Proposed Variation 1c

closeddate_range30 Aug, 2016, 8:00am - 30 Sep, 2016, 6:00pm

Proposed Variation 1c To align the minimum development standards for new apartments with the Department’s Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments.

Further to the publication of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, 2015, Kilkenny County Council is now proposing to make a Variation to Section 12.5 of the Kilkenny County Development Plan to include the minimum development standards in line with the Departments Guidelines


The proposed variation is outlined below:


Section 12.5 of the Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014- 2020 relates to Apartment development standards.  The existing policy of the plan is set out below, together with the proposed insertions in italics, and deletions in strikethrough.

Chapter 12: Requirements for Developments

12.5    Apartments

The design and layout of new apartments should provide comfortable accommodation for a variety of household types and sizes – including families with children - over the medium to long term.  Regard should be given to relevant Government Guidelines, including Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, 2015. All apartment schemes should provide for a mix of units; comprising of one bedroom, two-bedroom and family units. 


A planning application for an apartment scheme shall be accompanied by a detailed schedule of the proposed development including total number of apartments proposed by type, apartment floor area, number of bedrooms, open space area, storage area etc.  Failure to submit this schedule with the planning application may result in delays as a result of a request for further information. 


In general, apartments will be required to have the following minimum floor areas measured internal wall to wall (the required minimum floor areas are 10% larger than those stated Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments).



Table 12.1 Minimum Floor Areas for Apartments

Apartment type

Minimum floor area

One Bed

50 sq.m 45sqm

Two Bed

80sq.m  73sqm

Three Bed


Four Bed



Table 12.1a Minimum aggregate floor areas for living/dining/kitchen rooms


Minimum widths for the main living/dining rooms Apartment type

Width of living/dining


Aggregate floor area of living / dining / kitchen area*



30 sq m**

One bedroom

3.3 m

23 sq m

Two bedrooms

3.6 m

30 sq m

Three bedrooms

3.8 m

34 sq m

* Note: An enclosed (separate) kitchen should have a minimum floor area of 6.5 sq. metres. In most cases, the kitchen should have an external window.

** Note: Combined living/dining/bedspace


Table 12.1b Minimum bedroom floor areas/widths

Minimum bedroom floor areas/widths Type

Minimum width

Minimum floor area



30 sq m**

Single bedroom

2.1 m

7.1 sq m

Double bedroom

2.8 m

11.4 sq m

Twin bedroom

2.8 m

13 sq m

* Note: Minimum floor areas exclude built-in storage presses.

** Note: Combined living/dining/bedspace

Table 12.1c Minimum aggregate bedroom floor areas

One bedroom

11.4 sq m

Two bedroom

11.4 + 13 sq m = 24.4 sq m

Three bedrooms

11.4 + 13 + 7.1 sq m = 31.5 sq m


The standards apply to units on one floor; duplexes should provide the additional floor area required to provide for stairways and landings in accordance with the Building Regulations (approximately 10 sq. metres).  All living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms should minimise overlooking of adjoining/adjacent residences and should be so located so to avoid facing towards nearby high boundary or gable walls.


12.5.1 Apartments - Private and public open space

Private open space can be provided in the form of rear gardens or patios for ground floor units, and balconies at upper levels.  It is important that in the latter case, adequate semi-private or communal open space, in the form of landscaped areas, should also be provided. Roof gardens offer only limited potential in this regard, due to climatic and safety factors, and should not form the major share of such space. Roof gardens will only be considered provided they are easily accessible, secure and attractively landscaped.    Private open space at ground floor level should receive some sunlight, but also needs some form of screening to ensure privacy.


The following open space requirements apply:



Table 12.2:

Open Space Requirements for Apartments

Apartment Type             

Minimum private open space

One bedroom                   

10 sq.m  5sqm

Two/three bedrooms                    

15-20 sq.m  7/9sqm

Four bed


Table 12.2a Minimum floor areas for communal amenity space

Apartment Type

Minimum communal amenity space


4 sq m

One bedroom

5 sq m

Two bedroom

7 sq m

Three bedroom

9 sq m



Balconies (or glass-screened “winter gardens”) need to be of a certain minimum width to be useful from an amenity viewpoint, being able to accommodate chairs and a small table.   A minimum width of 1.5 metres for one-bedroom units, and 1.8 metres for apartments with 2 or more bedrooms, is recommended, generally extending for the full length of the external living room wall. While wider balconies might be desirable in certain cases, this has to be balanced against the need to avoid overshadowing the living room.


Table 12.3: Minimum Balcony Areas for Apartments

Apartment Type


Minimum Balcony Floor Area

One bedroom                   


Two bedrooms                 


Three bedrooms                             


Four Bedrooms                



Site conditions, such as elevations facing north or overlooking busy streets, or tall buildings, may diminish the amenity value of balconies. Balconies may not be appropriate in historic areas. In such cases, it will be the designer’s responsibility to provide some form of compensating amenity for the occupants. This might take the form, for instance, of above-average sized living rooms and generous landscaped communal open spaces.


Balustrading to balconies should be safe for children. Vertical privacy screens should generally be provided between adjoining balconies.



Table 12.4: Minimum storage space requirements for apartments

Apartment Type

Minimum Storage Space Required

One bedroom                   


Two bedrooms/ 3 persons                          


Three or more bedrooms /4 persons         

8sqm 9sqm