Chapter 7 - Housing

Closeddate_range10 Oct, 2020, 8:00am - 23 Nov, 2020, 5:00pm

7 Housing                                       

This Draft LAP aims to balance the provision of good quality housing that meets the needs of a diverse population, in a way that makes the Southern Environs an attractive and inviting place to live now and in the future. To meet the housing needs of the Southern Environs is an important element of this plan. Adequate housing provision is essential for the creation of an environment to attract business and enterprise to the Metropolitan Area and this plan provides the quantum of zoned lands to meet this demand. The quantum of zoned lands is in compliance with the population targets set out under the the National Planning Framework, the Implementation Roadmap for the NPF and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy as outlined in Chapter 5 of this Draft LAP.


7.1 Residential Profile 

The Census of 2016 recorded a housing stock of 7,394 no. dwellings in the Southern Environs, with the majority of households (52%) accommodated in houses built since 1991 (3,843). A significant majority of households (87%) reside in houses/ bungalows, which are by far the most common type of dwelling in the Southern Environs. With respect to tenure, 63.35% of dwellings were owner occupied within the settlement. The majority of these households comprise couples with children.

7.2 Residential Development  

The Limerick Shannon MASP supports a sequential approach with a primary focus on the consolidation of development, within or contiguous to the existing built up and zoned area of Limerick City and Suburbs. This LAP places a strong emphasis on providing high quality residential developments, through intensification and consolidation of the existing built envelope of the Environs, which presents significant housing development opportunities, through redevelopment of brownfield, infill and vacant sites.

The MASP recognises the potential for sustainable residential development in Mungret. In this regard, Limerick 2030 DAC has prepared a Masterplan for 42ha. of residential land at Mungret Park, including the former Mungret College and associated buildings. These strategic residential lands have the potential to yield approximately 1,950 no. dwelling units. Further details in relation to this Masterplan are set out under Chapter 8 of this LAP.

As set out under the Core Strategy of this LAP a number of sites have been identified, which are served by infrastructure and located in close proximity to public transport and are suitable for higher density developments.


7.3 Density and Housing Type 


To cater for the projected population growth, a mix of dwelling types and sizes will be required to meet the housing needs of all members of society. This plan emphasises a requirement for universal design to cater for specific housing requirements of older persons, persons with disabilities and the members of the travelling community.

Government policy outlined in Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas: Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DECHG, 2009) and Urban Development and Building Heights: Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DHP&LG, 2018) state that land is a scarce resource and should be managed efficiently. These guidelines set out a range of appropriate densities for different site locations having regard to the level of transport available.

As a general principle, higher densities and mixed-use developments must be targeted in areas where opportunities exist for sustainable transport provision, and in a manner that better aligns the provision of transport with demand. Public Transport Orientated Development is development which is consolidated around existing or planned along high frequency bus corridors, at a magnitude and density that provides a critical mass to support the viability of high capacity public transport.

On brownfield, infill and greenfield sites within 800m of the University Hospital and Raheen Business Park, and within 500m of a bus stop, the Planning Authority shall require densities in excess of 45 dwelling units per hectare. Where a proposed site exceeds the distance requirements above, a minimum density of 35 units per hectare shall be applied.

In order to ensure the delivery of a high quality housing mix in a sustainable manner, residential development will be required to:

  • Ensure compliance with the Development Management Standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) or any replacement thereof;
  • Ensure compliance with the Specific Planning Policy Requirements of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018), the Urban Development and Building Heights, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018) and any other relevant Section 28 Planning Guidelines;
  • Consider the nature of the existing housing stock and social mix in the area and the need to create socially inclusive communities;
  • Be delivered where homes and the appropriate supporting services including schools, childcare and other community services can be delivered more efficiently and effectively at least cost to the State in the long-run;
  • Ensure all layouts prioritise walking and cycling, are fully permeable for pedestrians and cyclists to access a range of local services and enable the efficient provision of public transport services, helping to tackle climate change;
  • Consolidate existing development and increase existing residential density, through a range of measures including reductions in vacancy, re-use of existing buildings, infill development schemes, area or site-based regeneration and increased building heights;
  • Provide high density and mixed use development in central and easily accessible locations particularly along public transport corridors and at station nodal points;
  • Provide a high-quality, accessible and safe public realm;
  • Have an excellent standard of high quality design, layout and finish;
  • Provide an appropriate mix of housing types and tenures catering for all members of society through all stages of the life cycle;
  • Compliment the character of the Environs.

Figure 13: New Housing

The Southern Environs is considered suitable for apartment development subject to local determination, having regard to the proximity and accessibility provisions of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments – Guidelines for Planning Authorities (March 2018). The provision of apartments allows for greater diversity and flexibility in a housing scheme and an increase in overall density. Accordingly, apartments may be considered as part of a mix of housing types in a given housing development at any appropriate suburban location.

In accordance with the specific planning policy of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments – Guidelines for Planning Authorities (March 2018), the quantum of car parking or the requirement for any such provision for apartment developments will vary, having regard to the location broadly based on proximity and accessibility criteria as set out in the Guidelines.


7.4 Older Persons Housing

The need for older persons’ dwellings, supported housing, Nursing Homes and residential care homes in the Environs is anticipated to grow into the future, by reason of a general aging of the population and the need to cater for those wishing to downsize and reside in proximity to services and amenities. These facilities should be integrated wherever possible into the established or planned residential areas, based on the principles of universal design and an age friendly public realm with seating, lighting, landscaping etc. Such facilities should be located within walking distance of shopping and other services, public transport and open space.


7.5 Regeneration 

In accordance with the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan 593 no. new dwelling units were to be delivered and 1,504 no. dwelling units upgraded across the areas of Moyross, Southill, Ballinacurra Weston and St. Mary’s Park.

A portion of the Southill Regeneration Area comes within the boundary of the Southern Environs Local Area Plan. Variation 6A of the Limerick City Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) includes comprehensive text and objectives in relation to the Regeneration Areas and should be read in tandem with this LAP. Any development proposed in the Regeneration Area of Southill shall be in accordance with the policies and objectives for Regeneration as set out under the Limerick City Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended), or any replacement thereof.

The ongoing programme of social and economic initiatives are scheduled to be completed by 2023. However, there is a need for a long-term commitment to support continued social and economic regeneration of the most deprived areas of Limerick in the new Local Area Plan. An objective to this effect has been included below.


7.6 Noise 

The design of residential schemes in close proximity to heavily trafficked road networks should have regard to the noise levels from such roadways. Developers should engage an acoustic specialist in the early design process for new residential developments in order to mitigate any negative impacts concerning noise.

Housing: Strategic Policy:

To deliver new residential development in accordance with the Core Strategy allocation,to ensure that every household has access to a choice of good quality housing and that all new residential development includes a sustainable mix of universallydesigned housing types and tenures catering for all members of society.


Objectives: It is an objective of the Council to:

H O1:        Ensure the sequential development of serviced residential lands identified to cater for the envisaged population growth, in accordance with the Core Strategy of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as amended) and any replacement thereof.

H O2:        Promote and facilitate the development of the strategic residential lands at Mungret in a planned and sustainable manner in accordance with the Mungret Masterplan.

 H O3:        Encourage and ensure that at least 40% of all new housing development is delivered within existing built up areas on infill, brownfield and backland sites, subject to preservation of existing residential amenity, the provision of a high quality design respecting the established character, density and layout, and compliance with all traffic safety, quantitative, qualitative and Development Management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as amended).

H O4:        a) Seek a higher density of a minimum net density of 45 dwelling units per hectare at appropriate intermediate urban locations, particularly on lands within 800m of University Hospital Limerick and Raheen Business Park, and within 500m of existing or proposed quality public transport route stops and public transport nodes;

b) Require a minimum net density of 35 dwelling units per hectare on all other lands.


H O5:      Require the creation of sustainable communities and high quality universally designed residential area, with a mix of unit types, sizes, tenures, heights, amenities and facilities to create and maintain a sense of place and local distinctiveness. All new developments shall meet the standards, guidance and specific planning policy requirements of:

  • The development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 -2016 (as extended) and any replacement thereof;
  • Sustainable Residential Development In Urban Areas, Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DEHG (2009);
  • Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018);
  • Urban Development and Building Heights, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018);
  • The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, DTTS and DECLG (2013);
  • Technical Guidance Document L – Conservation of Fuel and Energy – Dwellings;
  • Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach.

H O6:        Require the use of Design Briefs, Masterplans, Sustainability Statements, Social Infrastructure Assessments and any other supporting documents deemed necessary to ensure the coherent planning of residential development.

H O7:        Ensure an appropriate and sustainable mix of lifetime adaptable dwelling types, sizes, heights and tenures to cater for all members of society, including homeless persons, the elderly, disabled and members of the travelling community.

H O8:        Facilitate the provision of independent and or assisted living for older people and people with disabilities, by supporting the provision of purpose built accommodation including Nursing Homes in accordance with the “National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland”, or the adaption of existing premises, particularly vacant units.

H O9:        Ensure new residential developments comply with the open space hierarchy set out under Table 3: Open Space Hierarchy below. Every dwelling unit shall be positioned within 100m of a pocket park/ play lot, small park, or local park. Open space shall be provided proportional to the scale of the number of residential units proposed, with consideration of access to existing open space and the principles of permeability, accessibility, linkages, safety and place making.

H O10:     Ensure compliance with the provisions of Part V of the Act (as amended) and to integrate such housing so as to prevent social segregation within residential developments. Social housing shall be provided on all lands zoned for residential use in accordance with the “Joint Housing Strategy for the Administrative Areas of Limerick City & County and Clare County Council” and a replacement thereof.

H O11:     Utilise the provisions of the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 (Vacant Site Levy) to facilitate the appropriate development of vacant sites (residential zoned lands) that are in need of renewal or regeneration.

H O12:      Support any regeneration initiatives proposed and or implemented in the designated regeneration areas.

H O13:      Integrate Limerick City Regeneration Areas and their communities into the mainstream social economic & community life of the city through a long-term commitment to support social and economic regeneration of the most deprived areas.

H O14:     Identify and provide suitable sites, accommodation and facilities for the housing and re-settlement of travelling families in accordance with the provisions of the Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019 and any replacement thereof.

H O15:     Permit housing on agriculturally zoned land for the permanent habitation of farmers and the sons and/or daughters of farmers only and subject to the terms and conditions of the rural housing policy as set out in the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended).  

H O16:     Require residential developments in close proximity to heavily trafficked roads to be designed and constructed to minimize noise disturbance, follow a good acoustic design process and clearly demonstrate that significant adverse noise impacts will be avoided, in accordance with  “Professional Practice Guidance on Planning and Noise” (2017) and predicted noise levels shall be in accordance with WHO recommendations.


H O17:     Ensure proposed developments have cognizance to climate change mitigation as part of the design process, including use of sustainable building materials, micro-renewables or other design elements to reduce the carbon footprint of the proposed development.

Type of Public Open Space

Area Required

Accessibility from residential units


Play lot/ pocket park – primarily for play for younger children

400m2 – 0.2ha.

Every home within 100m walking distance

Required in all housing estates, overlooked with passive surveillance by as many houses as practicable; -Not to be located to the side or rear of dwellings; -Developers will be required to provide a minimum of two permanent play features.

Small Park

0.2ha. – 2.0ha.

Every residential unit within 400m walking distance

To accommodate a small playground with a minimum of 4 play features, kick around space, and passive recreation; -Overlooked with passive surveillance by as many houses as practicable; -Not to be located to side or rear of dwellings.

Local Park

2.0ha. – 20ha.

Residences to be within 1km

To accommodate a wide range of uses including playing pitches, passive recreation and biodiversity areas.

Table 3: Open Space Hierarchy