ units will be: ­
    • Single study bedroom: 8 sq.m (with en-suite shower, toilet and basin: 12 sq.m) ­
    • Twin study bedroom: 15 sq.m (with en-suite shower, toilet and basin: 18 sq.m)
    • Single disabled study bedroom, with en-suite disabled shower, toilet and basin: 15 sq.m) ­
  • Bathrooms: Either en-suite with study bedrooms/studio units or to serve a maximum of 3 bed spaces. ­
  • Communal facilities and services which serve the needs of students shall be provided for, which include laundry facilities, caretaker/ security and refuse facilities (either on site or nearby within a campus setting).

All applications for student accommodation must be accompanied by documentation outlining how the scheme will be professionally managed including confirmation that all occupiers will be students registered with a third-level institution. Documentation must also outline how the scheme will support integration with the local community, through its design and layout. Permissions for student housing will normally be subject to a condition requiring a planning permission for a change of use to other types of residential accommodation.

In relation to car parking, the standards in Table 16.1 apply. Whilst there is no specified requirement for parking within Zone 1, applications for car-free developments should be accompanied by a mobility management plan outlining how arrivals/ departures will be managed.

* A student means a person who is registered with a third-level educational institution which is designated as such by the Department of Education and Science or by ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services) under the auspices of the DES.