16.4 Density Standards

Density Standards

The Regional Planning Guidelines settlement hierarchy designates Dublin city centre and the immediate suburbs as a gateway core for international business, high density population, retail and cultural activities. The guidelines indicate that development within the existing urban footprint of the metropolitan area will be consolidated to achieve a more compact urban form, allowing for the accommodation of a greater population than at present. The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG) Guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas 2009 supercede the 1999 Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Residential Density.

In this context, Dublin City Council will promote sustainable residential densities

in accordance with the standards and guidance set out in the DEHLG Guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and having regard to the policies and targets in the Regional Planning Guidelines 2010 – 2022 or any Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy that replaces the regional planning guidelines.

Sustainable densities promoting the highest quality of urban design and open space will be sought by the City Council in all new developments. The density of a proposal should respect the existing character, context and urban form of an area and seek to protect existing and future residential amenity. Public transport capacity will also be used to determine the appropriate density allowable.

An urban design and quality-led approach to creating urban densities will be promoted, where the focus will be on creating sustainable urban villages and neighbourhoods. A varied typology of residential units will be promoted within neighbourhoods in order to encourage a diverse choice of housing options in terms of tenure, unit size, building design and to ensure demographic balance in residential communities.

All proposals for higher densities must demonstrate how the proposal contributes to place-making and the identity of an area, as well as the provision of community facilities and/or social infrastructure to facilitate the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods.

Density is usually expressed in units per hectare. A hectare is the equivalent of 2.47 acres, i.e. a development of 50 uph equals just over 20 units per acre.