2.2.1 Development Plan Consistency with the National Spatial Strategy and the Regional Planning Guidelines

National Spatial Strategy

The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) sets out the strategic planning framework for the future development of Ireland. It recognises that Dublin, as the capital city, plays a vital national role and that the performance of its economy is essential to the success and competitiveness of the national economy. In order to sustain this role as the engine of the economy, it advocates the physical consolidation of Dublin, particularly for much-needed housing and employment, supported by effective land-use and transportation policies, as an essential requirement for a competitive Dublin.

The NSS places particular emphasis on the physical consolidation of the metropolitan area, which incorporates the entire functional area of Dublin City Council. This necessitates the sustainable development of all vacant, derelict, and under-used lands with a focus on areas close to public transport corridors as well as areas of under-utilised physical and social infrastructure. There is also an emphasis in the NSS on supporting the city’s capacity for employment and innovation and achieving intensification without compromising amenity or environmental quality.

The core strategy, by providing capacity for an additional population in excess of 59,000 during the plan period, and with over 800 hectares of employment-zoned lands, accords with the NSS. Dublin City Council looks forward to the successor of the NSS, the forthcoming National Planning Framework, which will influence future regional guidance.

Regional Planning Guidelines

The Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2010 – 2022 (RPGs) translate the national strategy to regional level, with an emphasis on Dublin as the driver of national development, and the need to physically consolidate the growth of the metropolitan area, with clear direction for greater integration of landuse and transport planning. The RPG settlement hierarchy seeks to prioritise and focus investment and growth to achieve integration in services, infrastructure, transport, economic activity and new housing. There is hence a clear link between both the NSS and RPGs and the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. The Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly has recently replaced the role of the Dublin and Mid-East Regional Authority, and a Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the region will be published by the assembly within the next couple of years following publication of the National Planning Framework.

Based on the currently available Regional Planning Guidelines 2010 – 2022, the 2011 Census, and population projections published by the CSO in 2013, this development plan works to a projected population increase of almost 60,000 persons by 2022 – see Table A below. Assuming an average occupancy rate of two persons per residential unit, the housing requirement is 29,500 units approximately. It is, therefore, planned to provide capacity to exceed this figure in the housing strategy for the development plan period 2016 – 2022, in order to accommodate longer-term sustainable growth.

From the above analysis, and particularly because there is capacity in excess of the required population and housing figures (see housing strategy below), it is concluded that the policies and objectives of this Dublin City Development Plan are consistent with these higher-level national and regional policies.

The policies and objectives in this plan promote intensification and consolidation of Dublin city, all of which lies within the metropolitan area. This will be achieved in a variety of ways, including infill and brownfield development; regeneration and renewal of the inner city; redevelopment of strategic regeneration areas; and the encouragement of development at higher densities, especially in public transport catchments. The development plan policies also underpin the creation of a compact city with mixed-use environments, sustainable neighbourhoods and green infrastructure, to reduce the city’s reliance of fossil fuels and provide for carbon soakage, all in accordance with the National Climate Change Strategy.

In tandem with policies for a competitive and compact city, the plan addresses amenity and quality of life issues with a strategic and strong policy emphasis on the delivery of quality homes, sustainable neighbourhoods to support successful communities, timely social infrastructure provision and a city-wide green network with links to the city region. These measures support an effective public transport system and the emergence of a critical mass for the city to compete at an international level and fulfil its role as the national gateway and driver of the national economy.

Table A – Population and Housing Figures Based on Census Data 2011, Estimate for 2013, and RPG Allocations
  A B C D E F
  2011 CSO Census figure 2013 figure estimated from CSO regional figure* 2016 RPGs allocation 2022 RPG allocation Population growth 2013–2022 to meet RPG
allocation (i.e. column ‘D’ minus ‘B’)
Plan nedpopulation growth 2015–2022 , based on RPG figure (using average annual figure in column ‘E’)
Population  527,612 530,208*  563,512 606,110 75,902 Average annual equivalent = 8434 59,038
265,519 319,903   Housing requirement for the plan period based on the above figure – assuming 2 occupants per residential unit = 29,500 units

*The 2013 figure has been estimated from the CSO estimate for the Dublin region, i.e. 1,262,400. It is assumed to be 42% of same (it comprised 42.6% in 2006 and 41.4% in 2011)