15.11 - House Developments

For guidance and standards relating to ancillary residential accommodation including: residential extensions, detached habitable rooms, porches, alterations at roof level/attics/dormers /additional floors, sub-division of dwellings, ancillary family accommodation, home based economic activities and demolition and replacement dwellings see Appendix 18.

15.11.1         Floor areas

Houses shall comply with the principles and standards outlined in Section 5.3: ‘Internal Layout and Space Provision’ contained in the DEHLG ‘Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities – Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities’ (2007) which can be accessed at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/60868-quality-housing-for-sustainable-communities/

15.11.2         Aspect, Daylight / Sunlight and Ventilation

The orientation and layout of house units should maximise the use of natural daylight and sunlight as much as possible. Where feasible, the main habitable rooms (living / kitchen) should have south and/or west facades.

Rear private garden should be sufficiently sized and orientated to ensure direct sunlight access is achieved for part of the day on March 21st. Living rooms shall not be lit solely by roof lights. Bedrooms solely lit by roof lights will be considered in certain circumstances on a case by case basis. All habitable rooms must be naturally ventilated and lit.

Further details and guidelines for Daylight and Sunlight Assessments are set out in Appendix 16.

15.11.3         Private Open Space

Private open space for houses is usually provided by way of private gardens to the rear of a house. A minimum standard of 10 sq. m. of private open space per bedspace will normally be applied. A single bedroom represents one bedspace and a double bedroom represents two bedspaces. Generally, up to 60-70 sq. m. of rear garden area is considered sufficient for houses in the city. In relation to proposals for house(s) within the inner city, a standard of 5–8 sq. m. of private open space per bedspace will normally be applied.

These standards may be relaxed on a case by case basis subject to a qualitative analysis of the development.

Where dwellings have little or no front gardens in urban settings, it is important that ‘defensible space’ is created behind the public footpath, for example, by means of a planting strip, and the design of ground floor windows will need to be carefully considered. Rear gardens and similar private areas should: be screened from public areas, provide safe and secure play areas for children, be overlooked from the window of a living area or kitchen, have robust boundaries, and not back on to roads or public open spaces.

15.11.4         Separation Distances (Houses)

At the rear of dwellings, there should be adequate separation between opposing first floor windows. Traditionally, a separation of about 22 m was sought between the rear first floor windows of 2-storey dwellings but this may be relaxed if it can be demonstrated that the development is designed in such a way as to preserve the amenities and privacy of adjacent occupiers. Careful positioning and detailed design of opposing windows can prevent overlooking with shorter back-to-back distances and windows serving halls and landings which do not require the same degree of privacy as habitable rooms.