Chapter 3 - Quality Housing
The policy for quality housing is to:
Ensure that future housing development contributes to sustainable neighbourhoods and communities, demonstrating key consideration given to sequential location and phasing, accessibility and connectivity with the town centre green infrastructure, recreational amenity and community facilities, providing an element of choice and differing unit sizes, mixed-tenure, life adaptable homes, and independent living options.
All proposals shall comply with the policies, objectives and development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010-2016 (as extended) in relation to housing.
3.1 The need for quality housing
The proposed Kilmallock LAP promotes quality homes in mixed-tenure neighbourhoods, supporting a good quality of life with access to services, smart travel connectivity to the town centre contributing to a compact town, thereby reducing urban sprawl. Quality housing promotes Kilmallock’s competitiveness as a vibrant town, a desirable settlement to live in, given the scale of services and investment in the town. Critical to sustainable housing development is location, accessibility, connectivity, recreational amenity and an element of choice. Different housing unit size accommodates various stages in life, family types, and supports adaptability of homes to diverse modern needs, including social inclusivity, special needs requirements, and independent living options. The provision of quality housing that is suitable for citizens throughout their lives and adaptable to people’s changing circumstances is fundamental to creating a compact town with sustainable neighbourhoods. Providing quality homes for all citizens includes the provision of social housing. Census and housing waiting list analysis identifies that all types of housing units are required in Kilmallock to cater for the needs of the population.
The policy and objectives for housing in this plan must align with higher level planning strategies, in particular the NPF , and government guidelines including ‘Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness’. Rebuilding Ireland seeks to accelerate housing supply, through additional social housing, more private sector residential development, and better use of existing housing stock including vacant houses. The DHPLG’s publication of the Social Housing Strategy 2020 – Support, Supply and Reform also informs this Proposed LAP. It is also aligned with the principles and key policies of the Housing Strategy.
Residential vacancy is an issue in Kilmallock. The 2016 Census records 127 vacant residences in the town boundary out of the residential building stock of 797 units. This represents a 15.95% residential vacancy rate in the town. GeoDirectory figures for Q4 of 2018, within the LAP boundary record 33 vacant residential units of 642 units which is 5%. GeoDirectory figures for the town centre indicate a residential vacancy rate of 13%, or 22 vacant residences of 172 residential units in the town core. The national residential vacancy rate published by GeoDirectoy was 4.8% for the same period.  This plan takes into account the level of vacancy when allocating the amount of land zoned for housing to accommodate the population growth as established by Section 2.3 of this plan.
There is no issue regarding unfinished housing estates in Kilmallock at present. However, given the cyclical nature of the economy an objective has been included in this LAP.
Applicants for residential developments are advised to inform themselves of relevant national planning guidance for housing, including the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Rebuilding Ireland, and the Housing Agency prior to designing residential development schemes.
3.2 Residential zoning requirements
Population projections for the town identifies a requirement of 22 hectares to accommodate future growth envisaged to 2025. Refer to Section 2.3 for population projections. This LAP zones 15.93 hectares as Residential Development Phase 1 and 7.1 hectares as Serviced Sites Phase 1 to accommodate the envisaged population growth to 2025. A further 17.38 hectares has been zoned as Phase 2 Residential Development and Phase 2 Serviced Sites for population growth beyond 2025. Phase 2 lands will only be permitted when at least 50% of the housing in Phase 1 has been completed. Objective SS01 of the CDP requires the town to grow sequentially from the town centre, maintaining a compact urban settlement avoiding leap-frogging of development. Future residential development proposals, on lands Residential Development will be requested to justify, as part of the planning application the mix of accommodation types proposed. Proposals must satisfy Part V obligations  in terms of social housing, and the Housing Strategy 2011, and any subsequent document. Design guidelines for residential developments are outlined in the County Development Plan. 
Proposals for infill development, particularly in town core are encouraged, given the level of vacancy in the town. However, considering the archaeological, built heritage and historic significance of the town wall, scope for infill development is limited. The NPF sets a target for at least 40% of all new housing to be delivered within the existing built-up areas of cities, towns and villages on infill and/or brownfield sites. 
Key considerations for zoning Residential Development and Serviced Sites
The population growth outlined in Section 2.3 is a key consideration, when calculating the amount of land required to ensure that there is sufficient land in the town to accommodate the number of residential units needed for a growing population. Refer to Section 2.4. The Council is guided by national planning guidelines in relation to appropriate densities as well as the existing urban pattern, the principles of sustainable development, smarter travel, compact urban centres, optimal use of land to capitalise on local services and community facilities.
3.3 The objectives for quality housing
The objectives quality housing are as follows:
Objective H1: New Housing
It is the objective of the Council to:
(a) Ensure that serviced land is zoned for residential use to facilitate residential development in accordance with the principles and guidelines of the Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018), the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (2013), the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Area (2009), the accompanying Urban Design Manual, Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities (2007) and the policies, objectives and Development Management Standards contained in the Limerick County Development Plan 2010-2016 (as extended).
(b) Promote the provision of community and other facilities such as childcare as an integral part of new developments.
Objective H2: Residential density, design, mix and phasing and design
It is an objective of the Council to:
- Ensure that proposals for residential development are planned coherently through the use of design briefs, master plans for larger landholdings, where proposals involve the partial development of landholdings if appropriate, sustainability statements and social infrastructure assessments and any other supplementary documents deemed necessary by the Council.
- Promote the concept of a compact district by encouraging appropriate densities in suitable locations and by resisting sporadic isolated developments.
- Require a minimum net density of 22 units to the hectare on residentially zoned lands.
- Ensure a wide range of house types, sizes and tenures are provided to meet varying population requirements and needs.
- Ensure that a variety of building heights is incorporated into residential development proposals to ensure that optimum use is made of residentially zoned lands at appropriate locations.
- Ensure compliance with the policies and objectives of the County Development Plan Policy SS P1 and SS P6.
- Ensure development of sites in Phase 2 can only proceed when at least 50% of all development in New Residential zoned Areas Phase 1 is completed.
- Ensure new residential development provide the necessary charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in all proposed development. Details will be submitted at design stage when seeking planning permission from the Planning Authority.
Obj R2: Serviced Sites
It is the objective of the Council to require serviced site developments to:
- Provide one residential unit on an individual plot of no less than 0.1ha within the serviced sites estate. Larger sites may be considered given size of dwelling and configuration of the site. The density shall be 10 units per hectare.
- Require submission of a master plan/design brief when seeking planning permission for all the sites in the development demonstrating layout, infrastructure, services, landscaping and connectivity to the town core and consideration of smarter travel modes.
- Demonstrate through design statements and Sustainability Statement & Social Infrastructure Assessment, alignment with most recent and relevant national policy and guidelines on housing, urban design, infrastructure provision, quality of life, accessibility and inclusivity when submitting a planning application.
- Demonstrate through design statements and Sustainability Statement & Social Infrastructure Assessment.
- Development of Phase 2 Serviced Site lands can only proceed when at least 50% of all development in Serviced Sites Phase 1 land has been completed.
Obj R3: Infill residential development, vacant and derelict sites
It is the objective of the Council to:
- Promote sensitive high quality design is a key consideration of any proposal. Development proposals shall respect existing traditional streetscape and burgage plots, and any other requirements within the ACA.
- Ensure use of suitable traditional materials appropriately, to contribute to the integrity of Kilmallock's traditional streetscape and the town’s historical context.
- Promote the use and redevelopment of derelict sites and under-used sites in line with the NPF, and consider using powers subject to resources, under the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 if deemed appropriate.
Obj R4 : Social and affordable housing, and independent living,
It is the objective of the Council to:
- Ensure that residential development satisfies Part V obligations of the Planning and Development Act 2000(Amended), the Housing Strategy and any guidance from national level such as the Housing Agency, Rebuilding Ireland and the Social Housing Strategy 2020
- Facilitate the provision of housing for those with special needs seeking opportunities for independent living, including sheltered housing. Principles of inclusivity, integration with the local community, connectivity with existing community facilities and the town centre will be demonstrated in the design statements and Sustainability Statement & Social Infrastructure Assessment when seeking planning permission.
- Require developers to provide social housing 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 any subsequent document.
Support future business and entrepreneurial development in Kilmallock to enable Kilmallock to sustain a competitive, innovative, dynamic, and sustainable business /enterpreneurial sector; one that makes a contribution to the economy, and to job creation for the town and its hinterland.
All proposals shall comply with the policies, objectives and development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) in relation to economic and business development.
Obj H5: Joint Traveller Accommodation Programme
It is the objective of the Council to provide appropriate housing accommodation for the Traveller Community in accordance with the Joint Traveller Accommodation Programme 2014-2018 and any subsequent programme formally adopted by the Council.
Obj H5: Estate Names
It is the objective of the Council that the naming of all new residential development shall reflect local townlands, place names or features and shall be agreed with the Council. The use of the Irish language will be promoted where possible and/or appropriate. Estate names/signs shall be maintenance free and located in suitable places and shall be provided in line with house completions.
-  - National Planning Framework, Section 66 Housing, pages 91 -97. Refer to gov.ie/2040
-  - Refer to rebuildingireland.ie
-  - Joint Housing Strategy for the Administrative Areas of Limerick City and County Councils and Clare Local Authorities, 2011, page 74
-  - GeoDirectory was established by An Post and Ordanance Survey Ireland (OSi) as a management data base of addresses, including occupancy status based on live postal addresses for buildings in Ireland. Geodirectory publish useful biannual reports GeoView available on geodirectory.ie
-  - Legal obligations under the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Amended). The Council will engage with developers prior to the formal planning process to negotiate Part V.
-  - Chapter 10 Development Management Standards, Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 as extended
-  - National Planning Framework – Ireland 2040, page 11