13.3 Urban Design
13.3 Urban Design
Sustainable communities have a high quality natural and built environment. They are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well- planned, built and run, offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.
The Council will ensure that all new developments enrich the quality of its surroundings which means encouraging a distinctive response which complements the setting. A high standard of design is considered essential to this process. Creating a distinctive sense of place, taking into account site history and setting, is important.
The Councils will aim to create sustainable, high quality environments – attractive, vibrant and safe places which function effectively. High quality design will be required for all new developments.
In new residential areas, it is the sense of place which should have priority. It is the relationship between buildings and the creation of elegant functional spaces which will have priority. The Planning Authority will require a high level of residential amenity conducive to a good quality living environment in new residential developments.
Planning applications for new housing development shall have regard to the provisions of the following Guidelines:
- Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets
- Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and its companion document, Urban Design Manual: A best practice guide
- Design Standards for New Apartments 2018
- Government Policy on Architecture-Towards a Sustainable Future: Delivering Quality within the Built Environment
- Guidelines on Urban Development and Building Heights 2018
- Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach
- Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities
New residential developments will be assessed in accordance with the following 12 design criteria for sustainable residential developments.
The 12 criteria are:
- Context: How does the development respond to its surroundings?
- Connections: How well is the new neighbourhood / site connected?
- Inclusivity: How easily can people use and access the development?
- Variety: How does the development promote a good mix of activities?
- Efficiency: How does the development make appropriate use of resources, including land?
- Distinctiveness: How do the proposals create a sense of place?
- Layout: How does the proposal create people-friendly streets and spaces?
- Public realm: How safe, secure and enjoyable are the public areas?
- Adaptability: How will the buildings cope with change?
- Privacy and Amenity: How do the buildings provide a high-quality amenity?
- Parking: How will the parking be secure and attractive?
- Detailed Design: How well thought through is the building and landscape design?
A site-specific Design Statement will be required in the case of large-scale or sensitively located developments. A design statement is a short document which enables the applicant to explain why a particular design solution is considered the most appropriate for a particular site and it shall demonstrate how design policy and issues of accessibility have been considered.
As in the preceding Development Plan it is not intended to prescribe maximum residential density standards. The emphasis will be on providing quality-housing environments based on innovation and a design led approach. The Planning Authority will seek to ensure that new developments have individuality and a sense of place, which is generated by the interaction between the physical characteristics and features of the site and its surroundings and the layout, landscaping and design of the new housing.
 Depts. of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Environment, Community and Local Government, Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, 2013
 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Government Policy on Architecture, Towards a Sustainable Future: Delivering Quality within the Built Environment, 2009
 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities, 2007