Chapter 3 - Development Strategy

Open2 Sep, 2023, 12:00am - 16 Oct, 2023, 5:00pm

3.1 Strategic Vision   

The purpose of the Draft Patrickswell Local Area Plan is to set out the policies and objectives that will guide the sustainable future growth of the village to 2030 and beyond, and to ensure alignment with the provisions of higher-level planning policy. The vision of the plan is to focus on the re-development and regeneration of underused/brownfield/infill sites and enhancement of village centre services, creating a compact and consolidated settlement that supports employment generation and a balanced mix of housing. Community and social infrastructure is also prioritised along with a focus on improved public realm, local environment and connectivity, together in a low carbon pattern of development.

The strategic vision for the Plan reads as follows:

‘The strategic vision for Patrickswell is to fulfil the role of a Level 4 settlement as identified in the Limerick Development Plan. This will include the provision for growth in population and employment through a mix of quality residential development (choice and tenure), education and employment opportunities, sustainable mobility choice, a strengthened retail/commercial village centre, community infrastructure, active lifestyles and recreation choice, and sustaining Patrickswell’s cultural and natural heritage assets. The future development of Patrickswell will provide for low carbon, sustainable and consolidated growth in a coherent spatial manner.’


3.2 Spatial Development Strategy

The overall development strategy for Patrickswell, is to grow the population of Patrickswell in line with the Limerick Development Plan as a Level 4 Settlement, by focusing growth within and adjacent to the village core and in doing so, supporting the regeneration, repopulation and development of the village. The future of Patrickswell is one where the quality of life and wellbeing of its inhabitants are enhanced, building a resilient and sustainable compact village, that supports improved local employment and economic activity, protects its local culture and heritage, while supporting the village’s transition to a low carbon society.

The plan recognises the need for population and residential growth having regard to Patrickswells location within the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area and its proximity to Limerick City and the Raheen Industrial Estate. It seeks to consolidate the town and avoid unnecessary urban sprawl by zoning residential lands within close proximity to the town centre.verall Strategic Development Objectives

Overall Strategic Development Objectives 

It is an objective of the Council to:

  1. Seek the sustainable intensification and consolidation of the existing built environment, in accordance with the objectives for compact growth in higher-level spatial plans through appropriate infill, brownfield development, supported by the necessary physical and community infrastructure.    
  2. Promote sustainable economic development, enterprise and employment opportunities in Patrickswell, maximising its strategic location within the MASP and accessibility to both the regional and national road network.
  3. Promote and facilitate sustainable modes of transport, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport, whilst protecting and improving existing road infrastructure.
  4. Protect, conserve and enhance the built environment, through promoting awareness, utilising relevant heritage legislation and ensuring quality urban design principles are applied to all new developments, respecting historic and architectural heritage.
  5. Protect, enhance and connect areas of natural heritage, blue green infrastructure and open space for the benefit of enhanced quality of life and biodiversity, while capitalising on climate change adaptation and flood risk measures.
  6. Ensure the highest quality of public realm and urban design principles apply to all new developments.
  7. Have cognisance to the Limerick Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019 - 2024, and any forthcoming climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that emerge during the lifetime of this plan.
  8. Guide the future development of Patrickswell, in accordance with the Town Centre First policy approach, seeking to bring people and appropriate business/services back into the heart of Patrickswell through place-making, good quality urban design, and sustainable mobility as promoted by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Rural and Community Development. 
  9. Ensure the future development of Patrickswell supports the transition to a low carbon society and economy, implementing national policy to reduce gas emissions, improve environmental quality and contribute to national targets for climate change.

Policy DS P1 - Development Strategy: It is policy of the Council to:

  1. Deliver new residential development in accordance with the Core Strategy of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028, supporting a choice of quality housing, mixed tenure and unit size/type, universally designed for ease of adaption to the lifecycle and mixed mobility needs.
  2. Ensure the sequential development of the serviced residential lands identified to cater for envisaged population growth.
  3. Ensure that at least 30% of all new housing development is delivered within existing built-up areas and on infill, brownfield and backland sites.
  4. Consolidate existing development and increase existing residential density, through a range of measures including re-use of existing buildings and infill development schemes.

3.3 Core Strategy

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...”.

Policy DS P2 - Core Strategy: It is a policy of the Council to:

Ensure compliance with the Core Strategy (or any revision thereof) of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028. The Planning Authority will monitor the type of developments permitted in Patrickswell, including the number of residential units constructed on an annual basis.

The Core Strategy for Limerick is set out in Chapter 2 of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028. The Core Strategy makes assumptions with respect to population projections and allocation in settlements across Limerick. These assumptions include the requirements for additional residential units and zoned land for each settlement in accordance with the requirements of the NPF, the Implementation Roadmap for the NPF, the RSES and the ESRI’s Regional Demographics and Structural Housing Demand at County Level.

Patrickswell is identified in the Core Strategy of the Limerick Development Plan, for potential growth of 36% over the 2016 Census figure. In accordance with the Limerick Development Plan, this level of population growth seeks to ensure that the development of the settlement takes place in tandem with the development of physical and social infrastructure. It also enables growth of the settlement without damage to the unique character, or carrying capacity of its environment.

In accordance with the Limerick Development Plan Core Strategy, Patrickswell requires an additional 95 residential units to 2028. In determining the quantum of zoned land required to cater for projected population growth for the plan period, allowance must be made to the proposed longer lifetime of the Draft Local Area Plan and consideration must also be given to the level of vacancy in Patrickswell. A vacancy rate equating to 2.8% (12 units) was recorded in a Geodirectory survey from Q2 2023. Table 3.1 below, sets out the required growth for Patrickswell in accordance with the Limerick Development Plan. This includes for vacancy and an assumption on the number of units that could be accommodated within the village centre.

Draft Patrickswell Local Area Plan

Total Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028 Core Strategy Requirements

95 residential units

Estimated per year

16 units

Vacancy and Town Centre allowance

20 units

No. of New Units Required 2022-2030

108 units

New Residential Zoned land Required at 22 uph

108 at 100%* = 108 (4.9ha.)

Additional Zoned Land Provision (+25%) as per ‘Development Plan Guidelines for Planning Authorities’, 2022

27 units at 22uph = 1.22

Total Hectares Required


Table 3.1: Core Strategy - Units and Land Requirements

*Having regard to planning permission granted on lands at the edge of the village in December 2022 for 36 residential serviced sites, no further serviced sites zoning is provided for within the Draft Plan.

3.4 Proposed Residential Zoned Land

While the Core Strategy and growth targets outlined above were considered in drafting the plan, the analysis undertaken in relation to consideration of extant permissions, historical legacy zoning, infrastructural capacity, and the need to achieve compact growth, has resulted in the core strategy housing target being exceeded as set out in Table 3.2 below.  Patrickswell’s significance as a village within the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area and as a Level 4 Large Village in the settlement hierarchy of the Limerick Development Plan was also considered.  In addition, the villages proximity to Limerick City, Raheen Industrial Estate (including Eli Lilly’s new medicine manufacturing site, currently under construction and to which promises an additional 1,500 jobs) and strategic access to both regional and national road networks, it is anticipated that demand for housing will remain high in the village, as evident in the interest in current developments under construction. The sections below explain the rational for the additional zoned land over and above what that is required in the Core Strategy in more detail.

Potential Residential Yield on ‘New Residential Phase 1’ Zoned land

Potential Units within Town Centre/Vacancy

Total Potential Units within the LAP Boundary

(New Resi. Phase 1 and Town Centre/Vacancy)

Total Land Zoned as ‘New Residential Phase 1’ (ha)

306 units

20 units

326 units


Table 3.2: Quantum of Residential Zoned Land and Housing Yield






3.4.1 Extant Planning Permissions

The ‘Development Plan Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (2022) provides the recommended guidelines for dealing with extant planning permissions and state that a reasonable estimate should be made of housing delivery from permissions that is likely to occur during the plan period.

The 2015 LAP included 38.38 hectares of land zoned for residential purposes. Since the adoption of the LAP in 2015, 241 no. of units have been granted permission in Patrickswell. Permission remains live for 191 units with a further 116 units in the planning process. While the Core Strategy of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028 includes a forecasted household growth of 95 no. of units to 2028 in Patrickswell, the existing live planning permissions cannot be ignored and must be considered with respect to the extent of proposed zoning.


Figure 3.1: Residential Planning Pipeline June 2023

In terms of completions or commencements since the adoption of the existing plan, a 16 no unit Local Authority development has been completed, 48 residential units has commenced development while 36 serviced sites are at pre-commencement stage. Overall, the construction of residential developments in Patrickswell since the adoption of the existing plan has been relatively modest, with many permissions yet to be activated, aside from the two developments outlined above, both of which commenced in 2022 and 2023 respectively. However, having regard to the proximity to Limerick City and the significant demand for dwelling units in the area, it is envisaged that the majority of permissions will commence in the next few years.  Planning permissions which have commenced, or have the potential to be implemented or completed during the life of the Plan (extant permissions) are detailed in Figure 3.2 and associated Table 3.3.




Figure 3.2: Extant and Live Planning Permissions Map

Extant Residential Sites

Site No.

Planning Ref.

Site Area (Ha.)

No. of Dwellings

Expiry Date




































Extant Serviced Sites

Site No.

Planning Ref.

Site Area (Ha.)

No. of Dwellings

Expiry Date






Live Planning Applications

Site No.

Planning Ref.

Site Area (Ha.)

Proposed Dwelling Units

Current Stage





Further Information





Further Information





Decision Date Extended until 08/01/2025





On Appeal to An Board Pleanála









Table 3.3: Extant Planning Permissions Summary

3.4.2 Infrastructure Capacity/Tiered Approach to Land Use Zoning

The National Planning Framework (NPF) requires land use plans to adopt a Tiered Approach to Zoning (TAZ). The Development Plan Guidelines (2022) provides further details of a Settlement Capacity Audit (SCA) methodology, which accords with Appendix 3 of the NPF, outlining the evidence basis for implementing the two-tiered approach to land zoning as follows:

• Tier 1 lands are serviced, and in general, part of or contiguous to the built-up footprint of an area.

• Tier 2 lands are not currently sufficiently serviced to support new development but have potential to become fully serviced within the lifetime of the Plan. Tier 2 lands may be positioned within the existing built-up footprint, or contiguous to existing developed lands, or to Tier 1 zoned lands.

The Settlement Capacity Audit (SCA) set out under Chapter 10 examines the availability of services for lands identified for residential and employment purposes. The SCA examines whether services are, or will be, available to facilitate development within the lifetime of the Plan. The subject lands are considered to be serviced by existing roads, footpaths, public lighting, water and wastewater services.

Consideration of the maps published for the purposes of the Residential Zoned Land Tax and relevant submissions in relation to same were also considered to establish infrastructural requirements.


Figure 3.3: Residential Zoned Land Tax Map (November 2022)

3.4.3 Delivering Compact Growth

The Local Area Plan seeks to ensure that population growth is met and future needs of the village are accommodated in a consolidated manner. Planning policy requires Local Authorities to ensure a sequential approach to the zoning of land, with a primary focus on the consolidation of settlements though the zoning of lands within or contiguous to the village centre. The Settlement Capacity Audit in Section 10.6 indicates that 12 out of the 14 sites identified for residential development are considered ‘infill’, meaning that the majority of potential new residential units are within the existing footprint of the settlement.  Furthermore, the plan provides for circa 48.19% of all new homes to be developed within the defined CSO settlement boundary, which is in line with National Policy and Policy DS P1(c), in relation to at least 30% of all new development being delivered within the built up footprint of the settlement boundary.

Figure 3.4: Patrickswell Census 2022 Urban Area Boundary

Figure 3.5: Patrickswell 10-minute Walking Network

3.4.4 Phasing Residential Zoned Lands

The Plan seeks to promote the creation of a sustainable place and healthy community, through ensuring development occurs at an appropriate pace and that infrastructure is delivered in tandem to support this growth. In order to achieve this, the plan incorporates a ‘Phase 2 New Residential’ land use zoning objective. This area forms part of Opportunity Site no. 4 (refer to Table 4.1) and will allow for future proofing and master planning of these lands.

Opportunity Site No. 4, also includes development principles to ensure that community facilities, potentially comprising a new games pitch/play facility should be provided as an integral element of any future master planning and development of this site. This will help address a shortfall in social and community infrastructure that has been identified within the plan area. In that regard, an area of land zoned ‘Open Space and Recreation’ has been provided north of these residential zoned lands. The objectives for this site also require a high level of access, particularly in terms of active travel linkages to allow for increased permeability, which will ensure integration of the site within the settlement.

Objective DS O1 Residential Phasing: It is an objective of the Council to:

Ensure development of New Residential Phase 2 lands only proceeds when at least 80% of all development in New Residential Phase 1 is completed.

3.5 Future Residential Development

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 Patrickswell an attractive and inviting place to live. The Local Authority will ensure that all new housing developments or the retrofitting of existing units, will be designed to the highest quality with respect to the principles of universal design and place making. Consideration shall be given to the nature of the existing housing stock and social mix in the area and provision will be made for a range of new housing types, tenures and adaptability for all age groups and abilities. 

3.5.1 Density, Housing Type and Mix

This LAP places a strong influence on ensuring the delivery of sustainable communities providing high quality, universally accessible residential developments with an appropriate mix of housing type, tenure, density and size, through the redevelopment of brownfield, infill, vacant and on greenfield sites, having regard to principles of placemaking, permeability and integration of community and recreation facilities.

Figure 3.6: New Housing Development, Housing Faha View, Ballyanrahan East, completed in 2019









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 the community. This includes an increased demand for smaller unit sizes/downsizing schemes. A statement to demonstrating how this has been considered shall be submitted with any planning application for housing development. This statement shall demonstrate how consideration has been given by the developer to meet the demand for housing in Patrickswell.

With respect to the density of development, the Council will be guided by the policies outlined in “Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas: Guidelines for Planning Authorities” (DECHG, 2009) and “Urban Development and Building Heights: Guidelines for Planning Authorities” (DHPLG, 2018) and any subsequent replacement Ministerial Guidelines. The following densities shall apply to residential zoned land in Patrickswell:


Minimum Density

New and Existing Residential

22 units per hectare

Serviced Sites

10 units per hectare

Table 3.4: Minimum Density Standards

Objective DS O2 - Residential Development: It is an objective of the Council to:

  1. 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. Masterplans will be required for large-scale development of residentially zoned lands and shall be submitted at planning application stage. Early engagement with all utilities providers including Uisce Eireann is strongly advised.
  2. No one proposal for residential development shall increase the existing housing stock by more than 10-15% during the lifetime of the Plan, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the settlement has adequate capacity, in terms of both physical and social infrastructure to support additional growth.
  3. Ensure all new residential layouts will prioritise walking and cycling and are fully permeable for pedestrians and cyclists to access a range of local services and enable the efficient provision of public transport services.
  4. Ensure new residential development provides high quality public open space and play lots proportional to the number of residential units, having cognisance to accessibility, safety, permeability and public realm.
  5. Ensure that in any proposed alterations to the streetscape of the village centre, adequate consideration is given to conservation, restoration and reconstruction, where it would affect the settings of protected structures, or the integrity of the 19th Century streetscape. 


Objective DS O3 - Density and New Residential Developments: It is an objective of the Council to:

Ensure that all residential development complies with the minimum residential density requirements, as set out in Table 3.4 and encourage a range of densities on New Residential and other suitably zoned lands in accordance with the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas: Cities, Towns and Villages (2009), and any subsequent documents. A statement demonstrating an appropriate mix of units for new residential schemes shall be submitted as a requirement with all residential planning applications

3.5.2 Serviced Low-density Sites

In Patrickswell, zoned land is included for the potential development of low-density serviced sites, offering an alternative to one-off rural houses in the open countryside.  Permission exists on these land consisting of a 36-unit serviced sites development (Planning Ref. 20/281) which is at pre commencement stage at the edge of the village, on the approach road from Limerick City and has been zoned accordingly. No additional serviced sites have been zoned within the village at this stage having regard to the scale of this proposal.  

Objective DS O4 - Serviced Sites:  It is an objective of the Council to:

Permit serviced sites on adequately zoned lands within the settlement boundary of Patrickswell, in line with requirements outlined in the Limerick Development Plan. The Council requires a minimum net density of 10 dwelling units per hectare on lands zoned Serviced Sites. 

3.5.3 Specialised Housing including Older Persons Housing, Assisted Independent Living and Traveller Accommodation

Specialised housing accommodates the needs of those that require specialised design and planning needs, such as older persons, disabled or mobility-impaired people. Specialised housing also includes Traveller-specific accommodation.

As Ireland’s population continues to age, with 13.4% of the population being over 65 years old in the country, similar population trends apply to Patrickswell’s population, with 12% of the settlement’s population being over 65 years old in 2016, which is a 2% increase on the 2011 Census figures. This growth highlights the need to future-proof various services to keep up with the evolving needs of older people and for those with specialised needs. It is crucial that all needs are met within the community and that anyone with a specialised need remains fully integrated into the local community. The suitability of locations for such facilities should be based on proximity to key services and facilities and good quality safe transport linkages. 

Limerick City and County Council has an adopted Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019-2024, which outlines the needs, policy and implementation measures to address the accommodation requirements of the Traveller Community.  Objective HO O15 of the Limerick Development Plan, 2022-2028 outlines Limerick City and County Council’s objective to support the quantity and quality of delivery of traveller-specific accommodation with the relevant agencies, in accordance with the Traveller Accommodation Programme and any subsequent document. The current programme does not identify a requirement for specialised traveller accommodation in Patrickswell.

3.5.4 Social and Affordable Housing

“Housing for All - a New Housing Plan for Ireland” is the government’s housing plan to 2030.  The plan includes ambitious actions to address homelessness, provide affordable housing and accelerate the delivery of social and affordable housing schemes. Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) is one of the means through which Limerick City and County Council can seek to address demand for social and affordable housing. The Council works in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Approved Housing Bodies to deliver and manage social housing.

The Housing Delivery Plan for Limerick 2022-2026 identifies Patrickswell within the Metropolitan Sub Area as ‘Metro A’ along with the settlements of Carrig, Ferrybank and Clarina.  Within this sub area, there are 76 first preference households on the housing waiting list. Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) is one of the means through which Limerick City and County Council can seek to address demand for social housing in Limerick. The Council works in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Approved Housing Bodies to deliver and manage social housing. A Part 8 application for 24 houses has been approved for housing delivery on the Clarina Road. 

Objective DS O5 - Social and Affordable Housing:  It is an objective of the Council to:

Promote the provision of social and affordable housing in accordance with Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), Objective HO O13 of the Limerick Development Plan, the Limerick Housing Strategy’s Housing Needs Demand Assessment, and government housing policy ‘Housing for All’ (2021), Limerick City and County Council’s Housing Delivery Action Plan 2022-2026 and any subsequent replacements thereof.