13.20.3 Open Space in New Residential Development

Dúnta22 Nol, 2020, 09:00 - 12 Már, 2021, 17:00
13.20.3 Open Space in new residential development

Applicants will be required to make provision for sports and recreational infrastructure commensurate with the needs generated by any development and the capacity of existing facilities in the area to cater for existing and future needs.

The Council will require a minimum public open space provision of 2.4 hectares per 1,000 population. For the purposes of this calculation, public open space requirements are to be based on residential units with an occupancy rate of 2.8 persons per unit.

A reduction to this standard will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances as determined by the local authority.  Where such a relaxation occurs the provision of open space within any scheme should not be below 10% of the site area.

Residential planning applications in excess of 200 units will require a recreational needs assessment. Recreation provision should form an integral element of development proposals.  The Council will apply the standards as set out in Table 13.6 as a minimum requirement for on-site provision as part of residential development or for off-site provision.  The minimum standards for children’s play spaces to be applied are set out in Section 13.18 Open Space below.  In the interests of meeting strategic needs the Council may pool together the requirements of individual and relatively smaller developments to provide facilities and amenities of a strategic nature at the higher end of the hierarchy.  Developer contributions may also be sought and may be applied to improve existing facilities nearby.

In areas where new development is proposed and the cumulative impact of the development of new houses will, or is expected to, exceed the volume of housing development identified in Table 13.6, developers will be required to provide financial contributions or lands towards the development of sports and recreation facilities that will be developed to meet the needs of their development in conjunction with the expected needs of other nearby developments.  In instances where this includes, or is expected to include the acquisition of lands this requirement will be specified.  

Where on-site provision is not appropriate the County Council will levy a sum of money from each housing unit in lieu of the provision of public open space/recreation facilities.

Table 13.6 Amenity Development Thresholds

Site Capacity

No. of Dwellings

Minimum quantity and type of leisure facilities required


A minimum of 0.25 hectares must be provided.

25 or over

Open space 2.4 hectares per 1,000 people

(a minimum of 0.25 hectares must be provided)

100 – 199

Public open space

One Tone Zone/Outdoor gym

200 – 499

Equipped public open space to include:

One full size grass sports pitch;

One court multi-use games area with Community association/club movement; and

Two Tone Zones/Outdoor gyms.

500 – 599

Public space to include:

One full size grass sports pitch;

Two Tone Zones/Outdoor gyms

One court multi-use games area; and

Two tennis courts / basketball courts etc.

600 +

Equipped public open space to include:

Two full size grass sports pitches;

Three Tone Zones/Outdoor Gyms

One court multi-use games area, and two tennis courts / basketball courts etc.


One community / leisure Building including full size badminton / basketball court with community association / club movement within.

Equipped public open space to include:

Three Tone Zones/Outdoor Gyms;

Two full size grass sports pitches;

One court multi-use games area; and two tennis courts/ basketball courts etc.

Note: One piece of multifunctional equipment is to be provided within the Tone Zones/Outdoor Gyms for each 20 residential units or part thereof within the development. 

Where a proposed development is located in close proximity to an established park area or zoned open space, the open space requirement may be relaxed depending on the nature and quality of existing provision.  However, a financial contribution will be required towards the improvement and extension of the existing facility to cater for extra demand.

Developers will be required to make suitable provision for the future management and maintenance of open space required under this policy where spaces and facilities are not taken in charge by the Local Authority.

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