Chapter 10 – Land Use Framework and Settlement Capacity Audit

Open15 Oct, 2022, 8:00am - 28 Nov, 2022, 5:00pm

10.1 Land Use Zoning and Implementation

The purpose of land use zoning sets out the development objectives for lands within the settlement boundary of Caherconlish. The overarching policies and objectives of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028 apply, as does the policies and objectives of this Local Area Plan. All development requiring planning permission must adhere to the Development Management Standards of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028.

The purpose of zoning is to indicate to property owners and the public the types of development, which the Planning Authority considers most appropriate in each land use category. Zoning is designed to reduce conflicting uses within areas, to protect resources and ensure that land suitable for development is used to the best advantage of the community as a whole.  The Land Use Zoning Map should be read in conjunction with the Land Use Zoning Objectives below, and the Land Use Zoning Matrix set out under Appendix I.

10.2 Land Use Zoning

There are 9 land use categories in the Draft Plan differentiated by colour.  Refer to Map 1 Land Use Zoning in Appendix 1.  The purpose of each land use is outlined in Section 10.2.1 below.  Section 10.5 contains the zoning matrix, which should be read together with Map 1. It should be noted, the matrix acts as a generally guideline and the list is not exhaustive.  Table 10.1 below indicates the extent of consideration when assessing planning application.

10.2.1 General Objectives and Purpose of Land Use Zones and Extent of Consideration

Land Use Zoning

Objective and Purpose

Village Centre

Objective: To protect, consolidate and facilitate the development of Caherconlish’s commercial, retail, educational, leisure, residential, social and community uses and facilities.

Purpose: To consolidate Caherconlish’s Village Centre through densification of appropriate commercial and residential developments ensuring a mix of commercial, recreational, civic, cultural, leisure, residential uses and urban streets, while delivering a high-quality urban environment, which will enhance the quality of life of residents, visitors and workers alike. The zone will strengthen retail provision in accordance with the Retail Strategy for Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Area and County Limerick, emphasise urban conservation, ensure priority for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, while minimising the impact of private car-based traffic and enhancing the existing urban fabric.

Existing Residential




Objective: To provide for residential development, protect and improve existing residential amenity.

Purpose: This zoning reflects established housing areas. Existing residential amenity will be protected while allowing appropriate infill development. The quality of the area will be enhanced with associated open space, community uses and where an acceptable standard of amenity can be maintained, a limited range of other uses that support the overall residential function of the area, such as schools, crèches, doctor’s surgeries, playing fields etc.






Objective: To provide for new residential development in tandem with the provision of social and physical infrastructure.

Purpose: This zone is intended primarily for new high quality housing development, including the provision of high quality, professionally managed and purpose built third-level student accommodation. The quality and mix of residential areas and the servicing of lands will be a priority to support balanced communities. New housing and infill developments should include a mix of housing types, sizes and tenures, to cater for all members of society. Design should be complimentary to the surroundings and should not adversely impact on the amenity of adjoining residents. These areas require high levels of accessibility, including pedestrian, cyclists and public transport (where feasible).

This zone may include a range of other uses particularly those that have the potential to facilitate the development of new residential communities such as open space, schools, childcare facilities, doctor’s surgeries and playing fields etc.

Residential Serviced Sites

Objective: To offer an alternative to the rural one-off house, providing an opportunity for people to design a house to their individual needs and supported by existing services. 

Purpose: Provides an element of housing choice within the settlement boundary, and facilitate an element of housing choice on serviced lands within Caherconlish, supporting the principle of compact growth and sustainable development.

Education and Community


Objective: To protect and provide for education, training, adult learning, community, healthcare, childcare, civic, religious and social infrastructure.

Purpose: Protect existing community facilities and allow for expansion if required to sustain a thriving community.  

Enterprise and Employment



Objective: To provide for and improve general enterprise, employment, business and commercial activities.

Purpose: Provides for enterprise, employment and general business activities and acknowledge existing/permitted retail uses. This land use zone may accommodate light industry, low input and emission manufacturing, logistics and warehousing and office developments.  The form and scale of development on these sites shall be appropriate to their location, having regard to surrounding uses and scale. A proliferation of retail uses will not be permitted. Proposals may generate a considerable amount of traffic by both employees and service vehicles and traffic assessments may be required. Sites should be highly accessible, well designed and permeable with good pedestrian, cyclist links to the town centre and public transport. The implementation of mobility management plans will be required to provide important means of managing accessibility to these sites.

Open Space and Recreation


Objective: To protect, provide for and improve open space, active and passive recreational amenities.

Purpose: Provides for active and passive recreational resources including parks, sports and leisure facilities and amenities including greenways and blueways.  The Council will not normally permit development that would result in a substantial loss of open space. Linked green spaces/corridors are encouraged.




Objective: To provide for the infrastructural needs of transport and other utility providers.

Purpose: Preserves land for the provision of services such as electricity and gas networks, telecommunications, the treatment of water and waste water etc.  Such proposals shall demonstrate resilience to climate change. 




Objective: To protect and improve rural amenity and provide for the development of agricultural uses.

Purpose: Protect rural amenity and agricultural lands from urban sprawl and ribbon development and provide a clear demarcation to the adjoining built up areas. Uses which are directly associated with agriculture or rural related business activities which have a demonstrated need for a rural based location, and which would not interfere with rural amenity are open for consideration. Compliance is required with the criteria for Small Scale Home Based Businesses In Rural Areas as set out in the Limerick Development Plan 2022 - 2028 or any replacement thereof. One off dwellings will only be considered on agriculturally zoned land outside of Flood Zones A and B for the permanent habitation, subject to the terms and conditions of the rural housing policy as set out in the Limerick Development Plan 2022 - 2028.

The approach of Limerick City and County Council to various types of developments is determined by the zoning objective for the area in which the site is located. This approach is set out in the following Land Use Zoning Matrix, and should be read in tandem with the Land Use Zoning Map.

The Land Use Zoning Matrix outlines the types of developments considered appropriate or otherwise in each land use zone and are indicated as below.

Extent of Consideration

Generally Permitted indicated as /

A generally permitted use is one the Council accepts in principle in the relevant zone, subject to compliance with all relevant planning criteria, including applicable policies, objectives, development management standards and Section 28 Guidance.

Open for Consideration indicated as O

A use open for consideration by the Council and the Council may permit where it is satisfied that the suggested form of development will be compatible with the policies and objectives for the zone, will not conflict with existing uses or the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Generally Not Permitted as X

A use incompatible with the zoning policies or objectives for the area, would conflict with the permitted/ existing uses and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Table 10.1: General Objectives and Purpose of Land Use Zones and Extent of Consideration

Non-Conforming Uses are uses, which do not conform to the zoning objective for the area in which they are located. Where legally established, extensions or improvements to these uses shall be considered on their merits, on a case-by-case basis where they do not adversely affect the amenities of properties in the vicinity, and are not prejudicial to proper planning and sustainable development.

10.3 Advice when Submitting a Planning Application

The Planning Authority encourages applicants to avail of pre-planning meetings to discuss policy issues regarding their proposal prior to submitting a planning application.  Such meetings are of particular value if specific assessments are required given the sensitivity, type of development and location of the site in Caherconlish. Refer to to avail of a meeting.  Applications are advised to avail of pre-connection enquiries with Irish Water to ascertain if connection to the public mains and sewer is feasible prior to submitting a planning application.


Total Area Zoned in 2023 LAP - ha

Total Area Zoned in 2012 LAP - ha




Enterprise and Employment




Education and Community Facilities





No designation


New Residential Total



Phase 1

No designation


Phase 2

No designation


Existing Residential



Residential Serviced Sites



Phase 1

No designation


Phase 2

No designation


Open Space and Recreation




Village Centre




Table 10.2: Total Zoned Lands


*Comparison - Goods including Comparison Goods: clothing and footwear; furniture,

furnishings and household equipment (excluding non-durable household goods); medical and

pharmaceutical products, therapeutic appliances and equipment; educational and recreation

equipment and accessories; books, newspapers and magazines; goods for personal care;

goods not elsewhere classified; bulky goods;

*Convenience - Goods including food alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; tobacco; nondurable household goods;

*Leisure/ Recreation Facility - Cinema, Theatre, Concert Halls, Bingo Halls, Bowling Alley, Commercial Play etc.;

*Professional Services - Including for example accountants, architects, solicitors etc.

10.6 Settlement Capacity Assessment - Tiered Approach to Zoning

In accordance with Appendix 3 of the National Planning Framework (NPF), the tiered approach to zoning has been applied to zoned lands as laid out in Table 10.3 below.  Tier 1 refers to lands that are adequately services and can connect to existing services (road, path, public lighting, water supply and surface water drainage).  Tier 2 lands refer to lands that have constraints terms of connecting to one or more services but have the potential to become fully serviced over the lifetime of the Plan.  

The Settlement Capacity Assessment sets out the sites identified for new residential development, serviced sites and enterprise and employment with respect to availability of key infrastructure to ensure that these lands are developable over the lifetime of the plan.   The sites are identified as being serviced (utilities), served by public transport and community infrastructure and satisfies the principles of the Town Centre First policy and compact growth, all promoted by higher level spatial plans.  Where existing infrastructure is located in close proximity to a site and can potentially extended to service the site, these services have been indicated as available.   It should be noted that the table below is for information purposes only and developers are advised to avail of pre-planning consultation with the service providers regarding development of these lands prior to submitting a planning application.