Chapter 5 Development Vision and Strategy

closeddate_range10 Oct, 2020, 8:00am - 23 Nov, 2020, 5:00pm

5 - Development Vision and Strategy 

The Draft Local Area Plan for the Southern Environs is underpinned by a strategic vision intended to guide the sustainable future growth of the area. The objectives outlined below combine to form a coherent development strategy to 2027 and beyond. These goals cover economic, social and environmental dimensions.

The strategic vision recognises the potential of the Southern Environs to align with the key growth objectives set out in higher order spatial plans and to take advantage of the strategic location of the environs. Delivering on these objectives will result in an enhanced quality of life for all citizens. The Draft LAP and overall vision is underpinned by a number of interlinked strategic objectives that will be realised through the chapters of the plan.

The strategic vision is based on the role of the Southern Environs within the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP) as set out in the RSES and as defined in the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended), and the aspirations of the people and stakeholders in the Southern Environs. The Strategic Vision reads as follows:

“To fulfil the role of the Southern Environs, by providing for low carbon, sustainable and consolidated growth in a coherent spatial manner, protecting and maximising opportunities presented by the unique natural and built environment for green and public modes of transport, recreation and employment opportunities, while delivering an exemplar quality of life for all”.

 

Figure 9 Plan Chapters 

Figure 10 National Strategic Outcomes of the National Planning Framework  

The Strategic Vision for the Southern Environs is consistent with the Tier 1 Settlement designation under the Limerick County Development Plan 2010- 2016 (as extended) and is supported by the NPF and RSES. The Southern Environs has the ability to achieve the National Strategic Outcomes as briefly outlined below:

-Compact Growth:

Strategic location within the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area and proximity to Limerick City Centre, with opportunities for consolidation, regeneration and development of infill and brownfield sites.

-Enhanced Regional Accessibility:

Location on the Regional Road and National Motorway network in close proximity to Limerick City Centre, Limerick Colbert Railway Station and Shannon International Airport.

-Sustainable Mobility:

Ability to promote the use of sustainable transport modes, including walking, cycling and public transport to the city centre, railway station, employment zones and third level education campuses.

-Strong Economy:

Ability to build on the existing presence of multinational companies in Strategic Employment Zones, such as Raheen Business Park and University Hospital Limerick, and the proximity to third level education providers, including University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College.

-Enhanced Amenities:

Ability to enhance existing and provide new community, sports and recreation facilities such as at Mungret Park.  Maintaining and protecting the rich built and natural heritage found throughout the Southern Environs.

-Sustainable Infrastructure:

Ability to deliver a strategy for the growth of the Environs to cater for sustainable employment and residential growth in tandem with the provision of hard and soft infrastructure. This Local Area Plan will include policy support for the provision of adequate amenities and open space, infrastructure and maintenance in a climate altered future.

-Access to Services:

Availability of, and policy support for expansion of existing and provision of new childcare, schools and healthcare services, such as at University Hospital Limerick.

5.2 Strategic Outcomes

 

This Draft Local Area Plan is based on a number of general objectives designed to improve the quality of life of the citizens of the environs, which the Council will endeavour to implement during the lifetime of the plan. The development of the Southern Environs over the lifetime of this plan focuses on sustainable growth of the built environment, employment generation, and the provision of community and social services together in a low carbon, compact, consolidated and connected pattern of development.

The following are the interlinked strategic objectives in relation to the delivery of the Strategy:

 

Strategic Objectives: It shall be the objective of the Council to:

  1. Ensure the Southern Environs Local Area Plan is consistent with the hierarchy of statutory plans – The National Planning Framework and Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region and the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended), or any replacement thereof. The area covered by this LAP will be incorporated into the proposed Limerick Development Plan 2022 and this LAP will then be revoked.
  1. Facilitate and promote the Southern Environs’ role as part of the Limerick – Shannon Metropolitan Area in accordance with the Limerick – Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region.
  1. Ensure that all development proposals comply with the Development Management Standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 - 2016 (as extended), and any replacement thereof or any relevant Section 28 Guidance.
  1. Support and facilitate sustainable intensification and consolidation of the existing built environment including permitting development on zoned land in an orderly manner in accordance with the objectives for Compact Growth in the National Planning Framework and Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.
  2. Deliver population growth targets in line with national, regional and county level policy objectives, by focusing new residential development into appropriate infill, brownfield, regeneration sites and residentially zoned land through the development strategy and development management process, in tandem with physical, community, recreation and amenity infrastructure.
  1. Promote, support and enable sustainable and economic development, enterprise and employment generation in strategic locations including Raheen Business Park and University Hospital Limerick, which are accessible by public and sustainable modes of transport.
  1. Promote and facilitate sustainable modes of transport that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, while providing an appropriate level of road infrastructure, road capacity and traffic management to support existing and future development.
  1. Protect, conserve and enhance the built environment, through promoting awareness, utilising relevant heritage legislation and ensuring good quality urban design principles are applied to all new developments, based on the principle that well planned and integrated development enhances the sustainability, attractiveness and quality of an area.
  1. Protect, enhance and connect areas of natural heritage, green infrastructure and open space for the benefits of quality of life and biodiversity, while having the potential to facilitate climate change adaptation and flood risk measures.
  1. Ensure the highest quality of public realm and urban design principles are applied to all new developments including the construction of landmark buildings in appropriate locations.
  1. Have cognizance to the Limerick Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019 - 2025, and any forthcoming climate adaptation and mitigation strategies and actions that emerge during the lifetime of this plan.
  1. Cooperate with the Southern Regional Assembly as part of the monitoring and review procedure.

  

5.3 Core Strategy and Compliance 

The Core Strategy for County Limerick is set out under Chapter 2 of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended). Section 19 (2) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) requires that:

“A Local Area Plan shall be consistent with the objectives of the Development Plan, its Core Strategy, and any Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy that apply to the area of the plan...”

The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long-term strategy which sets out broad national, regional and city specific population targets to secure more effective regional development. To facilitate monitoring and review, phased regional population targets to 2026 and 2031 are set out in both the NPF and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES). The NPF supports ambitious growth targets to enable Limerick City to grow by at least 50% to 2040 and to achieve its potential to become a city of scale.

The growth of the Southern Environs can be achieved in a sustainable manner through the objectives of this plan, having cognisance to the following:

-Residential:

To ensure compliance with the Core Strategy and associated population targets for the Southern Environs, it is an objective of the Planning Authority to monitor the number of residential units permitted and developed annually.

-Economic Development:

Economic development underpins all chapters in this Draft Local Area Plan. The aim of the plan is to capitalise on the Southern Environs’ location on the motorway and regional road networks, while providing a complimentary role to Limerick City.

-Retail:

The Local Area Plan seeks to compliment the role of Limerick City Centre at the top of the retail hierarchy. Any proposals for retail development will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Retail Strategy pending the completion of the new Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Retail Strategy.

-Social Infrastructure:

The provision of social infrastructure in tandem with projected population growth in the Southern Environs is a key consideration. The LAP therefore sets out objectives to support the delivery of social infrastructure in tandem with residential and employment growth.

-Key Infrastructure:

Future development proposals are contingent on key infrastructure. Capacity is currently available in the Foul Sewer Network, Waste Water Treatment Plant and Public Water Supply. In the short to medium term, the Mungret Link Street will be delivered and will open up lands for development. This plan includes objectives for the delivery of networks for cycling and public transport.

-Environment and Heritage Protection:

The environmental sensitivities of the area identified in the SEA process have informed the Core Strategy and the role it identifies for the Southern Environs. The Draft LAP responds to environmental factors, including climate change and areas at risk of flooding etc. It also acknowledges the importance of built and natural heritage as an environmental and economic resource and includes significant objectives for its conservation and enhancement

 

5.4 Function, Population and Scale of Southern Environs 

As set out under the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES), the Southern Environs form part of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area and comes within the scope of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP). The MASP seeks to strengthen the role of the Metropolitan Area as an international location of scale, a complement to Dublin and a primary driver of economic and population growth in the Southern Region.

The adoption of the proposed Limerick Development Plan in 2022, will replace both the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) and the Limerick City Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended). The new Limerick Development Plan will be required to address the target populations of the NPF and RSES and a revised Core Strategy will be developed. However, pending the adoption of the proposed Limerick Development Plan including a new Core Strategy and Housing Need Demand Assessment, Limerick City and County Council have considered the population targets set out under the the NPF, the Implementation Roadmap for the NPF and the RSES. In this respect, population targets have been allocated for each settlement in Limerick including the Southern Environs.

The NPF sets out a targeted projection of population growth of 47,000 – 56,000 persons for Limerick City and Suburbs to 2040. The RSES population targets provide for Limerick City and Suburbs to grow from 94,000 (2016) to 112,086 in 2026 (+18,086 on 2016) and 123,289 persons by 2031 (+29,289 on 2016). The 2031 target represents a population increase of 31% on the 2016 Census of population figures in the City and Suburbs.

The Southern Environs had a population of 19,073 persons in 2016, representing an increase of 5% on the 2011 population figure of 18,092 persons. As previously stated, in the absence of the adoption of the proposed Limerick Development Plan, the Local Authority has made assumptions with respect to population projections and allocation, additional residential units and zoned land requirements in accordance with the NPF, the Implementation Roadmap for the NPF and the RSES. In this respect, the assumed Southern Environs population growth allocation is an additional 7,420 persons to 2027. This equates to a projected requirement for an additional 2,968 residential units over the period up to 2027, based on 2.5 persons per household. These figures include headroom of 25% for the interim projection to 2026, permissible in Limerick under the Implementation Roadmap for the NPF.

 

Population 2011

Population 2016

Population Projection 2027[1] (25% Headroom)

Population Projection 2031

Housing Units Required to 2027 (2.5 per household)

Southern Environs

18,092

19,073

+7,420

(26,493)

+9,694

(28,767)

+2,968

 

 

 

 

 Table 1 - Population Projections for Southern Environs 

1 - Estimated by multiplying the projected growth of 17,625 by 2031 allocated to the suburbs of Limerick City formerly in the county by 0.55 (as Southern Environs is assumed to grow relative to Castletroy by a ratio of 55:45 - Castletroy Local Area Plan 2019-2025, Table 4).  This yields a population increase of 9,694 between 2016 and 2031 or 6,852 pro-rata by 2026. 

Given the Southern Environs’ function within Limerick City and Suburbs, it is anticipated that the Southern Environs will attract social and administrative functions as well as economic activity, and will act as a focus for future population growth in accordance with the objectives of the NPF and RSES.

The Southern Environs has the foundations to sustain population growth in accordance with the principles of the National Strategic Outcomes of the NPF, having regard to the location within Limerick City and suburbs, connectivity to the motorway network, the availability of public transport, serviced land and a range of existing amenities, education, childcare and healthcare services and employment zones. On this basis, the assumed scale of growth for the Southern Environs is considered reasonable and will be progressed on lands including opportunity, infill and brownfield sites. 

 

5.5 Residential Land Availability and capacity

The National Planning Framework requires that 50% of all new housing within Limerick City occurs within the existing city and suburbs footprint. As outlined under Section 5.4 above, approximately 2,968 residential units are required over the period 2016 to 2027 in the Southern Environs.

At time of writing, approximately 240 residential units have been built in the Southern Environs since 2016 and 54 units were vacant. This equates to a requirement for the construction of an additional 2,674 units to 2027.

The Draft LAP identifies approximately 90ha. of residential and local centre zoned land suitable for residential development. This includes 85ha. of undeveloped “New Residential” zoned land, located within and adjacent to established residential areas in the Southern Environs. With respect to the identified Local Centres, an assumed allocation of 25% of the site area for residential development has been included. The majority of lands suitable for development comprises opportunity, brownfield and infill sites.

The residential capacity of the lands identified is approximately 3,430 units as indicated in the table below. Given the role of the Southern Environs in the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area, the number of education and community facilities, and the availability of lands for employment uses, it is considered that there is sufficient land zoned. The lands for residential development have been identified with cognisance to the necessity for future proofing of this suburb beyond the plan period, in order to facilitate the role of Limerick City as a Regional City in accordance with the objectives of the NPF and MASP.

 

Housing Units Required to 2027 (2.5 per household)

Housing Units Built since 2016

Vacant Units

Total Housing Unit Required (Minus Built and Vacant)

Area of Undeveloped Land (ha.)

Assumed Density (units per ha.)

Estimated Residential Capacity (Potential no. of units)

Total Land Capacity (Potential No. of units)

2,968

240

54

2,674

28

45uph

1,260

3,430

62

35uph

2,170

Table 2: Land Capacity Assessment

 

Note: The density and number of residential units permissible will be determined at planning application stage, subject to compliance with the density requirements of Section 7.3 of this LAP, the applicable Development Management Standards and Section 28 Guidance etc.

Table 2 Land Capacity Assessment above sets out an estimation of residential units which can potentially be delivered in the Southern Environs, in a consolidated manner consistent with the provision of infrastructure including water services, public transport, education, open space and amenities.

 

A Serviced Land Assessment Matrix (SLAM) accessing the key infrastructure available to the individual sites identified as suitable for the provision of residential development has been set out in Appendix II. The SLAM identifies the infrastructure necessary to support future development. An indicative timeframe for the delivery of critical infrastructure i.e. short, medium or long term is included.

 

 

Core Strategy Policy:

 

CS P1:   To ensure compliance with the Core Strategy (or any revision thereof), the Planning Authority  shall monitor the type of developments permitted, including the number of residential units  constructed on an annual basis.