15.10 - Build to Rent Residential Developments (BTR)

“Build to Rent” (BTR) refers to purpose built residential accommodation and associated amenities built specifically for long term rental that is managed and serviced in an institutional manner by an institutional landlord. Recent emerging trends would indicate that the dominance of BTR in large schemes can be to the detriment of standard designed apartment units. Dublin City Council will consider “Built to Rent” developments in specific locations as follows:


  • Within 500 metre walking distance of significant employment locations.
  • Within 500m of major public transport interchanges (e.g. Connolly Station, Tara Street Station and Heuston Station), and within identified Strategic Development Regenerations Areas.


There will be a general presumption against large scale residential developments (in excess of 100 units) which comprise of 100% BTR typology. To ensure a sustainable mix of tenure and long-term sustainable communities, a minimum of 60% of standard designed apartments will be required in such instances.


Please refer to section 5.5.7 of this city development plan – Policy QHSN40.


Furthermore, whilst BTR is considered to be an integral part in achieving an appropriate mix of housing in the right locations, there will be a presumption against the proliferation and over concentration of Build to Rent development in any one area (refer to Section 5.5.7 of Chapter 5 Quality Housing and Sustainable Neighbourhoods). Applications for “Build to Rent” developments should be accompanied by an assessment of other permitted and proposed BTR developments within a 1km radius of the site to demonstrate:


  • that the development would not result in the over concentration of one housing tenure in a particular area.
  • how the development supports housing need, particularly with regard to tenure, unit size and accessibility with particular reference to the Dublin City Council Housing Need and Demand Assessment.

15.10.1         Design Standards

The Sustainable Urban Development Design Standards for New Apartments set out specific planning policy requirements for “Build to Rent” developments. SPPR7 refers to the provision of resident support facilities (laundry, concierge, management facilities etc.) and resident services and amenities (sports facilities, resident lounge, function rooms, co-working spaces etc.).

Whist the guidelines do not provide for a quantitative standard residential support facilities and resident services and amenities, a general guideline of 3 sq. m. per person is recommended. This will be assessed on a case by case basis where the applicant can demonstrate a high standard of services and facilities.

SPPR8 refers to specific relaxations that can be applied to BTR scheme which differentiate BTR schemes from standard residential developments.

SPPR8 (ii) states that flexibility can be applied to the provision of storage space, private amenity space and communal space within a scheme at the discretion of the planning authority.

There is a general presumption against excessive derogation of these requirements, in particular, private amenity space. Where derogations of private amenity space are sought, there will be an onus on the applicant to demonstrate that the quality of the unit is of a higher standard, e.g. in excess of the minimum floor area, contains unique design features and that the loss/reduction of private amenity is compensated within the communal amenity provision, e.g. if a unit requires 5 sq. m. of private amenity space, this quantum should be offset to provide for an additional 5 sq. m. communal amenity space.

Dublin City Council will seek to ensure a high level of amenity is provided within BTR schemes. All applications should seek to demonstrate compliance with the relevant standards for storage, private and communal open space as set out in Appendix 1 of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments.

In all cases, the onus will be on the project proposer to demonstrate the overall quality of the facilities provided and that residents will enjoy an enhanced overall standard of amenity.

15.10.2         Communal and Public Open Space

All Built to Rent developments will be required to provide for the same quantum of external communal open space and public open space as set out for standard apartment developments, see Section 15.6.12 and 15.8.6.