Chapter 3: Sustainable Placemaking and Quality Homes

Dúntadate_range24 Fea, 2022, 9:00am - 12 Bea, 2022, 11:59pm

3.1  Introduction

This chapter sets out the strategy to guide successful placemaking and ensure quality housing within Fingal over the lifetime of this Plan and into the future. The concept of placemaking and the provision of quality homes are not mutually exclusive and the success of both in providing for sustainable, resilient communities is very much inter-dependent. One cannot be successful without the other.

Global events have given us insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our public realms and spaces and this Plan is committed to providing the framework for enhanced placemaking recovery which responds not only to the lessons learned, but the principles we need to adopt going forward, in building quality housing and successful public spaces. The importance of high-quality public realms, encompassing many forms from large civic squares and pedestrianised streets to pocket parks for recreation, interaction, and physical activity is well known, as are the benefits for physical and mental health. Having access to public spaces is vital but so too is its design, form, function, and management.

While the merits of pursuing land-use patterns focused on compact, consolidated growth  are  widely evident and result in more sustainable travel patterns and use of active transport modes, proximity to services and enhanced town centre vibrancy, it is important that such consolidation is underpinned by sound placemaking principles ensuring that new and expanding communities have access to public spaces, high quality public realms, recreational facilities, and places to interact. These key principles need to be incorporated at an early stage of the design process to ensure overall success and satisfactory integration.

While successful and inclusive settlements, based on the principles of healthy placemaking provide the context for how we live, work, and socialise, it is individual housing units which make up our communities and upon which our sense of identity and ultimately success are dependent. Much like the population it serves, the housing market is not a homogenous entity and will need to evolve to meet changing needs as people’s work, family and recreational needs become more complex. It must be flexible, capable of adaptation and fit for purpose. Increasingly, it must also provide for a broad range of typologies and tenure options as the population of our County diversifies and expands, grows older and is occupied by smaller households. The specialised needs of our community must also be addressed, including housing options catering for older members of society, members of the Traveller community, and those with disabilities.

It is vital that Fingal has a range of housing options which are affordable and attractive for all who wish to live in the County and that the future needs of communities are identified, ensuring sufficiency of supply, a range of housing types and tenures, flexibility of design and universal access for all.
 

This Plan puts in place policies and objectives to ensure that housing, in conjunction with high quality placemaking, is delivered in parallel and in the right locations ensuring that Fingal is home to sustainable, resilient communities.

3.2  Context

Fingal continues to experience significant population growth including inward migration, a trend which has been observed over the last three decades. The current population of the County (2016 Census) is 296,020, a growth of 8% since the preceding Census in 2011 and accounts for 22% of Dublin’s overall population. This ensures the County is the second most populous local authority in the State. Fingal is also the youngest local authority at 33.8 years (3.7 years lower than the State). The NPF  estimates  that  the  population  of  the  region   will   grow   by   490,000-540,000   by   the   year 2040. In line with this, the EMRA RSES has a projected target growth for Fingal of between 340,000 – 349,000. Since the publication of the RSES, EMRA has allocated Fingal a population (high) of 369,000 for 2031 as per the MASP transitional population document. This includes the MASP allocation of an additional 20,000 for Swords. This will see Fingal’s population increase to 369,000 by 2031.

Anticipated future housing demand within Fingal and detailed analysis of the type and form of housing required have  been  undertaken  in  support  of  the  Draft  Plan.  The  Housing  Strategy  and Housing Need and Demand Assessment provide greater clarity in relation to the changing demographic factors which will impact the nature of housing demand going forward. This includes continuing high rates of household formation, but also the anticipated decrease in household sizes following the national pattern of decline. While the percentage of the population under 18 years of age continues to grow at pace, there is a growing awareness of the significance posed by growth in older population cohorts, with the 65 years+ category increasing by 36.1% between 2011 and 2016, the highest recorded increase of this cohort within the State and consideration should be given for the need for increased options for members of this cohort looking to downsize.

Table 3.1 Population

Year                                  

Fingal’s Population

Increase (%)

2006

239,992

 

2011

273,991

14.17%

2016

296,020

8.04%

2020 CSO  estimate

311,894

5.36% over 4 years

As examined in the Core Strategy in Chapter 2 Planning for Growth, the anticipated expansion of the population results in a requirement for approximately 16,245 new homes over the lifetime of the Draft Plan to 2029, translating into an annual average provision of approximately 2,700 homes per annum while protecting the environment .  The Council will ensure through setting appropriate policies and objectives, that future population growth and housing demand is managed by a plan-led approach, facilitating future housing, community infrastructure, transport and other key services, to cater not only for new residents, but also the needs of established communities. At the core of the Development Plan is the Fingal Settlement Hierarchy which sets out the key locations for population and employment growth and provides direction for the optimisation of investment in infrastructure and services.

Proactive land management policies and planning frameworks ranging from Strategic Development Zones, Local Area Plans, Masterplans and Urban Framework Plans have ensured that Fingal has been extremely successful under successive Development Plans in providing new and expanded communities, developing extensive community infrastructure and providing high-quality public realms and recreational amenities across the County. This approach will be continued in a more focused manner under the Draft Plan.

3.3.  Opportunities

National and Regional planning policy focuses on improving quality of life, creating compact growth, strengthening employment opportunities and increasing the delivery of housing as set out in the NPF and RSES. Both identify healthy placemaking and the creation of attractive, accessible neighbourhoods with access to high quality social infrastructure as key principles. The NPF emphasizes that homes are both the places where we live and the foundation stone from which wider communities and their quality of lives are created. The Plan will promote a range of policies and objectives aimed at achieving compact growth as a cross-cutting theme, not only in this chapter but in interrelated sections including Climate Action, Community Infrastructure and Open Space, Connectivity and Movement. Making better use of underutilized land and buildings including infill, brownfield and vacant/under-occupied properties in our urban and rural areas is key to ensuring communities are better served by and in easy reach of social and community infrastructure, employment and recreational opportunities and high-quality sustainable travel options.

The ‘Fingal Urban Capacity Study 2021’ undertaken to inform the preparation of the Draft Development Plan and constituting a snapshot in time of potential opportunities for consolidation within existing settlements, has identified a range of sites of varying size within villages, towns and large urban centres which offer the possibility of significant residential delivery on greenfield, brownfield, vacant and underutilised lands. While not all sites identified under the study will ultimately come forward for development, significant potential exists to consolidate the footprint of existing settlements rather than extend beyond, with consequent benefits of climate resilience, compact growth, return on capital investment in large-scale public transport and public realm enhancement schemes. This also presents opportunities to increase the variety of housing options, and to improve the vitality and economic well-being of town and village centres. In total, opportunities exist to construct 27,500 new homes through this settlement consolidation approach.

The preparation of this new Development Plan is also occurring at a time of unprecedented focus on the housing market and renewed national focus on housing delivery. Initiatives and national policy guidance including ‘Housing for All – A New Housing Plan for Ireland’ which has the primary objective to transform the housing system in Ireland, has the largest housing budget in the history of the State at in excess of €20bn in funding through the Exchequer, the Land Development Agency (LDA) and the Housing Finance Agency over the next five years. The programme has set ambitious targets of 33,000 homes per year nationally by 2024.

Healthy placemaking is a key element of the overall vision of this Draft Plan and is enshrined in national and regional planning policy which places a strong emphasis on the need to create settlements which are well-designed, of unique character and which are accessible to all. The Sustainable Swords Project, a flagship initiative to enhance connectivity and provide significant public realm improvements,

encompassing the Swords Cultural Quarter, is an example of a key opportunity to achieving   a coordinated healthy placemaking strategy for the administrative capital of Fingal. Core recreational and amenity spaces will be promoted in the Plan, including the Ward River Valley, Town Parks and the continuing development of Swords regional park in Oldtown.

This follows on from the success of ‘Our Balbriggan 2019-2023 Rejuvenation Plan’, which will transform Balbriggan Main Street and Harbour with continued investment in public   realm, town centre improvement and rejuvenation of the north Dublin town. In the same vein, ‘Keeping it Green’ An Open Space Strategy for Fingal  provides a vision for the planning, development, and sustainable management of our open spaces.

This chapter will set out the policies and objectives which must be adhered to in ensuring the delivery of sustainable communities within Fingal’s towns, villages, and rural areas, including those focused on the key complementary components of delivering quality homes and ensuring healthy placemaking. This will ensure that the ambitious housing targets identified in the Core Strategy and Housing Need Demand Assessment are delivered.

This chapter should be read in conjunction with Chapter 4 Community Infrastructure and Open Space and with the Development Management Standards set out in Chapter 14 to ensure consistently excellent housing design   and   the realisation of   exceptional   public   realms,   public   spaces   and ultimately, sustainable communities.

3.4  Strategic Aims

The policies and objectives of the Plan must be consistent with those encompassed in the NPF and RSES. In this regard, the following sections set out guidance relating to healthy placemaking, consolidation and compact growth, social inclusion, housing choice and design which are key to delivering national and regional planning objectives.

The Strategic Aims in achieving Sustainable Placemaking and Quality Homes are as follows:

  • Promote the compact, consolidated development of our towns and villages to provide for settlements which are sustainable and resilient to climate change.
  • Deliver successful and sustainable communities through the provision of infrastructure, a range of   housing   typologies   and    tenure    options,   open    space,    retail,    leisure,    employment, community, and    cultural    development    supporting    the    needs    of residents, workers, and visitors, whilst conserving our built and natural heritage.
  • Ensure that the public realm is of a high-quality design standard, is inclusive and accessible for all, irrespective of age, abilities, for all genders, non-binary, or none.
  • Require that the principle of Healthy Placemaking underpins the design and functionality of new and expanding communities.
  • Ensure communities develop in a coordinated sustainable manner to create vibrant and viable places and ensure new development respects the character of existing centres.
  • Ensure adequate provision of accessible high-quality open space and recreational facilities in the County.
  • Promote adequate provision and distribution of accessible community infrastructure in Fingal that caters for the needs of our diverse communities.

aerial photo of housing with a major road through

3.5  Policies and Objectives

The policies and objectives set out below accord with the NPF and RSES, the Housing Strategy and HNDA prepared in support of the Draft Development Plan and national planning guidance with respect to placemaking and housing delivery. As policy in relation to housing provision continues to develop with the recent publication of the Housing for All strategy together with likely changes to legislation in relation to specific housing tenures and future updated Planning Guidance under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) in relation to e.g. rural housing, the Council acknowledges that it may be necessary to adapt policies in future in order to ensure full compliance with any new legislative or national policy requirements emerging.

3.5.1  Healthy Placemaking

Healthy placemaking is a key element of the overall vision of this Draft Plan and both the NPF and RSES recognize and support the principle of Healthy Placemaking and its importance in the achievement of quality spaces and communities. Healthy Placemaking seeks to promote quality of life through the creation of healthy and attractive places to live, work, visit, invest and study in. The RSES recognizes the importance Healthy Placemaking and seeks to protect and enhance the unique identity and character of places and to facilitate improvements to human well-being and the quality of life that comes from the interaction of people and their environment. Placemaking is underpinned by good urban design, which seeks to create public spaces that are vibrant, distinctive, safe and accessible and which promote and facilitate social interaction Such measures may include the provision of outdoor spaces for leisure, exercise and cycling within easy reach of new communities. Community gardens and allotments in appropriate locations, may also be considered in conjunction with local communities. 

The NPF identifies key priorities and principles for the housing sector to 2040 including ensuring a high standard of quality of life to future residents as well as environmentally and socially sustainable housing and placemaking through integrated planning and consistently excellent design. Furthermore, RSES through RPO 9.10, 9.11, 9.12 9.13 seeks to ensure that Healthy Placemaking, adherence to Design Guidance, equality of accessibility and a universal design approach are encapsulated in creating new and expanding communities.

Policy SPQHP1 Heathy Placemaking

The Council will support the development and creation throughout Fingal of successful and sustainable settlements which endorse the principles of healthy placemaking and which through a multi-faceted approach to planning, design and management continue to ensure the development of attractive high-quality places to live, , work recreate visit and invest in served by a range of local services, provision of quality public realms, diverse and accessible community facilities for all genders, non-binary or none and open spaces for the benefit of the community. 

Policy SPQHP2 Balanced Sustainable Communities

Foster the development of socially and economically balanced sustainable communities

 

Objective SPQHO1 Sustainable Communities

Ensure that proposed residential development contributes to the creation of sustainable communities and accords with the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas, DEHLG (2009) (and any superseding document) and companion Urban Design Manual – A Best Practice Guide, DEHLG (2009) and the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) (as revised) .

Objective SPQHO2   Key Principles

Support development which enhances the quality of the built environment, promotes public health, and supports the development of sustainable, resilient communities. In particular development which supports the following key principles will be supported:

  • Demonstrates compliance with the Guiding Principles for the creation of healthy and attractive places as set out in Healthy Placemaking, Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy 2019-2031.
  • Promotes the development of healthy and attractive places to live, work, socialise and recreate through the delivery of high-quality public realms and open spaces which encourage physical activity and support well-being.
  • Is inclusive of all members of society,all genders, non-binary or none, irrespective of age, or levels of mobility.
  • Advocates a universal design approach and is socially inclusive.
  •  Prioritises sustainable active transport modes.
  • Encourages the development of car free neighbourhoods and streets, where appropriate.
  • Contributes to our climate goals.

3.5.2  Successful Public Realms including Town Centre First

The County’s identity and sense of place contribute directly to its economic success and its attractiveness as a place to live and work. For Fingal to maintain and enhance its competitive position, it must continue to put its sense of identity and place at the centre of its strategic activities. The public realm has a key role to play in this process and the Council is dedicated to enhancing and improving the unique built and natural heritage of the County and to providing well-designed, sustainable places.

The public realm can be defined as those parts of the County where people can gain unrestricted access for the purpose of passing through, meeting, visiting and enjoying. It is where we come together as a community, not merely a place for functional movement. Particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19  pandemic, we as a community have  a better understanding of the importance        of public realm and the economic, social and environmental benefits it can contribute to an area. The Council has under successive Development Plans implemented public realm strategies to great success at numerous locations throughout the County including Malahide and Balbriggan as well as more recent initiatives such as Sustainable Swords which is at design stage.

The Council will apply a targeted approach to the roll out of focused, public realm strategies under the Plan to provide guidance on measures to strengthen and enhance the attributes of a town  or  village. In all instances, and as a prerequisite, public realms should be universally accessible and easy to access by all, irrespective of mobility levels or gender or age. A guiding principle must also be ensuring that the interests of all users of the public realm are considered in a socially inclusive and holistic manner and the views of all stakeholders are taken into consideration. Active involvement is considered central to the success of any public realm strategy and in this regard, successful plans and projects have an agreed approach to policy, prioritisation of work and increasingly implementation of individual  projects  through   joint   working   and   co-operation   between   different   individuals   or organisations.

While these strategies will be design-led, compliance with prevailing planning legislation and Development Plan context is required.

In tandem with public realm improvements, regeneration of towns and villages will be guided by the Town Centre First Strategy in the Programme for Government, Our Shared Future and its role in regeneration of such settlements post Covid-19. Fingal County Council has taken a proactive approach to improving the attractiveness of towns and villages in the aftermath of the pandemic, with schemes to upgrade the public realm with the provision of planting, seating, bike parking, parklets, toilets  and pedestrianisation to encourage footfall and the encouragement of outdoor public  realm  spaces. This strategy is addressed from an economic perspective in Chapter 7 Employment and Economy.

Policy SPQHP3 Successful Public Realms

Promote, develop, and implement policies and initiatives which shape and deliver quality accessible and sustainable public realms, which can facilitate a variety of uses, throughout Fingal including enhancement of existing and developing centres in accordance with the principles of good urban design
 

Policy SPQHP4 Town Centre First

Promote a strategic approach to town centre regeneration through the Town Centre First Approach by utilising existing buildings and unused lands for  new  development, promote increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages, support high quality design ofthe public realm and provide for a mix of uses within these areas, including, arts, educational, cultural, community and residential uses as appropriate.
 

Policy SPQHP5 Quality Placemaking

Add quality to the places where we live, work, and recreate by integrating high quality design into every aspect of the Plan, ensuring good quality accessible public realms, promotion of adaptable  buildings, and by ensuring development contributes to a positive sense of place,  local distinctiveness and character.

Policy SPQHP6 Urban Design

Enhance and develop the fabric of existing and developing centres in accordance with the principles of good urban design.

Policy SPQHP7 Clean Air and Noise Reduction

Promote a clean air and noise reduction approach to public realm in town and village centres through pedestrianisation of streets and/or restriction of through traffic where possible and appropriate.

Policy SPQHP8 Women and Children’s Safety

The Council will, during the lifetime of this Plan complete a study of Women and Children’s Safety in the public realm in order to identify the factors that make women and children feel safe and unsafe in public spaces, and to make recommendations to guide future public realm changes and developments.

Objective SPQHO3  Public Realm Strategies

Prepare Public Realm Strategies, where appropriate, liaising closely with residents and other relevant stakeholders.

Objective SPQHO4 Visual amenity Town and Village Centres

Enhance the visual amenity of existing town and village centres, minimising unnecessary clutter and proliferation of street furniture and provide guidance on public realm design, including wirescape, shopfront design, street furniture, signage and the adequate provision of bins and recycling options.

Objective SPQHO5 Universal Design Approach

Promote and facilitate a Universal Design Approach into all developments.

Objective SPQHO6  Vibrant Town and Village Centres

Support measures required to create vibrant town and village centres with high quality public realms.

Objective SPQHO7

Support the objectives arising from ‘Our Balbriggan’ and ‘Sustainable Swords’.


Figure 3.1: Healthy Placemaking: Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy

Infographic
3.5.3  Core Strategy and Housing Growth

Chapter 2 Planning for Growth, Core Strategy and Settlement Strategy sets out the Core Strategy, which has informed the growth of the County over the life of the Plan period 2023- 2029. These figures are based on the Housing Supply Targets from the Housing Supply Target Methodology for Development Planning, December 2020. Based on the population projections over the life of the Plan and the results of the Housing Supply Targets, approximately 16,245 no. housing units will be required within the County. Parallel to this, the Housing Strategy, which includes a Housing Need and Demand Assessment further examines these figures. The HNDA tool projects an annual average requirement of 564 social houses over the life time of the Development Plan.

Policies and objectives relating to the Housing Strategy and HNDA are provided below:

Policy SPQHP9 Core Strategy and Housing Growth

Implement the adopted Fingal County Council Housing Strategy, which includes the Housing Need and Demand Assessment 2023-2029 (and any superseding Housing Strategy agreed by the Members of Fingal County Council). A review of the Housing Strategy will be carried out as part of the two-year review of the Development Plan.

Policy SPQHP10 Support Compact Growth

Support the implementation of and promote development consistent with the National Strategic Outcome of Compact Growth as outlined in the NPF and the Regional Strategic Outcome of  Compact Growth and Regeneration as set out in RSES.

Objective SPQHO8 Consolidated residential development

Consolidate within the existing urban footprint, by ensuring of 50% of all new homes within or contiguous to the built-up area of Dublin City and Suburbs and 30% of all new homes are targeted within the existing built-up areas to achieve compact growth of urban settlements, as advocated by the RSES.

Objective SPQHO9 New residential development

Focus new residential development on appropriately zoned lands within the County, within appropriate locations proximate to existing settlement centres where infrastructural capacity is readily available, and along existing or proposed high quality public transport corridors and active travel infrastructure in a phased manner alongside the delivery of appropriate physical and social infrastructure.

Objective SPQHO10  Housing Need

Ensure that adequate and appropriate housing is available to meet the needs of people of all incomes and needs including marginalised groups within our communities, including but not limited to, Traveller households, older persons, people with disabilities, and the homeless, through an appropriate mix of unit types, typologies and tenures provided in appropriate locations and in a manner appropriate to specific needs.

Objective SPQHO11  Fingal Settlement Strategy

Ensure that all proposals for residential development accord with the Fingal Settlement Strategy and are consistent with Fingal’s identified hierarchy of settlement centres.

3.5.4  Ensuring Housing Supply

The Core Strategy prepared in support of the Plan identifies a requirement for approximately 16,245 new homes over the lifetime of the Plan. A Phased approach to housing provision is set out in Chapter 2, including the identification of Long-Term Strategic Reserve Lands to accommodate the future housing needs of the County into the future. The Plan must ensure sufficiency of land supply to enable compliance with the consolidation approach advocated by RSES by seeking to provide 50% of all new homes within or contiguous to the built-up area of Dublin City and Suburbs and seeking to provide 30% of all new homes within the existing built-up areas are supplied. To align with the provisions of the NPF, RSES, the Settlement Strategy and overall vision for the County, the Council will continue to utilise all policies available to it to ensure the optimum delivery of residential units over the duration of this Plan. In seeking to secure this objective the Development Plan will seek to:

Increase the supply of housing in a compact and sustainable manner and in appropriate locations.

  • Provide housing choice for the residents of the County through an appropriate mix, type and range of units.
  • Create attractive, healthy, liveable communities in urban and rural areas.
  • Proactively facilitate and support Túsla, the Child and Family Agency, service providers and other relevant agencies in the provision of a domestic violence refuge in the county and work towards the realisation of one refuge space for every 10,000 people, as per the recommendation of the Istanbul Convention, particularly when initiating planning on larger regeneration lands.

Policy SPQHP11 Ensuring Housing Supply

Ensure that sufficient zoned lands are made available at appropriate locations to meet the housing needs of Fingal over the life of the Development Plan.

Policy SPQHP12 Housing Strategy

Ensure that the Housing Strategy recognises the diverse needs of all of Fingal’s citizens meeting insofar as is feasible their diverse accommodation needs.

Policy SPQHP13 Infrastructure Deficits

Accelerate the availability of lands ready for residential development by aiming to address current infrastructural deficits delaying residential development, and by working collaboratively with all infrastructure providers in facilitating such infrastructure.

Objective SPQHO12 Key Enabling Infrastructure

Identify and support the provision of key enabling infrastructure at strategic sites in Fingal to facilitate their release for development in a timely manner.

Objective SPQHO13

The Council will work in cooperation and collaborate with key stakeholders including the DHLGH and the Dublin Housing Supply Co-Ordination Task Force (or any successor) to respond to the current supply challenges in the Dublin region. The Council will also support ‘Active Land Management’ using appropriate Exchequer funding to ensure the delivery of accessible social and affordable housing in a variety of size and tenure across Fingal County Council lands alongside open space, community and/or educational facilities, where required.

3.5.5 Local Area Plans, Masterplans, Framework Plans

The Council will continue to identify appropriate active land management mechanisms to co-ordinate the phased delivery of new sustainable communities, as detailed in Chapter 2 Section 2.4 Implementation and Active Land Management. The Council will continue to implement the LAPs and Masterplans currently in place at the time of adoption of the Development Plan. The Council proposes a  number  of  LAPs  to  be  prepared  during  the  plan  period.  These  are  listed  in Section  2.4.   This Development Plan will also see the introduction of Framework Plans and it is an objective of this Plan to prepare such Plans for a number of areas throughout the County including areas in urban, rural and  industrial  settings.  It  is  envisaged  that  the  Framework  Plans  will  include   objectives  and   a programme of actions to maximise the development potential of these areas.

The detailed planning, development and phasing of centres will be promoted through the mechanisms of existing Local Area Plans (LAPs), Masterplans (MP’s) Framework Plans (FPs) and Strategic Development Zones (SDZs) and the preparation and implementation of new Local Area Plans and Framework Plans.
 

Local Area Plans, Masterplans, Urban Framework Plans

Objective SPQHO14

Prepare Local Area Plans for areas designated on Development Plan maps in co-operation with relevant stakeholders, and actively secure the implementation of these plans and the achievement of the specific objectives indicated.

Objective SPQHO15

Implement existing Local Area Plans, Masterplans and Framework Plans for areas designated on Development  Plan  maps   in   co-operation   with   relevant   stakeholders,   and   actively seek  the achievement of the specific objectives within.

Objective SPQHO16

Prepare Framework Plans where outlined in Chapter 2, liaising closely with landowners, developers Elected Members and other relevant stakeholders (which may include local community and voluntary organisations (e.g. Residents' Associations and Tidy Towns groups). These documents shall indicate the broad development parameters for each site and take cognisance of permitted developments and any potential environmental impacts.

3.5.6  Social Inclusion

Social inclusion is one of the four cross-cutting themes of  this  Plan.  It is  a  key objective at  national, regional, and local level when planning for our communities. The ultimate aim of social inclusion is enabling participation in society for all those who desire it. Creating a more socially inclusive and cohesive society by alleviating social exclusion, poverty and deprivation is a major challenge. This is encapsulated in both placemaking and housing provision ensuring improved access for all groups within society, impacting positively on the lives of citizens. There are key groups within society which must be considered when planning and designing our communities and in relation to housing provision. These include, for example, children, older people, persons with disabilities, new ethnic communities, and the Traveller community.

The creation of a more socially inclusive, equal and culturally diverse society is a requirement of NPO 28 of the NPF which requires Councils to ‘plan for a more diverse and socially inclusive society that targets equality of opportunity and a better quality of life for all citizens, through improved integration and greater accessibility in the delivery of  sustainable  communities  and  the  provision  of associated services’.

The Road Map for Social Inclusion 2020-2025 states that social inclusion is achieved when people have access to sufficient income, resources and services to enable them to play an active part in their communities. The Plan must ensure that settlements within Fingal provide for a range of housing options, including a choice of typology and tenure and adaptable housing benefiting from universal design  to  ensure  social  inclusion  and  integration  for  all  members  of  our  community.  There  are several groups with specific requirements in terms of housing design and accommodation needs which must be considered in the design of the built environment and their requirements are considered in this Plan.

 

Older People

Fingal is synonymous with a young and growing population over consecutive census periods whilst just 9.1% of the population or 27,035 persons are over 65. Conversely, the growth in this cohort between 2011 and 2016 was 36.1%, the highest recorded increase in the 65 years+ age cohort within the State.  This figure is expected to increase over the next intercensal period, and it is important  the housing requirements of older people are taken into consideration in this Plan. This includes a flexible approach to step-down housing options in the centre of towns and villages, close to amenities and public transport options, flexibility in terms of housing subdivision and policy in relation to family flats.

This Plan is committed to supporting the needs of an ageing population in the community with reference to housing, mobility and the public realm. Fingal has published ‘A New Age Friendly Strategy 2018-2023’ and the content considers the new Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) data for the County. The Government’s Policy Statement - Housing Options for Our Ageing Population 2019 provides a framework to support and provide guidance. Fingal will continue to promote policies and objectives which support the needs of older people in the community with reference to housing, mobility and the public realm having regard to Age Friendly Ireland's ‘Age Friendly Principles and Guidelines for the Planning Authority 2020’.
 

Persons with Disabilities

31,970 no. persons registered with a disability in Fingal under the 2016 Census. The Development Plan must take into consideration the needs of persons with disabilities, including sensory disability, physical and intellectual disability and those with mental health concerns. Housing options facilitating an appropriate range of accommodation and related support services promoting equality of opportunity, individual choice and independent living for people with a disability will be supported by the Plan. The ability for those with additional needs to engage in recreational, play, and sporting opportunities will also be supported and encouraged.

Traveller Community

The Traveller community accounted for 0.45% of the population in Fingal in the 2016 Census. Under Fingal’s Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019-2024, it is the policy of the Council to provide group and standard housing options as well as Traveller Specific Accommodation for Travellers who are indigenous to the administrative County of Fingal in accordance with the assessment of need carried out under the provisions of the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998 and having regard to the accommodation objectives of The National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021.

Children and Young People

Fingal continues to have a young and growing population over consecutive census periods with the latest Census period (2016) indicating that Fingal is home to 87,140 persons under 19 years of age, a significant percentage of the County’s population at 29.4%. Facilities catering to children and young people including the provision of childcare and educational facilities, sports and recreation as well as play and socialising are addressed under Chapter 4 -Community Infrastructure and Open Space.

Minority Groups

Fingal’s ‘Migrant Integration & Social Cohesion Strategy 2019-2024' is supported by the Plan and promotes inclusive and cohesive communities, where all who live, work and visit are valued. All residents should be enabled to fully participate and contribute to their communities, irrespective of their nationality, ethnicity, religious or cultural background.

Policy SPQHP14 Social Inclusion

Support all members of society to enjoy a high-quality living environment and to support local communities, healthcare authorities and other bodies, such as those experts within our communities with 'lived experience', involved in the provision of facilities for groups with specific design/planning needs.

Policy SPQHP15 Accessibility for All

Promote the development of built environments and public realms which are accessible to all, ensuring new developments accord with the seven principles of Universal Design as advocated by the National Disability Authority, Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach

Policy SPQHP16 Housing Design for Older People

It is the Policy of Fingal County Council to assess the suitability for provision for specifically designed housing for Older Persons known as Senior Living, when considering Masterplans, Local Area Plans, and other large plans. Senior Living accommodation will specifically provide for people who are aged 55+. Senior Living Developments are non-institutional integrated residential developments for older people that provide the ability for older people to age in place

Policy SPQHP17 National and Regional Policy on Social Inclusion

Support and promote social inclusion in line with national and regional policy.

3.5.7  Housing for All

3.5.7.1 Housing for Older People

As people age, their housing needs are likely to change. This Plan is committed to planning for the housing and accommodation needs of older people within the Fingal Community ensuring a range of accommodation options are available and to provide meaningful choice. While the population of Fingal remains one of the youngest and growing in the country, it is important that as we age, appropriate housing choice and supports are in place.

The Government’s Policy Statement - Housing Options for Our Ageing Population 2019) provides a framework to support and provide guidance. A key principle underpinning Government housing policy is to support older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence for as long as possible. The aim is to ensure that older people will have greater choice by developing a range of housing options that are suited to their needs, care requirements and lifestyle choices.

NPO 30 of the NPF provides that local planning, housing, transport/accessibility and leisure policies be developed with a focus on meeting the needs and opportunities of an ageing population, along with the inclusion of specific projections, supported by clear proposals in respect of ageing communities as part of the core strategy of City and County Development Plans.Fingal County Council will ensure that suitable housing for older people is a mandatory inclusion in all future LAPs and Masterplans.

Fingal is involved in the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme which aims to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs. With the long-term aim of the scheme to support the avoidance or early or premature admission to longer term residential care. Fingal has published the ‘A New Age Friendly Strategy (Fingal Age Friendly Strategy 2018-2023’ and the content considers the new Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) data for the County. In the event, however, that the home is no longer fit for purpose and the provision of care and physical alterations cannot render it so, alternatives, preferably in the same area or community, need to be provided.
By providing a variety of housing options for our older residents, including step down housing, this may in certain instances, free up larger family homes, therefore assisting with the demand for family homes in Fingal.

Policy SPQHP19 Adaptable and Flexible Housing

Promote all new housing to be designed and laid out in an adaptable and flexible manner to meet the needs of the homeowner as they age as set out in Section 5.2 Flexibility and Adaptability ‘Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities – Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities’ (2007) published by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

Policy SPQHP20 Accessibility

Ensure existing policies, standards and objectives are in line current best practice in terms of accessibility including the Irish Wheelchair Association’s (IWA) ‘Think Ahead, Think Housing campaign, the IWA Best Practice Access Guidelines (4th edition) and the National Disability Authority’s Guidelines including ‘Universal Design Guidelines for Homes in Ireland’ and Dementia Friendly Dwellings for People with Dementia’ their Families and Carers’.

Objective SPQHO17

Support the needs of older people within the community with reference to Housing, Mobility and Public Realm having regard to Age Friendly Principles and Guidelines for the Planning Authority 2020 and the ‘Fingal Age Friendly Strategy 2018-2023’

Objective SPQHO18

Promote a range of housing options within Fingal to cater for the housing needs and care requirements of older people. This includes independent and assisted living options and to support and promote the provision of specific purpose-built accommodation, including retirement villages, ‘right-sizing ’ housing options and measures to ensure housing is adaptable to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs.  All LAPs and Masterplans will be assessed for suitability to provide housing for older people. Where there is an identified need or local demand, the appropriate housing option(s) will be included in the plan.

Objective SPQHO19

Promote and encourage schemes which promote innovative ways of addressing dementia friendly issues in the built environment.

Objective SPQHO20

Fingal  County  Council  will   work   in   partnership   with   Approved   Housing   Bodies   and   other organisations to assist homeowners adapting their homes in a way that meets the needs of an ageing population and will promote initiatives to assist in intergenerational living.

3.5.7.2  Housing for Persons with Disabilities

The Council is committed to implementing the framework for the delivery of housing for persons with disabilities as set out in the ‘National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability 2011-2016' (extended to 2020). A new National Housing Strategy for Persons with Disabilities 2022-2027 is under preparation by the Housing Agency and will facilitate the provision of housing options and related services to disabled persons to allow individual choice and support independent living. Fingal County Council will continue to support the vision and strategic aims of the Strategy and facilitate access for people with disabilities to the appropriate range of housing, promoting equality of opportunity, individual choice and independent living.

Policy SPQHP21 Housing for people with Disabilities

Support and promote access, for people with disabilities, to the appropriate range of housing and related support services, delivered in an integrated and sustainable manner, which promotes equality of opportunity, individual choice and independent living.

Policy SPQHP22  Affordable, Social and Specialised Housing

Promote the provision of affordable and social housing and specialised housing including sheltered housing and housing for persons with disabilities.

Objective SPQHO21  Accessible Housing

Fingal County Council recognises the importance of social inclusion and aims to make 30% of social housing should be fully accessible and built with a universal design approach which will mean that the property will be flexible and changed as needed over the course of the occupants lifetime.

3.5.7.3  Housing for the Traveller Community

In the 2016 Census, the Traveller population of Fingal was recorded at 1,315 persons. This  represents 0.45% of the population overall. The current Traveller Accommodation Programme for Fingal sets out the strategy for the provision of Traveller accommodation and support services during the period 2019-2024. The Programme identifies annual targets for group housing (new), groups housing (refurbishment) and halting site refurbishment to 2024.

Table 3.2: Traveller Specific Accommodation – Annual Targets

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

Group Housing review

o

24

13

14

17

10

Group Housing refurbishment

4

4

3

3

3

3

Halting site refurbishment

30

22

7

5

10

 

Total

34

50

23

22

30

13

Source: Fingal County Council Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019 – 2024

All Capital works for Traveller Specific accommodation is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Council will continue to address the provision of accommodation appropriate to the needs of Travellers in line with the requirements of the Traveller Accommodation Programme or any review thereto over the life of the Plan.

Policy SPQHP20 Housing for the Traveller Community

Implement the Fingal Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019-2024 and any superseding Programmes agreed by Fingal County Council over the lifetime of this Plan.

3.5.8  Other Housing Provision

3.5.8.1  Homelessness

Reducing and preventing homelessness remains a top priority for national government through Housing for All: A new Housing Plan for Ireland which sets out pathways to achieving four Overarching Objectives, pathway no. 2  of  which  relates  to  eradicating  homelessness,  increasing  social housing delivery and supporting social infrastructure. Fingal County Council as a member of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive will continue to implement the Homelessness Action Plan Framework for Dublin 2019-2021 (and any updates thereof during the life of the Plan). Recognising that homelessness requires an inter-agency approach to address the often-complex combination of health, economic and social needs of homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness, the Council will continue to work with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) and the HSE, to support people experiencing homelessness into long-term sustainable accommodation.

 

Policy SPQHP24 Homeless Services

Support the implementation of the Homeless Action Plan Framework for Dublin 2019 -2021 or any subsequent update thereof during the life of the Plan and continue to collaborate with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Non-Government Organisations, Approved Housing Bodies and the Health Service Executive to support initiatives to address homelessness.

3.5.8.2  Emergency Accommodation

The Council in conjunction with partner agencies is committed to facilitating the needs of those who require emergency housing provision, which may occur due to a variety of reasons. The Council will work collaboratively with statutory agencies to facilitate and support appropriate emergency accommodation where the need arises.

Policy SPQHP25 Emergency Accommodation

Facilitate and support State agencies in the provision of specific emergency or other forms of housing need within Fingal as such demand arises.

Objective SPQHO22

Facilitate and support Tusla Child and Family Agency, the Health Service Executive and other service providers and State agencies in the provision of specific emergency or other forms of accommodation within Fingal.

Objective SPQHO23

Facilitate and support relevant agencies in the development of emergency accommodation for families and homeless people of all genders, that is socially inclusive and focused in areas close to facilities and public transport.  

Objective SPQHO24

Proactively facilitate and support Túsla, the Child and Family Agency, service providers and other relevant agencies in the provision of a domestic violence refuge in the County and work towards the realisation of one refuge space for every 10,000 people, as per the recommendation of the Istanbul Convention, particularly when initiating planning on larger regeneration lands.

Aerial photograph Round Tower

3.5.8.3  Accommodation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The Council will continue to liaise and work with the relevant agencies and stakeholders in securing appropriate accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers in appropriate locations in Fingal.

Policy SPQHP26 Accommodation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The Council will implement government policy in relation to the provision of accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers within Fingal.

3.5.8.4  Student Accommodation

The County benefits from the presence of Technological University Dublin Blanchardstown located in an expanding campus in Blanchardstown together with Connolly Hospital, a major teaching hospital in the Fingal area. The Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board and other institutions also provide opportunities for further education within the County. Other  major  third  level  colleges located in adjoining local authority areas are within easy reach of Fingal. The Council will support the provision of high-quality,affordable, professionally managed student accommodation, either within the campus of the third level institution, or on sites in proximity to such institutions which benefit from access to good public transport and walking and cycling networks.

Policy SPQHP 27: Student Accommodation

Support the provision of high-quality purpose built, professionally managed, third level student accommodation on the campus of Third Level Institutions or at other appropriate locations with access to public transport corridors which are proximate to third level centres of education.

Objective SPQHO25  Student Accommodation

Support the provision of on-campus accommodation and consider applications for the provision of student accommodation off-campus having regard to:

  • The location and accessibility to Educational Facilities and the proximity to existing or planned public transport corridors, cycle and pedestrian routes and green routes.
  • The potential impact on existing residential amenities.
  • The level and quality of on-site facilities, including storage facilities, waste management, cycle parking, leisure facilities, car parking and amenity.
  • The architectural quality of the design, internal layouts should take cognisance of the need for flexibility for future possible changes of use.
  • The number of similar facilities existing in the area.

Development proposals for purpose-built student accommodation will be assessed against the criteria set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

3.5.9  Housing Types

3.5.9.1  Social and Affordable Housing

Social housing performs a key function in society, ensuring that households who do not have sufficient resources to  meet  their  housing needs are  provided  with  support.  Under ‘Housing for  All,  A  New Housing Plan for Ireland’ the Government has ambitious plans to average over 10,000 social housing homes annually for the next five years and to continue to build social housing to 2030. Given the current supply challenges, it will be necessary to continue to provide social housing via the private rental  market  to  ensure  that  those  who  are   most   vulnerable   in   society   can   access   support immediately. As new build supply of social housing ramps up, it is anticipated that there will be reducing reliance on assistance such as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS). Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) have been significant partners with local authorities in social housing delivery in Fingal and will continue to have a significant role in new Local Authority Delivery Action Plans which are to be prepared by individual local authorities by December 2021 covering a five-year period. The Plans will set out how the Local Authority will deliver their housing targets, including the delivery of affordable homes. In addition, the Dublin Housing Delivery Group, of which Fingal is a partner, has been set up to co-ordinate and drive delivery of social and affordable housing in the Dublin region.

In addition to the continued implementation of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) the Council will work in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, Approved Housing Bodies, and other key stakeholders to deliver and manage social housing. Other mechanisms of delivery will include direct build, acquisitions, void management, long term leasing, enhanced leasing, repair to lease, and private rental (RAS and HAP)

3.5.9.2  Cost Rental

A new statutory basis is being established for Cost Rental under the Affordable Housing Act 2021, which sets out how this new sector will operate. Under Cost Rental, homes will be provided at rents that are set to cover only the cost of financing, building, managing and maintaining the homes, calculated over a minimum period of 40 years. Tenants will have significantly increased security of tenure, making Cost Rental a long-term rental option. Rents for these homes will be linked to annual inflation, providing greater cost certainty. This measure is being targeted at middle income households, with incomes above the social housing limits with the aim of maximising effectiveness for those who do not already receive support from the State

3.5.9.3  Build to Rent

It is an objective of the Council to facilitate the provision of Build-to-Rent Accommodation in suitable locations in accordance with the provisions of Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments (2020). Build to Rent serves an important role in meeting housing demand and provides an additional housing tenure  option in  the  market. It  is  important  to ensure however, that no  one housing type dominates and a mix of housing options and tenures is preferable in achieving a sustainable housing mix. Build to Rent Schemes should be located close to high quality public transport networks, settlement and employment centres.

Policy SPQHP28 Housing for All

Support the initiatives proposed under Housing for All – A New Housing Plan for Ireland in providing for social housing provision within Fingal, including the preparation of Local Authority Delivery Action Plans.

Policy SPQHP29 Social, Affordable and Cost Rental Housing

Promote the provision of social, affordable and cost rental housing in accordance with the Fingal County Council Housing Strategy, Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) by the Affordable Housing Act 2021 and government policy as outlined by the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage Housing for All Housing Plan to 2030.

Policy SPQHP30 Housing Type and Tenure

Support Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and other sectoral agencies in the provision of a greater diversity of housing type and tenure including social and affordable housing and explore new models of low-cost rental and affordable home ownership.

Policy SPQHP31 Build to Rent

The Council will facilitate the provision of Build-to-Rent Accommodation in suitable locations within Fingal in accordance with the provisions of ‘Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments (2020)’.

Policy SPQHP32 Applications for Build to Rent Schemes

Applications for BTR schemes shall be required to demonstrate that there is not an over-concentration of Build to Rent Accommodation within an area, including a map showing all such facilities within 1km of a proposal. Such housing will be controlled in the interest of providing a mix of tenure and unit types. In assessing the matter of overconcentration, the Planning Authority will have regard to factors such as: • The number and scale of other permitted BTR development in the vicinity (1km) of the site, • The household tenure and housing type of existing housing stock in the approximate vicinity (1km) of the site and • The proximity of the proposal to high-capacity public transport stops and interchange (such as DART, MetroLink, Luas+ and BusConnects).  

3.5.10  Housing Typologies in Fingal

3.5.10.1 Apartments, Houses and Adaptable Homes

A suitable mix of housing types should be provided in new residential areas to meet the needs of residents. The provision of quality housing which is suitable for citizens throughout their lives and adaptable to people’s changing circumstances is fundamental to creating compact towns and villages. Housing, whether apartments, traditional houses or otherwise, should be adaptable to the life stage of its occupants. The needs of different family units vary considerably such as elderly couples, single individuals and family units. However, the basic structure of the home should be easily adaptable to accommodate these different life stages. Residential and mixed-use developments should include a range of house sizes and types to allow people to remain in an area at every stage of their  lives  if  they   so   wish. This   includes housing   adaptation and   additional   housing  typologies providing housing options for elderly occupants who may wish to have their housing needs met in a more tailored manner. This may include ‘Right Sizing’ opportunities and Fingal County Council   will   examine    proposals    to    undertake    a    pilot    study    in    relation    to such housing options. Integrated housing and community developments in appropriate locations, close to community infrastructure, services and transport links can add significantly to the range of accommodation options available, from independent and assisted living which can cater more adeptly for the medical needs of residents.

While more traditional house development continues to be the predominant form of housing type in Fingal, there is evidence to suggest that this is changing particularly in the Dublin City Area and Suburbs. Data collated as part of the 2016 Census regarding private households in Fingal indicates that of 292,989 households, 14% resided in  flat/apartments  or  bed-sits.  This  figure  is  expected  to  rise in the future as housing typologies within the County change and expand and as more apartments become available. This is in line with national forecasts and ensures consistency with national and regional planning policy regarding consolidation of the urban form.

Future development of strategic residential lands and transport corridors within the Dublin Metropolitan area is likely to provide for higher densities and choice of housing. It is important that in providing apartment schemes, design standards encourage a wider demographic profile which actively includes families and older members of the population. This has numerous benefits including the establishment of diverse and balanced communities as well as providing opportunities to down- size and to right size.

To ensure success,  apartment  living  requires  schemes  to  be  designed  as  an  integral  part  of  the neighbourhood in which they are located and it is the policy of Fingal County Council to ensure that planning applications for apartments have regard to the relevant Guidelines for apartment development and sustainable communities including the DEHLG Guidelines on ‘Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities – Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities’ (2007) and ‘Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments’ (2020).

3.5.10.2  Care Facilities

Residential Care Home

The term ‘residential care home’ refers to several diverse types of property in which accommodation is provided for people in need of care for assorted reasons. The occupants, usually in single rooms, have access to on-site care services. Care can be provided on a 24-hour basis or partial care depending on the person's needs.

Retirement Home

A ‘retirement home’ is a multi-residence housing facility intended for older persons. The usual pattern is that each person or couple in the home has an apartment style room or suite of rooms. Additional facilities are provided within the building. Often this includes facilities for meals, gathering, recreation, and some form of health or hospice care.

Nursing Home

A ‘nursing home’ is a facility for the care (usually long-term) of patients who do not require hospital care but are not able to remain at home. Today, nursing homes have a more active role in health care, helping patients prepare to live at home or with a family member when possible. They help conserve expensive hospital facilities for the acutely ill and improve the prospects of the chronically disabled. A retirement home differs from a nursing home primarily in the level of medical care given.

Retirement Village

A ‘retirement village’ is a complex containing separate and independent homes for residents that are intended to be predominantly or exclusively occupied by retired persons who have entered into contracts with the operator of the complex. The presumption for such retirement villages is that they are located within an urban setting so that services and facilities are accessible.

Policy SPQHP33 Care Facilities

Promote the provision of high-quality residential care homes, retirement homes, nursing homes and retirement villages within Fingal.

Objective SPQHO26

Require that residential care homes, retirement homes, nursing homes, retirement villages and sheltered accommodation be located in towns and villages for reasons of sustainability, accessibility, social inclusion, and proximity to the availability of services, except where a demonstrated need to locate in a rural environment because of the nature of the care required can be clearly established.

Objective SPQHO27

Consider the existing (and anticipated) character of the area in which a proposed residential care home, retirement home, nursing home or sheltered accommodation is to be located and the compatibility of the use to such an area.

Objective SPQHO28

Ensure that proposals for care homes, retirement homes, nursing homes, retirement villages and sheltered housing provide for a range of social and care facilities for the use of residents and that such schemes provide for appropriate levels of accessible outdoor space, finished to a high standard and available for use by residents.


3.5.11  Quality of Residential Development

3.5.11.1  Design Standards

The provision of a mix and range of housing types is essential to accommodate the housing needs and expectations of the County’s residents. Mixed and inclusive communities, which offer a choice of housing and lifestyles, have been proven to provide several community benefits. Social housing should be integrated with private housing. Designing  new  residential  areas  at appropriate densities with a range of house types and room sizes is a key factor in achieving sustainable and successful communities which have a sense of identity and community pride.

The Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas, DHPLG 2009 require that new homes offer a high level of amenity, privacy, security and energy efficiency. Standards in relation to the quality of residential development including private open space, dwelling unit sizes, privacy and aspect are set out under Chapter 14 Development Management Standards while public open space is addressed in Chapter 4 Community Infrastructure and Open Space.

3.5.11.2  Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Careful consideration should also be given to the adaptability of buildings over time, to enable the building stock to be retrofitted or refurbished to meet higher energy efficiency standards in the future. Further objectives in relation to energy efficiency, climate change and provision of sustainable buildings are outlined in Chapter 5 Climate Action.

3.5.11.3  Density

Fingal County Council will support higher densities in appropriate locations in accordance with the NPF, RSES and Guidelines issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). The achievement of higher densities ensures the efficient use of land and promotes compact consolidated development in line with national  and  regional  planning  policy.  This ensures sustainable travel and settlement patterns, enhanced vibrancy and economic vitality of urban and villages centres while ensuring return on investment in key public transport initiatives. Density is not the sole determinant in achieving appropriate consolidation, and it is important that the scheme is respectful  of  its  context,  the  nature and  character of the surrounding  area and has regard  to prevailing patterns of development locally. The approach must be plan led, incorporating a high-quality  urban design and ultimately   contribute positively to the urban fabric of the area. In determining densities, regard should be given to Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas 2009 and its companion document Urban Design Manual - a Best Practice Guide.

Policy SPQHP34 Quality of Residential Development

Promote a high quality of design and layout in new residential developments at appropriate densities across Fingal, ensuring high-quality living environments for all residents in terms of the standard of individual dwelling units and the overall layout and appearance of developments. Residential developments must accord with the standards set out in the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas, DEHLG (2009) and the accompanying Urban Design Manual – A Best Practice Guide and the Design Standards for New Apartments (DHLGH as updated 2020) and the policies and objectives contained within the Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines’ (December, 2018). Developments should be consistent with standards outlined in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards. 

 

Objective SPQHO29 Rainwater Harvesting

Ensure residential new builds include the provision of infrastructure for the harvesting of rainwater where it is feasible and cost-effective.

Objective SPQHO30 Variety of Housing Types

Encourage the creation of attractive, mixed use and sustainable residential communities which contain a wide variety of housing and apartment types, sizes, tenures and typologies in accordance with the Fingal Housing Strategy, the HNDA with supporting community facilities, amenities and services.

Objective SPQHO31  Property Management

Promote efficient and effective property management to ensure the satisfactory security, maintenance and upkeep of communal areas.

Objective SPQHO32  New Residential Development and Energy Efficiency

Ensure new residential development incorporates energy efficiency measures and promotes innovative renewable energy opportunities, for example by passive solar design, natural ventilation, and vegetation (green roofs etc) on buildings and makes most effective and sustainable use of water, aggregates and other resources.

Objective SPQHO33  Integration of Residential Densities

Encourage higher residential densities where appropriate  ensuring proposals provide for high quality design and ensure a balance between the protection of existing residential amenities and the established character of the surrounding area with a target minimum amount of 15% amount of green space, tree coverage and public space associated with every residential area..

3.5.12   Private, Semi-Private and Public Open Space

In meeting the amenity requirements of residents, appropriate levels of private, semi-private and communal open space must be achieved in new residential developments and in assessing  proposals regarding the extension of existing residential schemes. It is also important that new development does not negatively impact the private open space amenities enjoyed by adjacent developments.

All residential units, be they traditional housing or multi-unit apartment schemes are required to provide private open space to serve residents. Schemes incorporating apartments and duplexes where limited private open space may be available may be augmented by high quality, accessible semi- private/communal open spaces. This may take  many  forms  including  roof  gardens  and  courtyards provided the space is of a sufficiently high standard to cater for the residential amenity of residents.

Consideration may be given by the Council to the inclusion of civic spaces within overall open space quantum calculations, but only in instances where the space proposed is of a size and layout suitable to cater for civic events, is of an exceptionally high standard of finish, including planting of large trees and associated landscaping and does not fulfill ancillary functions associated with commercial or other land uses, e.g car parking, servicing, etc.
 

In certain instances and on a case-by-case basis, quantitative standards in relation to private and communal open space may be relaxed when considering small scale residential schemes within town and village centres. This will only be considered subject to the development proposal meeting all qualitative standards, demonstrating an exceptionally high-quality of the design and finish and its contribution to achieving consolidation of the urban fabric and enhancement of the streetscape.

Public and Private Open Space, including quantitative and qualitative standards are examined in detail respectively in Chapter 4 Community Infrastructure and Open Space and in the Development Management Standards set out in Chapter 14.

Policy SPQHP35 Private and Semi-Private Open Space

Ensure that all residential development within Fingal is provided with and has access to high quality private open space and semi-private open space (relative to the composition of the residential scheme) which is of a high-quality design and finish and integrated into the design of the residential development.

Policy SPQHP36 Open Space Hierarchy

Ensure that all residential development in Fingal is served by a clear hierarchy and network of high quality public open spaces providing for active and passive recreation purposes which is easily accessible and integrated with local communities.

Objective SPQHO34  Private Open Space

Require that all private open spaces for houses and apartments/duplexes including balconies, patios, roof gardens and rear gardens are designed in accordance with the qualitative and quantitative standards set out set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

Objective SPQHO35  Public open Space

Public open space provision in new residential developments must comply with the quantitative and qualitative standards set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

3.5.13  Compact Growth, Consolidation and Regeneration

The Council, in line with national and regional planning policies and objectives seeks to promote the regeneration of Fingal’s towns and villages by making better use of under-used land and buildings within the existing built-up urban footprint and to drive the delivery of quality housing and increased housing options. This may be achieved in several ways and by projects of varying scale including small residential extensions, subdivision of large gardens to accommodate infill development and where appropriate, backland development opportunities.

Larger consolidation projects may include the reuse/re-purposing of extensive brownfield sites for residential purposes/mixed-use purposes or repurposing vacant commercial premises for alternative uses. The benefits accruing do not relate solely to the individual site or building but can result in multiple benefits to the wider area including enhancement to the public realm, creation of new public open spaces and with good quality architectural design, significant visual improvements for the streetscape.


Particularly in key town and village locations, the repurposing of brownfield, under-utilised or vacant sites can result in additional housing options and typologies, including the introduction of residential use above commercial premises facilitating ‘step-down’, ‘Right Sizing’ and sheltered housing options where community services, retail provision and public transport are locally accessible. This in turn increases the vibrancy of our towns and villages and compliments the Town Centre First approach addressed earlier.

Special attention to design and in particular, impacts on neighbouring properties should be addressed and the design principles established under the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas DEHLG 2009 should be followed.

Chapter 14 Development Management Standards should be consulted  in  relation  to  residential and mixed-use consolidation proposals.

Policy SPQHP37 Compact Growth, Consolidation and Regeneration

Promote compact growth in line with the NPF and RSES through the inclusion of specific policies and targeted and measurable implementation measures that:

  • Encourage infill/brownfield development
  • Focus growth on the County’s designated strategic development areas identified in the Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan
  • Promote increased densities along public transport corridors.

Policy SPQHP38 Co-Ordinated Development

Promote residential development addressing shortfalls in housing provision and meeting target guidance figures through a co-ordinated planned approach to developing appropriately zoned lands at key locations including regeneration areas, vacant and underutilised sites.

Policy SPQHP39 Upper Floor Use

Support proposals to introduce residential use on upper floors of appropriate commercial buildings in Town Centre, Small Town and Village Centres and Local Centres, subject to the achievement of prescribed development standards set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards in order to revitalise the social and physical character of the area.

Objective SPQHO36

Promote residential consolidation and sustainable intensification at appropriate locations, through the consolidation and rejuvenation of infill/brown-field development opportunities in line with the principles of compact growth and consolidation to meet the future housing needs of Fingal.

Objective SPQHO37

Promote residential development at sustainable densities throughout Fingal in accordance with the Core Strategy, particularly on vacant and/or under-utilised sites having regard to the need to ensure high standards of urban design, architectural quality and integration with the character of the surrounding area.

Objective SPQHO38

New infill development shall respect the height and massing of existing residential units. Infill development shall retain the physical character of the area including features such as boundary walls, pillars, gates/gateways, trees, landscaping, and fencing or railings.

Objective SPQHO39

Favourably consider proposals providing for the development of corner or wide garden sites within the curtilage of existing dwellings in established residential areas subject to the achievement of prescribed standards and safeguards set out in Chapter 14 -Development Management Standards.

Objective SPQHO40

Promote measures to reduce vacancy and underuse of existing building stock and to support the refurbishment and retrofitting of existing buildings.

Objective SPQHO41

Encourage and promote the development of underutilised infill, corner and backland sites in existing residential areas subject to the character of the area and environment being protected.

Objective SPQHO42

Promote the use of contemporary and innovative design solutions subject to design respecting the character and architectural heritage of the area.

Objective SPQHO43

The Council will encourage the retention and retrofitting of structurally sound, habitable dwellings in good condition as opposed to demolition and replacement and will also encourage the retention of existing houses, such as cottages, that, while not Protected Structures or located within an ACA, do have their own merit and/or contribute beneficially to the area in terms of visual amenity, character or accommodation type.


3.5.13.1  Residential Extensions

The need for people to extend and renovate their dwellings is recognised and acknowledged. Extensions will be considered favourably where they do not have a negative impact on adjoining properties or on the nature of the surrounding area.

Policy SPQHP40 Residential Extensions

Support the extension of existing dwellings with extensions of appropriate scale and subject to the protection of residential and visual amenities.

Objective SPQHO44  Domestic Extensions

Encourage sensitively designed extensions to existing dwellings which do not negatively impact on the environment or on adjoining properties or area.

3.5.13.2  Family Flats

Family flats are a means of providing additional accommodation with a level of independence for an undefined temporary period of time. Family flats allow for semi-independent accommodation for an immediate family member (dependent on the main occupants of the dwelling). Applications for family flats will be considered favourably subject to criteria set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

Policy SPQHP41 Family Flats

Support the provision of family flats on suitable sites within established residential areas subject to specific design criteria.

Objective SPQHO45

Ensure family flats:

  • Are for a member of the family with a demonstrated need.
  • When no longer required for the identified family member, are incorporated as part of the main unit on site.
  • Do not exceed 60 sq m in floor area.
  • Comply with the design criteria for extensions, as above.

3.5.14  Areas of Disadvantage and Derelict Sites

While Fingal may be the second most affluent local authority area in the country, pockets of disadvantage are found scattered throughout the area. The Pobal Deprivation index 2016 classified five small areas in Fingal as being ‘very disadvantaged’ three in the Blanchardstown area and two in the Balbriggan area. Other areas within our larger urban centres are classified as being ‘disadvantaged’, just under half of these were in the Blanchardstown area in western Fingal with Balbriggan and Swords following as the areas that contained the largest numbers of areas classified as disadvantaged. In addition to improving the quality of the public realm, the careful reuse and regeneration of vacant sites has a significant rejuvenating role to play in supporting disadvantaged areas as part of a multi-layered approach to rejuvenation. The Council  will continue to utilise its  own capital resources as well as funding streams under Project Ireland 2040, including the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF & RRDF) to support regeneration and sustainable development within Fingal

3.5.14.1  Vacant Sites Levy – Residential and Regeneration Lands

Fingal maintains a Vacant Sites Register as  required under  the  Urban Regeneration and Housing  Act 2015 (as   amended)   and will   continue to   implement   a   Vacant   Sites    Levy to    ensure   that appropriate sites are brought into use for employment, residential or other suitable use, offering opportunities for regeneration and renewal. The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act sets out two broad categories of vacant land which the levy may apply to; lands being zoned primarily for residential purposes and lands in need of regeneration. Lands zoned residential or primarily residential purposes which have the capacity to deliver residential development- RA and RS are subject to the provisions of the levy while lands zoned LC and TC mixed use zonings are included for the  purposes  of  lands  in   need   of   regeneration  as   they play   a critical   role in  the   provision of sustainable neighbourhoods with    the    renewal    of    key    sites. MC and     GE zoned     lands are also included given the opportunities for renewal and regeneration presented.

3.5.14.2  Residential Zoned Land Tax

To encourage the activation of zoned and serviced land for residential development and in order to increase housing supply, Budget 2022 introduced the Zoned Land Tax (ZLT). The tax, which has a two-year lead time, will  replace the current Vacant Site levy and will come into effect in 2024. The Zoned Land Tax will apply to land which is serviced and zoned for  residential  development or for mixed use land zoning where residential development is permitted, regardless of size. Maps identifying suitable sites will be prepared by the Local Authority.

The Vacant Sites levy will continue to apply in the interim period.

3.5.14.3  Land Development Agency

Fingal will continue to work with the Land Development Agency (LDA) to assist in the regeneration and development of public lands to increase housing supply within Fingal.

Policy SPQHP42 Areas in need of Renewal

Identify and secure the redevelopment and regeneration of areas in need of renewal and promote measures to reduce vacancy and underuse of key properties within town and village centres within the County

Policy SPQHP43  Inclusiveness

Create a greater sense of inclusiveness in communities by developing and implementing strategies that will generate more jobs and increase tenure diversity in areas that are socially deprived.

Objective SPQHO46

Implement the Vacant Sites Levy for all vacant development sites in the County and update and make available a Register of Vacant Sites, as per the requirements of the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, or any superseding Act

Objective SPQHO47

The Council will continue to identify and secure funding including from the Urban Regeneration and Development  Fund  to promote  the  sustainable  regeneration  and   development   of   key   areas identified for renewal within the County.

Objective SPQHO48

Continue to work in partnership with the Land Development Agency to make more effective use of publicly owned land helping to ensure a stable sustainable supply of housing.

3.5.15  Housing in Rural Fingal

It is recognised that much of the demand for one-off housing is urban generated. This can result in unsustainable patterns of development, detracting from this important reserve and placing excessive strain on the receiving environment. Both the NPF and RSES, with reference to NPO 19 and RPO 4.80 respectively require that a distinction is made between areas under urban influence i.e., within the commuter catchment of cities and large centres of employment and ensure that in these areas the provision of single houses in the open countryside is based on the core consideration of demonstrable economic or social need to live in a rural area, and compliance with statutory Guidelines and plans, having regard to the viability of smaller towns and rural settlements. Rural Fingal can be classified as an area under ‘Strong Urban Influence’ due to its location in proximity to Dublin City, major urban centres and important transport corridors. Accordingly, Fingal’s Rural Housing Strategy seeks to achieve a balance in terms of promoting sustainable rural development while also ensuring the protection of Fingal’s rich rural heritage, its landscapes and countryside, in line with national and regional policy.
 

The Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines for Planning Authorities published in 2005 seek to support housing development patterns in rural  areas  that  are  sustainable and  require Planning  Authorities to ensure that the needs of rural communities are identified through the Development Plan process. The Department issued Circular Letter PL 2/2017: Sustainable Rural  Housing  Guidelines for Planning  Authorities  2005-  Local  Needs  Criteria  in  Development  Plans in  May 2017 which indicated that the European Commission originally issued an infringement notice against Ireland in 2007, in relation to the local housing needs criteria contained in the 2005 Rural Housing Guidelines. This infringement notice was subsequently deferred pending the outcome of an infringement case taken against Belgium, now referred to as the Flemish Decree case and on which the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered its Judgement in 2013.

As such, revisions to the current 2005 Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines will need to consider the relevant ECJ judgement. Updated and revised Guidelines are proposed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, however there is no date at present for when these Guidelines will be published.

Fingal County Council is awaiting the publication of Guidelines before carrying out a full review of its rural housing policy. Accordingly, in order to protect the finite rural resources of Fingal and to ensure the sustainable growth and vitality of existing towns, Rural Villages and Clusters, the Draft Plan promotes policies necessary to restrict urban-generated ‘one-off’ housing and only facilitate genuine and bona fide cases for new residential development within the County’s rural areas. Rural development in the first instance will be directed to Fingal’s towns, Rural Villages and Rural Clusters.

Policy SPQHP44  Rural Housing

Provide viable options for the rural community through the promotion of appropriate sustainable growth of the rural villages and clusters, balanced by carefully controlled residential development in the countryside.

Policy SPQHP45   Rural Settlement Strategy

Respond to the rural-generated housing need by means of a rural settlement strategy which will direct the demand where possible to rural villages, rural clusters and permit housing development within the countryside only for those people who have a genuine rural generated housing need in accordance with the Council’s Rural Housing Policy and  where  sustainable  drainage  solutions are feasible.

Policy SPQHP46  Review of the Rural Housing Policy and Local Need Criteria

Commence a review of the Rural Housing Policy and Local Need Criteria on completion of a review by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage of the Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2005.

Policy SPQHP47   Re-use/Re-Habitation of Existing Housing Stock

Encourage the re-use and re-habilitation of existing housing stock in rural areas in preference to new build and actively promote the protection of rural buildings.

Policy SPQHP48  Preservation of Greenbelts

Recognise the importance of and preserve greenbelts in Fingal in order to safeguard valuable countryside to ensure that existing urban areas within Fingal do not coalesce enabling citizens to enjoy the County’s natural amenities and to strengthen and consolidate greenbelts around key settlements.

Policy SPQHP 49 Safeguarding Agricultural Identity

Ensure that the agricultural identity of North Fingal is safeguarded, promoting the rural character of the County and supporting the agricultural and horticultural production sectors.

Objective SPQHO49  Rural Community

Ensure the vitality and regeneration of rural communities by facilitating those with a genuine rural generated housing need to live within their rural community.

Objective SPQHO50  Promote agriculture and landscape value of the rural area

Recognise and promote the agricultural and landscape value of the rural area and prohibit the development of urban generated housing in the open countryside.

Objective SPQHO51  Re-use of existing rural building stock

Encourage the re-use and adaptation of the existing rural residential building stock and other building types.

Objective SPQHO52  Ribbon Development

In areas which are subject to either the RU, GB, or HA zoning objective, presume against development which would contribute to or intensify existing ribbon development as defined by Sustainable Rural Housing, Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 2005. A relaxation may be considered where permission is sought on the grounds of meeting the housing needs of the owner of land which adjoins an existing house of a member of his/her immediate family where it is clearly demonstrated that no other suitable site is available.

Objective SPQHO53  Vehicular entrances

Presume against the opening up of a new additional vehicular entrance into the site of any proposed house, unless necessary in the interest of safety or because no viable alternative exists.

Objective SPQHO54  Preservation of roadside hedging and trees

Require that the provision of safe access to a new house be designed so that it avoids the need to remove long or significant stretches of roadside hedging and trees. Where this is not possible, an alternative site or access should be identified.


3.5.15.1  Rural Villages

In accordance with Fingal’s Settlement Hierarchy, rural villages within the County are located within either the Metropolitan or Core areas, relative to their position to Dublin City and Suburbs and Metropolitan area. The Metropolitan Rural Villages comprise Coolquay, Kinsaley, Rivermeade, Rowlestown, while the Core Rural Villages comprise Ballymadun, Ballyboghil, Garristown, Naul, Oldtown, Balscadden. St. Margaret’s is a small linear settlement located c.7kms to the south-west of Swords, in the rural area of the County, off the R122 Kilsallaghan/Oldtown Road and immediately to the west of the Dublin Airport ‘DA’ zoned lands. St. Margaret’s Church, Parochial House, Parochial Hall and St. Margaret’s National School are centrally located, with existing residential development to the north and south of the existing centre. St. Margaret’s Village lies immediately to the west of the Dublin Airport (‘DA’) zoned lands within close proximity of existing airport infrastructure. This Plan recognises the distinct heritage and recreational assets of the area and supports its enhancement through the roll out of environmental works under any relevant Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The Rural Settlement Strategy is not applicable to the Rural Villages and settlement is open to all. This approach promotes vitality and critical mass in relation to service provision within rural settlements. The level of growth within Metropolitan and Core Rural Villages will adhere to levels anticipated under the Core Strategy and rapid expansion will not be permitted.

NPO 18b of the NPF advocates a programme for new homes in small towns and villages with local authorities, public infrastructure agencies such as Irish Water and local communities, to provide serviced sites with appropriate infrastructure to attract people to build their own homes and reside in small towns and villages. Consideration may be given to the coordinated development of private serviced sites through proposals for outline permission and site development works, effectively providing ‘ready to go’ serviced sites in Rural Villages. Such sites would then be subject to individual planning applications to determine house  type and all development  proposals must  have  regard  to development parameters set out in the LAP’s and Village Development Framework Plan applicable to the village as well as to applicable Development Management Standards set out in Chapter 14. Such proposals must also have regard to environmental considerations and capacity constraints.

Policy SPQHP50 Protection of Rural Villages

Support and protect Fingal’s Rural Villages by ensuring their appropriate sustainable development to preserve the character and viability of villages and support local services.

Policy SPQHP51 Growth of Rural Villages

Ensure that Fingal’s Rural Villages accommodate additional growth in accordance with levels set out under the Housing Strategy in order to protect and enhance the character of existing settlements.

Policy SPQHP52  Vitality of Town and Village Centres

Encourage appropriate residential, social and community uses in town and village centres in order to enhance their vitality and viability while recognising diversity within communities and promoting balanced socially and economically sustainable communities.

Objective SPQHO55  Rural Villages

Facilitate appropriate development within Rural Villages subject to compliance with the following:

  1. The scale of new residential development shall be in proportion to the pattern and grain of the existing settlement and shall be located within the defined development boundary.
  2. Encourage and promote compact growth within Rural Villages including infill, brownfield development together with redevelopment of derelict/underutilised properties.
  3. All development shall enhance the existing village character and create or strengthen a sense of identity and distinctiveness for the settlement.
  4. New commercial development should be centrally located within the village and contribute positively to the streetscape and public realm.
  5.  Encourage new community and social facilities in conjunction with residential development.

Objective SPQHO56  Village Framework Plans

Prepare Village Framework Plans to guide and inform development within Rural Villages as prescribed.

Objective SPQHO57  Serviced Sites

Consider the use of serviced sites for residential development within the boundaries of Rural Villages and in accordance with LAP requirements (where applicable) subject  to  the  availability of services, environmental considerations and the achievement of high-quality cohesive design.

Objective SPQHO58  Cultural Heritage features

Preserve, protect and enhance the natural, built and cultural heritage features of Rural Villages.

Objective SPQHO59  Existing Building Stock in Rural Villages

Encourage the re-use and adaptation of the existing building stock within the Rural Villages.

Objective SPQHO60  Rural Village Services

Promote  the  provision  of  essential  services  within Rural  Villages  to  serve  the local community including childcare, social infrastructure,   employment   and retailing   services, health, recreation and leisure amenities.

Objective SPQHO61  School Provision

Work collaboratively with the Department of Education in identifying additional schools' provision within Rural Villages

Objective SPQHO62  Care Homes, Health Service Clinics and Education in Rural Villages

Promote suitable uses, including care homes, health service clinics, and educational centres, within areas zoned RV, to a scale appropriate to ensure the proper planning and sustainable development of each village.

Objective SPQHO63  Enterprise in Rural Villages

Promote the provision of suitable, appropriately sized enterprises within rural villages to minimise the need for commuting.

3.5.15.2  Rural Clusters

Rural Clusters largely comprise areas with limited essential infrastructure and services, generally benefitting from one or more existing community or other local facilities. Development within Rural Clusters will be limited to incremental local growth appropriate to their size and character. For the most part, Rural Clusters provide an opportunity for family members of existing households within the Cluster to build a new home, or reuse and adapt an existing structure by sub-dividing large sites. They also  provide  the  rural  community  with  an  opportunity  to  choose  more  rural-style  housing than that which is provided within the Rural Villages.
 

Future development will be considered having regard to the role and form of the cluster within the wider rural area, taking particular care that clusters do not compete with villages in the services they provide or the role and function they play within the rural area.

Settlement within the Rural Clusters is open to members of the Fingal rural community who demonstrate a rural-generated housing need. For the purposes of the Rural Settlement Strategy for Rural Clusters, rural-generated housing need is defined below as:

  • Persons currently living and who have lived continuously for the past ten years or have previously lived for a minimum of ten continuous years, or
  • Persons working continuously for the past ten years,

within areas of the County currently zoned rural. These areas are zoned Rural Village (RV), Rural Cluster (RC), Rural (RU), Greenbelt (GB), or High Amenity (HA)

Policy SPQHP53  Rural Clusters

Permit only persons with a rural-generated housing need, as defined within this Section of the Plan, and as set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards, planning permission for a house within areas of the County zoned Rural Cluster.

Objective SPQHO64  Rural Clusters

Encourage consolidation of rural housing within existing Rural Clusters which will cater for rural generated housing demand, as an alternative to housing in the open countryside, and encourage the reuse of existing buildings within the cluster over any new development.

Objective SPQHO65  On site treatment systems

Ensure that the requirements set out by the Council in the Development Management Standards Chapter 14 for on-site treatment systems are strictly complied with, or with the requirements as may be amended by future national legislation or guidance.

Objective SPQHO66  Character and role of the Rural Cluster

Permit only development within the Rural Clusters which has regard to the existing character and role of the cluster within the wider rural area, with particular care being taken that clusters do not compete with villages in the services they provide or the role and function they play within their rural area.

Objective SPQHO67 Appropriate Development within Rural Clusters

Ensure that proposals for new dwellings do not compromise the development potential of adjoining sites by means of on-site layout and house design and both vehicular and pedestrian access. All sites must provide sustainable drainage infrastructure.

Objective SPQHO68  Vehicular entrances

Minimise the number of new entrances to sites within a rural cluster with a preference for sharing accesses with existing dwellings or using existing entrances. New entrances will only be considered where the potential for sharing is not possible. Any removal of hedgerows, trees and walls or other distinctive boundary treatment required to accommodate sight lines must be limited in extent and must be replaced with the same type of boundary. The use of native species for replacement planting shall be used where appropriate.

Objective SPQHO69  Home-Based Economic Activity  in Rural Clusters

Allow for small scale home-based economic activity and local services at a level commensurate with the size, scale, and character of the Rural Cluster.

3.5.15.3  Fingal Rural Settlement Strategy Rural Generated Housing Need

The Fingal Rural Settlement Strategy serves to meet settlement needs which are the result of a genuine  rural-generated  housing requirement. Residential  development  in  areas   zoned   RU,   HA, GB and RC which is urban generated will be restricted to preserve the character of Rural Fingal and to conserve this important limited resource. The countryside for the purposes of this section of the Draft Plan are those areas with the rural zoning objectives identified as Rural (RU), Greenbelt (GB) and High Amenity (HA) Rural-generated housing needs are considered to be the housing needs of people who have long standing existing and immediate family ties, or occupations which are functionally related to the rural areas of the County and are specifically defined as follows:

Members of farming families who are actively involved in the family farm which is located within rural Fingal as defined in Objective SPQHO79 and Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

  • Persons  who  have  close   family   ties   to   the   Fingal   rural   community   as   defined   in  Table 3.5 paragraph (I)Persons who have been in long term employment, which is related to, and supportive of, the rural community as defined in Table 3.5 paragraph (ii) and where the employment is dependent on the residence of the person within the rural community.
  • Persons who are a member of a rural-located family, who are considered because  of  exceptional and demonstrated health reasons to have a need to reside beside their family home in the rural area as defined in Table 3.5paragraph (iii).
  • Persons who are 'a bona fide' applicant, as defined in Table 3.5 paragraph (iv), and who have a demonstrated commitment to set up a rural-related business and who may not already live in the area, nor have family connections there, or be engaged in particular employment or business classified with the local needs criteria. The applicant must have a clearly demonstrated need to live in the rural area to ensure the functioning of the business.

Persons who have genuine rural-generated housing need will be considered for planning permission for a dwelling house in those parts of the open countryside which have zoning objective RU or GB.

Only members of families actively involved in farming within the rural area will be considered for a rural house in areas of the County which have a zoning objective HA.

The maximum number of incremental houses which will receive planning permission within the rural area on the basis of an existing house is limited. Each of the rural zoning objectives has a limit to the number of incremental houses which will be permitted. Where exceptional health circumstances can be demonstrated an additional house will be considered under each of the rural zoning objectives. The maximum number of dwellings permitted under any of the above zonings will be less any additional house which has been granted planning permission since 19th October 1999.
 

No individual applicant will receive planning permission for more than one house.

The maximum number of houses permitted for each rural zoning type is shown in Table 3.3.

Table 3.3 Maximum Number of Houses which will be permitted per existing house

Area Zoning Objective

Max no. of houses to be granted planning permission per existing house

RU

2 (+1 for exceptional healthy reasons + 1 for exceptional farming

circumstances

GB

1 (+1 for exceptional health reasons)

HA

1 (+1 for exceptional health reasons)

 

Eligibility for housing in the open countryside under the Rural Settlement Strategy is set out in Table 3.4

Table 3.4 Who is Eligible for Planning Permission

Zoning Objective

Involved in the family farm

Close family ties

Employment related to the

community

Exceptional health reasons

‘Bona Fide’ business

RU

GB

HA

 

 

 

Objective SPQHO70

Provide that the maximum number of dwellings permitted under any of the rural zonings will be less any additional house which has been granted planning permission to a family member since 19th October 1999.

Objective SPQHO71

Permit a maximum number of two incremental houses for those who meet the relevant criteria set out in this chapter and Chapter 14 within areas with zoning objective RU plus one house for a person with exceptional health circumstances plus one where exceptional farming circumstances prevail.

Objective SQQHO72

Permit a maximum number of one incremental house for those who meet the relevant criteria set out in this chapter and Chapter 14 within areas with the zoning objective HA or GB plus one house for a person with exceptional health circumstances.

Objective SPQHO73

Permit houses in areas with zoning objective HA, only to those who have a defined essential housing need based on their involvement in farming or exceptional health circumstances.

Objective SPQHO74

Require that any house which is granted planning permission in areas with the zoning objective, RU, HA, or GB will be subject to an occupancy requirement whereby the house must be first occupied as a place of permanent residence by the applicant and/or members of his/ her immediate family for a minimum period of seven years.


3.5.15.4  New Housing for Farming Families

Planning permission will be considered for one incremental house in areas which have the HA or GB zoning objective, and up to two houses in areas with the RU zoning objective, on a family farm for close family members who are demonstrated to be actively and directly engaged in the running of the family farm. In recognition that farming is no longer a full-time occupation for many farmers, consideration will also be given to farmers whose income is supplemented by off-farm work. In all applications for planning permission for a rural house on the basis of involvement in an existing farm, proof of direct participation in farming must include verifiable evidence of family ownership of a working farm.

New Housing for Farm Families

Objective SPQHO75

Permit up to two additional dwellings per farm family in areas with the zoning objective, RU, and one additional dwelling per farm family within areas with the zoning objective GB or HA, where the applicant demonstrates their direct participation in running the family farm and is considered to have a demonstrated need related to the working of the farm to reside on the family farm.

Objective SPQHO76

In exceptional circumstances in the RU zoning where two members of the family (excluding the occupier of the family farm) are actively engaged in the running of the family farm, permission may be considered for both. Documentation in support of an application must reflect  the requirements set out under Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

Objective SPQHO77

Demonstrate that any proposed dwelling is for use as the applicant’s primary residence and the proposed dwelling will be located on a farm where the applicant’s family currently resides.

Objective SPQHO78

Allow for consideration of any additional house, in the case of a fragmented farm, to be located on an area of the farm not physically connected to the main portion of the farm, and which area has been in the applicant family’s ownership and part of the overall active farm holding for at least three years prior to the date of application.

Objective SPQHO79

Demonstrate that the farm has been a working and actively managed farm in the ownership of the applicant’s family for a minimum of three years preceding the date of the application for planning permission. The applicant will be required to demonstrate full compliance with all relevant standards set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards. In particular, the applicant will be required to demonstrate the following in relation to their working of the family farm:

  1. The applicant is a member of a family which operates a farm within the rural area of Fingal, and is actively engaged in farming the family farm. Verifiable documentary evidence (such as dated and stamped Land Registry Documentation) showing details of the farm ownership, details of the family relationship with the farm owner, and the nature of the applicant’s involvement in farming the family farm will be required.
  2. The farm on which the application for planning permission for a rural house has been submitted has been a working and actively-managed farm in the ownership of the applicant’s family for a minimum of three years preceding the date of the application for planning permission.
  3. The location of the family home on the existing farm.
  4. The location of all other houses on the family farm which have been granted planning permission since the 19th October 1999. Submission details will include the date of grant of planning permission and the Council’s file Register Reference under which any Planning Permissions were granted.
  5. The family farm has been a working farm for the preceding three years. The criteria which are considered to constitute a working farm and the size thresholds for various types of farms are set out below. The minimum threshold area of a farm excludes the area of the farm occupied by the farm yard and farm buildings, the area of the existing family home and its curtilage, and the area of the site of the proposed dwelling.
  6. Documentary evidence that the applicant resides on a working family farm within the planning application.

Documentary evidence (i.e., of a working farm) which is required is detailed below:

a) For livestock (including equestrian), tillage and mixed livestock/tillage farms:

  1. A Herd Number or other Business Number which is allocated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
  2. Single Farm Payment details for the preceding three years.
  3. A GLAS number for those farmers who participate in the GLAS Scheme.
  4. A Forestry number for those farmers who manage forestry.
  5. For dairy farms, details of the previous years' supplies to a milk processor.
  6. For  equestrian  farms,  depending  on  the  type  of  equestrian  farm,  current  horse   training licences issued by the Irish Turf Club, racing licences, documentation demonstrating that the farm is a recognised teaching school, records of bloodstock sales, details of stud production for the preceding three years or equine identification documents, i.e., passports issued by Horse Board Ireland or by Wetherbys.

b) For horticulture farms:

  • Confirmation of involvement in the Quality Assurance Scheme managed by An Bord Bia for the previous three years.
  • Evidence of investment within the farm to demonstrate its current active engagement in the horticulture sector.
  • Details of the supply of product from the farm which demonstrates that the applicant was supplying substantial produce to market in the preceding year.

c) Size thresholds for farms:

  • The minimum size for an active livestock, tillage, or mixed livestock/tillage farm is 15 hectares.
  • The minimum size for a horticultural farm is:
    • For a vegetable farm, 6 hectares.
    • For an apple farm, 13 hectares.
    • For glasshouse production, 0.4 hectares.

Applications for planning permission will be considered where the documentary evidence clearly and comprehensively demonstrates that a farm has been an active and viable holding for the preceding three years, even though it falls below the thresholds set above, or is a specialist operator not of the types described above. The applicant must demonstrate a need for the applicant to be resident on the farm in such cases.

3.5.15.5  New Housing for the Rural Community other than those who are Actively Engaged in Farming:

New dwellings will be considered in areas of Fingal which have a RU or GB zoning objective for members of the rural community who are not involved in farming.

Table 3.5: Criteria for Eligible Applicants from the Rural Community for Planning permission for New Rural Housing:
  1. One member of a rural family who is considered to have a need to reside close to their family home by reason of close family ties, and where a new rural dwelling has not already been granted planning permission to a family member by reason of close family ties since 19th October 1999. The applicant for planning permission for a house on the basis of close family ties shall be required to provide documentary evidence that:
    • S/he is a close member of the family of the owners of the family home.
    • S/he has lived in the family home identified on the application or within the locality of   the family home for at least fifteen years.
  2. A person who has been in employment in a full-time occupation which is considered to satisfy local needs by predominantly serving the rural community/economy for fifteen years prior to the application for planning permission, and has not already been granted planning permission for a new rural dwelling since the 19th October 1999. Documentary evidence of such employment is required.
  3. A person who is an immediate member of a rural family who has not been granted permission for a rural dwelling, since the 19th October 1999, and is considered to have a need to reside adjacent to the family home by reason of that person’s exceptional health circumstances. The application for a rural dwelling must be supported by two sworn affidavits from relevant and qualified professionals, with at least one from a registered medical practitioner. A qualified representative of an organisation which represents or supports persons with a medical condition or disability may supply the other. It is to be noted that criterion no. (iii) applies in areas which have zoning objective, HA, as well as in areas with zoning objective GB and RU
  4. (iv) A 'bona fide' applicant who may not already live in the area, nor have family connections there or be engaged in particular employment or business classified with the local needs criteria, subject to the following considerations:

Such applicants will be required to satisfy the Council of their long-term commitment to operate a full-time business from their proposed home in a rural area, as part of their planning application.

The applicant will outline within a submitted Business Plan how their business will contribute to and enhance the rural community and will demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that the nature of their employment or business is compatible with, and addresses and satisfies local needs, and will protect and promote the rural community.

The applicant will satisfy the Council that the nature of their employment or business is dependent on its location within the rural area so as to discourage applicants whose business is not location dependent.

The applicant will demonstrate their commitment to the proposed business through the submission of a comprehensive and professionally prepared Business Plan, and through submission of legal documentation that they have sufficient funding committed to start and operate the business.

Applicants whose business is not location-dependent will not be considered.

 

Verifiable documentary evidence to demonstrate compliance with Table 3.5 will be required in all planning permission applications for a new house in the open countryside including a sworn  affidavit by the applicant stating that the applicant conforms to the requirements of the objective.

3.5.15.6  Housing within the Airport Noise Zones

The development of new housing for those who are not involved in farming will be actively resisted within the area delineated by Noise Zone A for Dublin Airport. However, consideration will be given to the development of new housing for those not involved in farming but who have family homes within Noise Zone A, in locations on suitable sites outside Noise Zone A but within five kilometres from that noise zone. To ensure that the need to live as close as possible to the existing family is met and to avoid undue pressure on certain areas of the Greenbelt, the M1 will provide an east-west boundary, with those living to the east being considered for housing on suitable sites to the east, and those living to the west being considered for housing on suitable sites to the west. Site selection should ensure that the rural character of the area is maintained and that multiple sites on single landholdings are avoided.

Housing within Airport Noise Zones

Objective SPQHO80

Apply the provisions of the Rural Settlement Strategy, only with regard to ‘New Housing for Farming Families’ as set out within this Chapter, within the Airport Noise Zone A, and subject to the following restrictions:

  • Under no circumstances shall any dwelling be permitted within the predicted 69dB LAeq 16 hours noise contour.
  • Comprehensive noise insulation shall be required for any house permitted under this objective.
  • Any planning application shall be accompanied by a noise assessment report produced by an independent specialist in noise assessment which shall specify all proposed noise mitigation measures together with a declaration of acceptance of the applicant with regard to the result of the noise acceptance report.

Objective SPQHO81

Apply the provisions of the Rural Settlement Strategy as it applies to “New Housing for the Rural Community other than for those who are actively engaged in farming” for rural community members located within Noise Zone A on suitable sites located within five kilometres outside Noise Zone A. For those living to the east of the M1, only suitable sites located to the east of the M1 will be considered, and for those living to the west of the M1, only suitable sites located to the west of the M1 will be considered.

3.5.15.7  Layout and Design for Housing in Rural Fingal

In order to limit the visual impact of new development, it is imperative that new dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings in Rural Fingal exhibit high quality design and demonstrate full consideration for the context of the site and its rural surroundings. The siting of new dwellings should consider existing site contours, and the scale, form and layout of adjoining dwellings, where appropriate. Design and materials will be required to reflect the County’s rural built tradition and high-quality  contemporary  designs  which  reflect this tradition will  be  supported.  Dwelling designs which are suburban in influence, are dominant, intrusive,  or  incongruous  in the rural setting should be avoided. All residential development in rural areas must comply with design guidance set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards.

The development of houses between a road and the sea will be discouraged because of the possible impact  of  climate  change, potential  impacts upon  scenic  landscapes  or  vistas  and   the  potential for cumulative impacts on Natura 2000 sites. No new houses will be permitted on lands with a High Amenity zoning objective which are located between the sea and the coast road. In the case of applicants for planning permission for a dwelling who comply with the settlement strategy for houses in the countryside, where the existing family farm is located entirely between the coast and the road, and no opportunities exist to convert existing/vernacular buildings to a new dwelling on the farm or extend the existing farmhouse, a suitable alternative site will be considered on the land holding

Policy SPQHP54 Layout and Design of Rural Housing

Require that all new dwellings in the rural area are sensitively sited, demonstrate consistency with the immediate Landscape Character Type, and make best use of the natural landscape for a sustainable, carbon efficient and sensitive design.

 

Objective SPQHO82

Applications for dwellings in rural areas of Fingal will be required to demonstrate compliance with layout and design criteria set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards including the carrying out of an analysis/feasibility study of the proposed site and of the impact of the proposed house on the surrounding landscape in support of applications for planning permission.

Objective SPQHO83

Ensure that any planning application for a house within an area which has a Greenbelt or High Amenity zoning objective is accompanied by a comprehensive Visual Impact Statement.

Objective SPQHO84

Require that no new houses are permitted on High Amenity zoned lands which are located between the sea and the coast except in such cases indicated in Objective SPQH085

Objective SPQHO85

Consider a suitable alternative site for a new house, in the case of applicants who comply with the Settlement Strategy for houses in the countryside and whose existing family farm is located entirely between the coast and the road, and where no opportunities exist to convert existing/vernacular farm buildings as a new dwelling or to extend the existing house.

Objective SPQHO86

Ensure that the development of any coastal site through the extension or replacement of existing buildings or development of any new buildings is of an appropriate size, scale and architectural quality and that it does not detract from the visual amenity of the area or impact negatively on the natural or built heritage.

Objective SPQHO87

Encourage new dwellings in the rural area to be sited at a location in close proximity to the family home where the drainage conditions can safely accommodate the cumulative impact of such clustering and where such clustering will not have a negative impact on the amenities of the original house. Where this arrangement is clearly demonstrated not to be available, permit the new dwelling to be located on an alternative site which is within two kilometres from the family home, or, where the applicant has land zoned HA within 2km from the family home and this arrangement is demonstrated not to be available to build, and the applicant has land zoned RU on lands within 3.5km of the family home, permit the new dwelling to be located on the RU zoned site which is within 3.5km of the family home, or, in the case of applications made under Objective SPQHO81 within five kilometres outside Noise Zone A and subject to the East / West of the M1 stipulation.

Objective SPQHO88

Ensure that the design of entrances and front boundary treatment is sensitive to the rural setting. In this regard, block walls and ornamental features will be discouraged, and native  hedging will  be utilised where appropriate.

Objective SPQHO89

Ensure the retention of hedgerows and other distinctive boundary treatments in rural areas. Where removal of a hedgerow, stone wall or other distinctive boundary treatment is unavoidable, provision of the same type of boundary/provision of agreed species of similar length will be required within the site.

 

Aerial view of coast

3.5.15.8  South Shore Rush

The South Shore area of Rush consists mainly of small landholdings with a mixture of market gardening and single and cluster housing. The pattern of development is increasingly residential with a road infrastructure which is limited in terms of modern road requirements, but which forms part of the overall rural residential character of the area. The area also borders on Rogerstown Estuary, which hosts two Natura 2000 sites, Rogerstown Estuary SAC and Rogerstown Estuary SPA. Certain areas of the South Shore are also prone to flooding and are at risk from coastal erosion. Recognising the established mix of horticulture and residential land uses within this area, and the availability of water services infrastructure, the settlement strategy for housing in the open countryside will be more flexible within the area demarcated on the Plan maps. This area is located to the south and east of the R128 from the junction with Spout Road, immediately to the west of Rush.

Housing will be considered for persons who have been resident in the South Shore, or within the development boundary of Rush or within one kilometre by road of either of these areas for a minimum of ten years. Housing will also be considered for a mother, father, son or daughter of a resident who qualifies. Houses will be sympathetic to the rural and coastal character of the area. Given the sensitivities of the area, because of its location adjacent to the coast and to Rogerstown Estuary, there will be a requirement on applicants to demonstrate that any proposed new development will not be at risk of flooding or erosion and will not negatively impact, either directly or indirectly, the designated sites within Rogerstown Estuary.

South Shore Rush

Objective SPQHO90

Consider planning applications for a house located within the South Shore area of Rush from persons who have been resident for a minimum of ten years within the South Shore area or within the development boundary of Rush or within one kilometre by road of either of these areas, subject to sustainable planning and consideration of climate change impacts.

Objective SPQHO91

Consider planning applications for a house located within the South Shore area of Rush from a mother, father, son or daughter of a resident who qualifies under Objective SPQHO90 and subject to sustainable planning and consideration of climate change impacts.

Objective SPQHO92

Require that any house which is granted planning permission in the South Shore area will be subject to an occupancy requirement whereby the house must be first occupied as a place of permanent residence by the applicant and/or members of his/her immediate family for a minimum period of seven years.

Objective SPQHO93

Require that an applicant for a house in the South Shore area demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority, that the site is not and will not be subject to flooding or erosion in line with national climate change predictions.

Objective SPQHO94

Require that an applicant demonstrates that the impact of any proposed house will not adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the ecological integrity of any European site.

Objective SPQHO95

Allow for new houses within the South Shore area, subject to normal sustainable planning criteria and in line with climate change impacts, which have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority that they cannot connect to a public sewer within a reasonable period of time, on suitably sized sites and subject to the requirements of the EPA Code of Practice.

3.5.15.9  Houses Displaced by Infrastructural Works

The Council recognises situations in which dwelling houses must be acquired, whether compulsorily or by agreement, to facilitate infrastructural improvements and works which are in the interest of the common good. The Council will undertake to consider any planning application by a member of the family of such a homeowner for a rural house subject to the same provisions that would apply if the dwelling, which has been acquired, were the original and long-standing family home of the applicant.

Policy SPQHP55 Housing Displaced by Infrastructural Works

Consider any planning application by a member of the family whose house has been acquired in the interest of the common good, whether compulsorily or by agreement, for a rural house subject to the same provisions that would apply if the dwelling which has been acquired was the original and long-standing family home of the applicant.

Ribbon Development

Ribbon development is formed by the development of a row of houses along a country road (resulting in five or more houses on any one side of a given 250m of road frontage). It can promote the unsafe proliferation of vehicular entrances onto country roads, negatively impact on views and the character of the area, and reduce biodiversity, in particular, by loss of hedgerows. Therefore, ribbon development will be discouraged. The Planning Authority will determine whether a particular proposal would create ribbon development, having regard to the following;

  • The type of rural area and circumstances of the applicant.
  • The degree to which the proposal might be considered infill development
  • The degree to which existing ribbon development would be extended or whether distinct areas of ribbon development would coalesce as a result of the development.
  • Local circumstances such as planning history and normal planning considerations.

3.5.15.10  Replacement of Chalets and Seaside Huts

There are a number of areas in Fingal, such as Portrane, Donabate and Rush, where chalets and seaside huts have been constructed prior to and after the coming into effect of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1963. Fingal County Council will assess proposals to replace these holiday homes with structures for permanent dwellings retain having regard to the context, location, drainage provision, and appropriate site development standards. The Council is aware that in relation to the above locations, the following issues arise:

  • A considerable number of such structures are located within the coastal regions and could be liable to the impacts of climate change in the form of coastal erosion and flooding.
  • A considerable number of such structures are located in proximity to European sites
  • Given the ad-hoc nature of some of these developments, there is little or no sewerage infrastructure.
  • There are limited services including roads infrastructure or utilities in these areas
  • The creation of permanent housing may be unsustainable and significantly alter the character of the areas in which they are located.

The replacement or conversion of existing seasonal chalets and seaside huts by dwellings which can be resided in all the year round will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where the criteria set out in Chapter 14 Development Management Standards is fully complied with.

Policy SPQHP56 Replacement of Chalets and Seaside Huts

The replacement or conversion of existing coastal chalets and seaside huts by dwellings which can be resided in all the year round will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Objective SQPHO96  Replacement of Chalets and Seaside Huts

Proposals to replace or convert existing coastal chalets and seaside huts by dwellings which can be resided in all the year round will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and where all Development Management Standards set out in Chapter 14 in relation to such applications are complied with.

3.5.15.12  Fingal’s Greenbelts

The targeted development of strategically identified towns and villages will be supported by a greenbelt policy which will safeguard the innate rural value of the Fingal countryside. Greenbelt zoning will underpin the settlement strategy by ensuring:

  • Existing urban areas within Fingal do not coalesce and merge into one another leading to unsustainable development and travel patterns.
  • The identity and unique character of rural and urban areas in the vicinity of administrative boundaries will be maintained where this would be beneficial.
  • That citizens can enjoy the visual and natural amenities of the countryside in close proximity to the urban areas in which they reside.
  • Proposed development within the Greenbelt shall clearly demonstrate a functional need for such a location, and consistency with the established character of the landscape of the area.

Policy SPQHP57 Preservation of Greenbelts

Preserve Greenbelts in Fingal in order to safeguard valuable countryside; to ensure that existing urban areas within Fingal do not coalesce to ensure that citizens can enjoy the County’s natural amenities and to strengthen and consolidate greenbelts around key settlements.

Objective SPQHO97

Strengthen greenbelt lands by identifying opportunities for infill development and consolidation of existing towns to reduce the need to zone additional greenfield lands and ensure the preservation of strategic greenbelts between our towns and villages.

Objective SPQHO98

Promote development within the Greenbelts which has a demonstrated need for such a location, and which protects and promotes the permanency of the Greenbelt, and the open and rural character of the area.

3.5.15.13  Vernacular Buildings:

To encourage the viable re-use of historic vernacular dwellings, applications for the sensitive restoration of disused vernacular houses and cottages will not be subject to the Rural Settlement Strategy for housing in the countryside which applies to new dwellings, provided that the following parameters are complied with:

  • The structure must have been a residence. Where the dwelling has been unoccupied for a prolonged period, evidence must be supplied to prove that it was previously in residential use.
  • The distinctive vernacular character of the dwelling is retained.
  • The original historic fabric is repaired using appropriate traditional construction methods and materials.
  • Where the building is derelict, it must be proven that it is structurally capable of supporting the proposed works.
  • Measures are taken to support and protect the building from collapse prior to, and during, the construction works.
  • The proposal complies with the drainage standards for new dwellings in rural areas.

Policy SPQHP58   Vernacular Buildings

Promote the sensitive restoration and re-use of historic vernacular dwellings and outbuildings within Fingal.

Objective SPQHO99

Retain, appreciate and revitalise appropriately the vernacular buildings of Fingal by deterring the replacement of good quality vernacular buildings with modern structures and by protecting and promoting the sympathetic maintenance, adaptation and re-use of vernacular buildings where they contribute to the character of the rural area.

Objective SPQHO100

Discourage the demolition or replacement of vernacular rural buildings and encourage their sensitive restoration and/or conversion where they contribute to the character of the area.

Clár ábhair

Baile

Thornton Hall
See Submission Attached
Parish Hall St Margaret's
See Submission Attached
3.5. 15.2 Rural Clusters pg 127 Amend wording
See Submission Attached 
3.5 15.2 Rural Clusters - Amend wording pg 127
See Submission Attached
Rural Settlement Strategy
See Submission Attached