11. Placemaking and Managing Development

Dúntadate_range26 Iúil, 2021, 9:00am - 4 D.F., 2021, 4:00pm

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Placemaking and Overarching Principles


This Chapter provides guidance on development in Cork City and sets out the qualitative and quantitative standards against which development proposals will be assessed. Of primary importance is securing development of the highest architectural and urban design quality that is people-centric and  resilient to climate change and other challenges.


Development proposals should comply with the relevant land use zoning objectives set out in Chapter 12 Land Use Zoning Objectives and other relevant objectives set out in this Development Plan in Chapters 2-10.


While some of the standards and guidance providing in this Chapter are very specific to particular types of development, there are overarching principles and objectives that all development proposals are expected to satisfy.


Cork City Council may over the life of this Plan, prepare additional placemaking and development management guidance to complement the guidance in this Plan. Where such guidance is produced, it will be applied to complement the guidance in this Plan.

To develop a compact, sustainable City by ensuring the creation of attractive, liveable, diverse, safe, secure and welcoming and well-designed urban places, communities and neighbourhoods that enjoy a high quality of life and well-being.

Proposals for new development will follow a design-led approach with sustainable, high quality, climateresilient placemaking at its core. Development should have a positive contribution to its receiving environment delivered by innovative architectural, landscape and urban design, that respects the character of the neighbourhood, create a sense of place, and provide green spaces and community and cultural amenities commensurate with the nature and scale of the development.

Overarching Development Principles


All development in Cork City should:
1. Contribute to the creation of a sustainable and compact city of neighbourhoods and communities,
2. Be aligned with the development and growth strategy set out in the Core Strategy,
3. Encourage people, jobs and activity within the city centre, urban towns and suburbs,
4. Integrate climate resilience and green practices from design to implementation stage,
5. Integrate alternatives to the private car in their design, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport,
6. Be permeable and connect with its surrounding context and environment,
7. Facilitate inclusivity and equal opportunities for all,
8. Not have detrimental impacts on receiving environment.



Placemaking is about creating quality places and communities where people want to live, work and play. It is about creating sustainable neighbourhoods and a sense of place. All development should consider how it creates or contributes to quality places and communities and the principle of placemaking shall be a primary consideration for all development.


Placemaking is a central focus of this Plan and is key to releasing the vision for Cork City set out throughout this Plan. One of the key strategic principles of this Plan (set out in Chapter 1 Introduction) is to develop a city of neighbourhoods and communities, and placemaking is a key component of developing liveable neighbourhoods.


Placemaking also relates to community identity and creating high-quality places for people by providing high-quality homes, public services, community and social infrastructure, sustainable and active travel facilities, green spaces, cultural amenities, delivered utilising excellent design.


The following applies to all development proposals in Cork City to ensure that placemaking is at the heart of all development:
1. Build on the distinctive character of Cork City and our shared cultural heritage by developing the City using place-based contemporary architecture and best practice urban design and conservation.
2. Reinforce the uniqueness and identity of Cork City’s streets, neighbourhoods, towns and communities by requiring designs based on local form, character and architectural features.
3. Create new architecture based on the distinctive character of Cork that creates place-making in the city, based on human and physical diversity.
4. Build on local character to reinforce diversity and unique neighbourhoods and respecting cultural historical value in the built environment of the local area and City.
5. Increase greening in the City by designing green spaces, trees, rooftops and biodiversity areas at the earliest stage. Cork City Council will require the following, wherever relevant and appropriate:
(i) Safe, attractive and high-quality green streets through increased tree cover and planting,
(ii) Delivery and access to green space and play space within a short walk from home,
(iii) Reduced car parking and facilitating walking, cycling and the use of green corridors,
(iv) Protection and enhancement of key green and blue spaces,
(v) Multifunctional open spaces and cater for a diverse range of needs, sport and recreation.
6. Demonstrate responsible design that responds to environmental and climate-related challenges using architectural and design solutions that provide quality of life, flexibility and resilience to change.
7. Design resilient buildings and public spaces that deliver long-term value and enhance the quality of the city with climate change adaptation and energy efficiency.
8. Design buildings and spaces with safety and security in mind, to avoid anti-social behaviour, prevent crime and create safe places for all of Cork’s residents and visitors.


Cork City Council will provide clear direction for concept designs, detailed plans and construction projects including private developments, infrastructure service providers, state projects and Cork City Council’s own projects.


Urban design is a key component of placemaking. The achievement of good urban design is about how we plan for and create sustainable places that successfully embody the values of society and best practice in town planning, architecture, landscape architecture and engineering. Cognisance should also be had to the principles set out in “Urban Design Manual: A Best Practice Guide” (DEHLG, 2009). Factors such as density, height, traffic generation, parking provision, accessibility, safety, design and open space provision are important in achieving good urban design.


All new development should enrich the urban qualities of the City and its towns, villages and suburbs. A high standard of design is essential to this process, as well as the fostering socially and economically viable communities. Creating a distinctive sense of place taking into account context, character and setting is essential. Development proposals will be assessed on the visual characteristics of the built form and related elements such as aspect and orientation, proportion, the balance of solid to void, the shapes and details of roofs, chimneys, windows and doors and the materials used. Details of walls, gates, street furniture, paving and planting will also be noted. Roof forms should harmonise with and not clash with the city’s traditional pitched roof forms. Layouts of buildings and spaces must be designed to ensure that areas are permeable, pleasant, legible and safe.

Designing for Safety and Security


New development proposals, including refurbishment, extensions or alteration, and the creation of new private and public spaces must be designed to promote safety and security, avoid anti-social behaviour and to prevent crime in line with the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Cork City Council may consult with a Crime Prevention Design Advisor of An Garda Síochána as part of the assessment of development proposals, and will have regard to the Guidelines on Joint Policing Committees as established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, in order to ensure safe and secure communities and long-term sustainability of the built environment.

Statements to Support Development Proposals


Development proposals should be accompanied by relevant specialist statements that address a particular issue or concern and demonstrates how these are addressed, overcome or mitigated as part of the development proposal.


All significant development proposals or proposals for development in sensitive areas should be accompanied by a detailed design statement that provides a framework explaining how a proposed development is a suitable response to the site and its setting. The design statement should:
1. Outline how the development proposal meets relevant Development Plan Objectives, the objectives of any Local Area Plan, Masterplan, City Centre Strategy, Framework Plan or other similar Plan affecting the site.
2. Clearly set out the design principles and design concept, urban design and architectural context including a site and area appraisal.
3. Demonstrate how placemaking is at the heart of the design, and how the urban design criteria set out in the “Urban Design Manual, a Best Practice Guide” (2009) have been taken into account.
4. Include a landscape strategy to inform the site analysis and development proposal configuration, as well as detailed design of public, private and communal space.
5. Include photographs of the site and its surroundings.
6. Include other illustrations such as photomontages, perspectives and sketches.


Cork City Council will generally require Visual Impact Assessments (VIAs) to be carried out to demonstrate the visual impact of development proposals likely to have an impact on protected views and views of special amenity value. Other relevant views to be assessed may be identified during the planning application and pre-application consultation stage.


Pre-application consultations with Cork City Council are essential to agree appropriate assessment points for views of strategic and local significance in order to enable the proper visual assessment of a development proposal.


Visual Impact Assessments will be required from panoramic assessment points for development proposals that propose to break the existing city skyline, roofscape or established building heights in an area to enable accurate assessment of their possible impact on panoramic views and vistas of important landmark buildings.


In accordance with national guidelines development proposals should account for sustainable transportation requirements at the earliest stages of development design. Traffic and Transport Assessments (TTAs) may be requested by Cork City Council on development proposals where it is considered that there may be an excessive impact on the road or transport network. Any development proposal which would directly access or indirectly cause some impact on the national road network must be accompanied by a TTA. The thresholds which determine if a TTA is required are outlined in the Department of Transports ‘Traffic Management Guidelines’ and the NRA ‘Traffic and Transport Assessment Guidelines’ 2014. Development proposals should comply with the “Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets”. Road Safety Impact Assessments and Road Safety Audits may also be required in certain situations.


As a complement to appropriate design, proposed and existing developments, in particular significantly extended developments, can benefit from the preparation of a Travel Plan which is a package of measures aimed at supporting sustainable travel.


Significant retail proposals should be supported by a Retail Impact Assessment. Larger developments, e.g. over 1,000 sq. m. net floor area in suburban areas, shall be required to submit a retail impact assessment. – subject to change following on from finalised Retail Strategy.


Other statements to support particular development proposals, for example, built heritage statements or archaeological statements, may be required by Cork City Council.

Environmental Assessments


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important EU instrument to ensure that projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment are assessed on the likely significant environmental effects before any development proposal is granted planning permission. EIA is a process set out in European and Irish Law that is required to be carried out in respect of development proposals of a certain nature or above a certain threshold. However Cork City Council (or An Bord Pleanála) may require EIA to be carried out on below-threshold development if it is considered that, or uncertain if, the development proposal would be likely to have significant effects on the environment. Cork City Council screens all planning applications for potential EIA.


Appropriate Assessment (AA) is an assessment under the EU Habitats Directive in order to ascertain whether any project (or plan) would have significant effects on any European Site (formally Natura 2000 site). As with EIA, permission can only be granted for development proposals if it is demonstrated that the project (or plan) would not have significant adverse impacts on the integrity of any European Site. Cork City Council screens all planning applications for potential AA.


An ecological report may be required by Cork City Council to accompany a development proposal where there may be impacts on an environmentally sensitive area, habitat or landscape asset.

Cityscape and Building Height


This section sets out Cork City’s building height and tall building strategy and is based upon work prepared as part of the Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study 2021.

Building Height


Well-conceived designs for new buildings should be informed by the prevailing urban characteristics of the neighbourhood they would inhabit. It follows that design policies must also emerge from a detailed understanding of the prevailing urban character of specific places.


This Plan sets out a combined building height and density spatial strategy, illustrated conceptually below in Figure 11.1. The strategy is comprised of four sub-areas, each with their own quantitative performance criteria. The density strategy is set out in Chapter 3 Delivering Homes and Communities. The building height strategy is outlined in Table 11.1 and will be applied by Cork City Council when assessing development proposals.


The spatial strategy for density and building height may be updated during the life of this Plan if there are material changes to the ‘suitabilities’ or ‘sensitivities’ that form the basis for the spatial strategy.


The building height strategy responds to two key urban design contexts:
1. The prevailing building height in Cork’s neighbourhoods and major development areas; and
2. Cork’s density strategy set out in Chapter 3: Delivering Homes and Communities, which is based upon an assessment of ‘suitabilities’ for intensification and sensitivities to change.


An understanding of the character of an area is essential to inform strategies for the development of sites and areas. The Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study 2021 sets out an assessment of prevailing height based upon an analysis of building heights in Cork City’s 44 neighbourhoods.

Figure 11.1: Density and building height spatial strategy. (Click on Map for High Resolution Image)


Figure 11.2: Prevailing heights (figures are average prevailing heights, e.g. 1.9 storeys, etc). (Click on Map for High Resolution Image)

Prevailing heights in any given area determines what is considered ‘tall’ in different parts of Cork City. Analysis on prevailing heights has been carried out at sub-area level and at neighbourhood level, so that prevailing heights represent a more accurate description of each place. Figure 11.2 Prevailing heights sets out the prevailing heights in each of Cork’s neighbourhoods.


The building height of development will respond directly to the proposed density of development, the character of an area, as well as block development typologies, site coverage and a range of other factors.



No. of Storeys
Lower Upper Lower Upper
2 5 4 8**
City Centre 2 5 4 6
North Docks 2 3 4 7
South Docks 2 4 5 10**
2 6 4 7
City fringe / corridor 3 6 5 7
Mahon 2 5 4 6
Blackpool 2 5 4 6
Wilton 2 4 3 5
2 4 3 5
1 The Urban North 2 3 3 4
2 Tivoli 2 4 3 5
3 Ballintemple & Blackrock 2 4 3 5
4 Douglas 2 3 3 4
5 South Link Road Corridor 2 3 3 4
6 South west corridor 2 3 3 4
7 North west 2 2.5 2 4
8 North Blackpool 2 4 3 5
9 Central Ballincollig 2 4 3 5
10 Blarney 1 2 2 3
11 Stoneview 1 2 2 3
2 3 2 4
TABLE 11.1 Cork City Building Height Standards

Historic Core


Prevailing building heights in the historic core of the city are typically between 2 and 5 storeys. More recent major developments have tended to be rise to 6 and 7 storeys with some taller exceptions. In view of the heritage assets and potential impact of new development on local character, infill and redevelopment opportunities should continue to make the best use of land with new development expected to generally range from 4 to 6 storeys. The historic waterfront of the River Lee plays a profound role in defining the character of Cork City. Building heights in these areas typically have building heights of 3-4 storeys. Special attention should be paid to ensuring waterfront developments respect the City’s iconic waterfront image and contribute positively to creating lively, high quality, publicly accessible riverside environments which are connected to the wider city. The form of new development on riverside sites should seek to minimise overshadowing of existing or new public riverside environments. Development directly on the riverfront should respect this key open space and the image of the city.

North Docks


The character of the North Docks is changing rapidly with new development attracting significant levels of new investment to the area. Whilst the railway yards and docks have historically been low-rise environments, recent new developments, such as Horgan’s Quay, have risen to 8 storeys. As further development takes place, building heights should typically be in the range of between 4 and 7 storeys. Along the banks of the River Lee, special attention is required. Buildings on the riverfront should generally step down and respect this key open space.

South Docks


City Fringe, Primary Corridors and Major Urban Centres


Existing building heights typically range from 2 – 6 storeys in the city fringe and principal urban corridors, 2 – 5 in Mahon and Blackpool and 2 – 4 in Wilton. To seek to ensure the best use of land is achieved in whilst responding to local context, new development should respect this context.

Inner Urban Suburbs

1. The urban north Encompassing The Glen, Dillon’s Cross, Ballyvolane and Mayfield areas and the hinterland of the R635 North Ring Road which loosely follows the axis of The Glen River.
2. Tivoli A major industrial docklands area situated approximately 2.5 km east of the city with good connectivity to the N8 Lower Glanmire Road. This will be a major regeneration project and new mixed-use residential neighbourhood up to 2040.
3. Ballintemple and Blackrock Historic established suburban area of the City which will be served by the planned Light Rail project.
4. Douglas A larger suburb with a village character served by two large shopping centres and good public transport links to the City.
5. South Link Road corridor Comprising the Turners Cross community and large industrial estates at Tramore Road. The South Link Road is the principal spine road connection between the City Centre and Cork International Airport.
6. South west corridor An expansive area which encompasses University College Cork, Togher, Wilton, Glasheen Road and Magazine Road and Cork University Hospital.
7. North west Extending from Fairhill to Hollyhill this area has been the focus on a number of regeneration initiatives.
8. North Blackpool The northern extension of the N20 corridor beyond Blackpool encompassing the industrial area north of the centre and the residential areas on the western side of the N20.
9. Central Ballincollig A large district centre west of Cork City and soon to benefit from improved public transport connectivity with the Cork Light Rail project set to provide frequent services to the City and Mahon.
10. Blarney An historic village with a good range of community services and served by multiple bus routes.
11. Stoneview An urban expansion area earmarked for a new railway station with direct links to Kent Station.

Figure 11.3: Inner Urban Suburbs (extract from Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study 2021). (Click on Map for High Resolution Image)

This is the majority of the remaining urban areas of Cork.

Tall Buildings


Tall buildings are a very particular form of development, capable of delivering high development densities. Tall buildings can be very prominent and may be visible from far away and can therefore impact on the skyline and silhouette of the City or urban area and have an impact on the character of an area.


The Visual Management Framework (see Chapter 6 Green and Blue Infrastructure, Open Space and Biodiversity) identifies Cork’s existing tall buildings that are considered to be of strategic visual significance.


Whilst high density does not imply high rise, tall buildings can form part of a plan-led approach to facilitating regeneration opportunities and managing future growth, contributing to new homes and economic growth, particularly in order to make optimal use of the capacity of sites which are well-connected by public transport and have good access to services and amenities.


To ensure existing and planned future infrastructure, amenities and accessibility levels are provided to support tall buildings and their occupants, the most suitable location identified in the Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Buildings Study 2021 is considered to be the initial basis for identifying locations that might be appropriate.


The Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Buildings Study 2021 provides the basis for the tall building strategy:
1. The definition of a tall building in Cork City.
2. The identification of the City Centre Island Tip / City Docks as the strategic area considered to be suitable for tall buildings in Cork City on the basis of its suitability for the highest forms of high density developments and its inherent lack of sensitivities.
3. The identification of appropriate locations within the City Docks for tall buildings in principle, the area being large enough to include the four sub-location zones.
4. Cork City Council has identified five locations that are considered suitable for landmark medium rise buildings, generally between 10 and 14 storeys, based upon the suitability of locations for higher density, being either regeneration areas or areas with strong suitability due to the proposed LRT corridor. These are Blackpool, Tivoli Docks, Victoria Cross, Mahon and Wilton.


A tall building is defined as a building that is equal to or more than twice the height of the prevailing building height in a specific locality, the height of which will vary between and within different parts of Cork City.


Within Cork City only buildings above 18m / 6 residential storeys are considered ‘tall buildings’, and only then when they are significantly higher than those around them.


In order to ensure that tall building proposals of the highest standards are brought forward, specific sites for tall buildings have not been identified. Proposals will need to be developed through a master planning process, and the design process for the building may be subject to Design Review.


Tall buildings can help people navigate through the City by providing reference points and emphasising the hierarchy of a place, such as its main centres of activity, and important street junctions and transport interchanges. Tall buildings that are of exemplary architectural quality and in the right place can make a positive contribution to the cityscape. However, they can also have detrimental visual and environmental impacts if in inappropriate locations or of poor design quality


Cork City Council has identified the City Docks as the strategic area for tall buildings in Cork. Within the City Docks four zones appropriate for tall buildings have been outlined that will provide the focus for tall buildings to be developed to provide landmarks within the City Docks.

Tall Building Zone / City Docks Character Area
Tip of the Island / Warehouse Quarter This is an existing cluster of tall buildings comprising The Elysian and several planning commitments.
Kent Station Bridge / Kennedy Spine This is a new area that will focus tall buildings on the riverside and around the Kent Station Bridge and Kennedy spine.
Ford Factory / Ford-Dunlop Quarter This area includes central areas of the South Docks along Centre Park Road, including Marina commercial Park.
Eastern Gateway / Marina Walk and Polder Quarter This eastern end of Centre Park Road fronts onto the River Lee and forms the visual gateway to the City Docks adjacent to the proposed ‘Eastern Gateway Bridge’.

Tall buildings should only be developed in suitable locations identified in the development plan. Tall building proposals outside of the locations specified are not generally considered to be appropriate as they would likely conflict with the overall building height strategy for Cork.


Tall buildings in other locations in the “City Fringe, Primary Corridors and Major Urban Centres” sub-area, which is for dense development that responds to mass transit provision, will be open for consideration insofar as the buildings might be tall compared to the prevailing heights of the area and therefore fall under the definition of tall buildings. The City Docks Tall Building Zones are the only locations considered appropriate for this densest form of development in Cork.

Assessing Impacts of Tall Buildings


In assessing development proposals for tall buildings, Cork City Council will apply the guidance set out in the Cork City Density, Building Height and Tall buildings Study (2021), and development proposals should address the following impacts


Visual Impact

1. The views of buildings from long-range, medium-range and the immediate context should not be adversely affected by the building.
2. Whether part of a group or stand-alone, tall buildings should reinforce the spatial hierarchy of the local and wider context and aid legibility and wayfinding.
3. Architectural quality and materials should be of an exemplary standard to ensure that the appearance and architectural integrity of the building is maintained through its lifespan.
4. Proposals should take account of, and avoid detrimental impact to, the significance of Cork City’s heritage assets and their settings. The buildings should positively contribute to the character of the area.
5. Buildings should protect and enhance the open quality of the River Lee and the riverside public realm, including views, and not contribute to a canyon effect along the river.
6. Buildings should not cause adverse reflected glare.
7. Buildings should be designed to minimise light pollution from internal and external lighting.


Functional Impact

1. The internal and external design, including construction detailing, the building’s materials and its emergency exit routes must ensure the safety of all occupants.
2. Buildings should be serviced, maintained and managed in a manner that will preserve their safety and quality, and not cause disturbance or inconvenience to the surrounding public realm. Servicing, maintenance and building management arrangements should be considered at the start of the design process.
3. Entrances, access routes, and ground floor uses should be designed and placed to allow for peak time use and to ensure there is no unacceptable overcrowding or isolation in the surrounding areas.
4. It must be demonstrated that the capacity of the area and its transport network is capable of accommodating the quantum of development in terms of access to facilities, services, walking and cycling networks, and public transport for people living or working in the building.
5. Buildings, including their construction, should not interfere with aviation, navigation or telecommunication, and should avoid a significant detrimental effect on solar energy generation on adjoining buildings.


Environmental Impact and Impacts on Microclimate

1. Wind, daylight, sunlight penetration and temperature conditions around the building and neighbourhood must be carefully considered and not compromise comfort and the enjoyment of open spaces including water spaces around the building.
2. Air movement affected by the building should support the effective dispersion of pollutants, but not adversely affect street-level conditions
3. Noise created by air movements around the building, servicing machinery, or building uses, should not detract from the comfort and enjoyment of open spaces around the building.


Cumulative Impacts with other Tall Buildings

1. The cumulative visual, functional and environmental impacts of proposed, consented and planned tall buildings in an area must be considered when assessing tall building proposals and when developing plans for an area. Mitigation measures should be identified and designed into the building as integral features from the outset to avoid retro-fitting.


Public Access

1. Consideration should be given to incorporating publicly-accessible areas into tall buildings where appropriate, particularly more prominent tall buildings, where they should normally be located at the top of the building to afford wider views across Cork.


Application Process

1. Proposals for individual tall buildings will need to be supported by a strategic design process for the relevant character area to provide the basis for a coherent design strategy for the tall building. Detailed design for a tall building will respond to the principles established.
2. Cork City Council is committed to achieving excellence in the design of all developments and exemplary standards in the design of tall buildings given their visual prominence and civic and cityscape status. Cork City Council may utilise a Design Review process for the design of tall buildings and major developments.


Development Guidance

Tall buildings should be designed to ensure that:
1. They are of exemplary design quality and benefit from a positive design review process.
2. The design process analyses the nearby urban morphology and, where possible, adopts a finer grain of building footprint and slender form.
3. They integrate positively into Cork’s cityscape at a strategic, district and local scale, contribute positively to their immediate context and have a positive relationship with the street and public realm.
4. Their architectural strategy effectively provides a top, middle and bottom to the building.
5. They are energy efficient in terms of:
• longevity (designed to last a long time)
• embodied energy
• energy consumption
• glazing ratio
• amenity space provision for the enjoyment of occupiers
• nature of micro-climate impacts
• impacts on the amenities enjoyed by
neighbouring properties
6. Additional guidance can be found in the Cork City Urban density, Building Height and Tall Building Study (2021).

Residential Development


This Section sets out guidance on qualitative, quantitative, and development management criteria for sustainable neighbourhood infrastructure and residential developments. These requirements will form the basis for evaluating planning applications for residential development and their respective supporting neighbourhood infrastructure with a view to ensuring a good quality of life for new neighbourhoods and improving the quality of life for existing neighbourhoods in Cork City. This section is derived principally from the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (DCHLG, 2009) and Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments (DHPLG, 2018) guidelines, and supplemental best practice.


Objective 11.1

Sustainable Residential Development

Residential developments shall be sustainable and create high quality places which:


Contribute to placemaking and to the 15-minute city and walkable neighbourhood concepts.


Prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, and minimise the need to use cars.


Deliver a quality of life which residents and visitors are entitled to expect, in terms of amenity, safety and convenience.


Provide a good range of community and support facilities, where and when they are needed and that are easily accessible.


Present an attractive, well-maintained appearance, with a distinct sense of place and a quality public realm that is easily maintained.

(f) Are easy to access for all and to find one’s way around.

Promote the efficient use of land and of energy, and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.


Provide a mix of land uses to minimise transport demand.


Promote social integration and provide accommodation for a diverse range of household types and age groups.


Enhance and protect green and blue infrastructure and biodiversity.

(k) Enhance and protect the built and natural heritage.


Chapter 3: Delivering Housing and Communities provides the strategic context to this chapter, which aims to ensure that new housing developments will be to an excellent standard by ensuring that minimum standards are met or exceeded. Cork City Council’s strategic policy is based upon the Cork City and County Joint Housing Strategy and Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA). These provide a comprehensive review of the available data and make clear recommendations to ensure that Cork City Council is meeting its NPF-derived targets, ensuring need and demand are met, and providing guidance on the breakdown of housing required.


Cork City Council is committed to ensuring that the City’s neighbourhoods meet the needs of their residents and provide the necessary community infrastructure in accessible locations (as set out in Chapter 3: Delivering Homes and Communities).


Community facilities are facilitated in a wide range of land use zonings, refer to Chapter 12

New Residential Development


When assessing proposals for residential developments a broad range of issues will be assessed, including (this list is not exhaustive):
1. Design quality (urban design, architecture, landscape, biodiversity, DMURS, SUDS)
2. Site features and context
3. Residential Density
4. Building height
5. Residential mix (dwelling type, size, tenure, and specialist housing)
6. Existing neighbourhood facilities and the need for additional facilities.
7. Integration with the surrounding environment in terms of built form and the provision of walking / cycling permeability.
8. Transport and accessibility (including cycle parking, car parking, site access, transport impact).
9. Residential amenity of scheme proposed (homes, private space, communal space, and public space).
10. Impacts on residential amenity of surrounding areas (e.g. overlooking, daylight, sunlight and overshadowing).
11. Utilities provision.
12. Waste management.


It is an objective of Cork City Council to secure excellence in the design quality of all developments in the City, including residential developments.


All developments are located in existing places (or receiving environments), each of which is unique and provides a specific character based upon the site, built form, assets or challenges that require a specific design and planning response. This Development Plan as a whole sets out the full range of issues that will need to be assessed when considering site features and context. Cork City Council seeks to ensure that all residential development makes a positive contribution to the placemaking qualities of Cork City.


Density is a measure of the relationship between buildings and their surrounding public and private space. The Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Buildings Study provides the basis for the densities set out below in this Development Plan.


The most appropriate measure of residential density will be in the form of dwellings per hectare (DPH) for residential or predominantly residential developments. Plot ratio is most useful in establishing development capacity and in relation to mixed use schemes that are predominantly non-residential in nature.


Most of Cork City has been designed around the use of the private car and is built at densities of less than 25 dwellings per hectare in traditional suburban formats, with one particular model of dwelling type, gardens, amenity space and parking. Developing Cork City as a compact city will require the city to be built at higher densities utilising different models of development. Most of the new development in Cork City and the Urban Towns will be built at a “gentle density” of 40-70dph and a scale of 2-4 storeys. Some areas will be developed at densities higher than this (e.g. the City Centre, City Docks, Tivoli Docks, the inner city areas, Blackpool and the light rail corridor at Wilton and Mahon).


Residential densities are set out below. Densities are expressed in terms of minimums and maximums for the constituent areas of the City.

FAR Dwellings per Hectare No. of Storeys
Prevailing Target   Prevailing Target Prevailing Target
Lower Upper Lower Upper Lower Upper
CITY 2.5 - 7 4+ 10 - 25 100 N/A 2 5 4 8**
City Centre 2.5 - 7 4+ 10 - 25 100 N/A 2 5 4 6
North Docks 0.5 - 1 3+ 0 - 40 100 N/A 2 3 4 7
South Docks 0.5 - 1.5 4+ 0 - 10 100 N/A 2 4 5 10**
FRINGE/CORRIDOR/CENTRE 1.0 - 3.5 2.5 - 4+ 25 - 100+ 50 150 2 6 4 7
City Fringe/Corridor 1.5 - 3.5 2.5-4.5 25 - 100 50 150 2 6 5 7
Mahon 0.5 - 3.5 1 - 4 10 - 40 50 120 2 5 4 6
Blackpool 0.5 - 3.0 1 - 4 0 - 40 50 120 2 5 4 6
Wilton 0.5 - 3.5 1 - 4 10 - 25 50 120 2 4 3 5
INNER URBAN SUBURBS 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-2.5 10 - 40 45 100 2 4 3 5
1 The Urban North 0.2 - 0.7 0.5-1.5 10 - 25 50 100 2 3 3 4
2 Tivoli 0.2 - 0.7 0.5-3.5 0 - 10 50 100 2 4 3 5
3 Ballintemple & Blackrock 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-1.5 10 - 25 40 80 2 4 3 5
4 Douglas 0.2 - 2.5 0.5-3.5 5 - 20 50 100 2 3 3 4
5 South Link Road Corridor 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-2.5 15 - 40 50 100 2 3 3 4
6 South West Corridor 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-2.5 20 - 40 50 100 2 3 3 4
7 North West 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-1.5 10 - 25 40 80 2 2.5 2 4
8 North Blackpool 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-1.5 0 - 25 40 100 2 4 3 5
9 Central Ballincollig 0.5 - 3.0 0.7-3.5 10 - 25 50 100 2 4 3 5
10 Blarney 0.2 - 1.5 0.5-1.5 0 - 25 25 50 1 2 2 3
11 Stoneview 0.2 - 0.7 0.5-1.5 0 - 25 40 80 1 2 2 3
OUTER SUBURBS 0 - 1.5 0.2-1.5 0 - 25 35 60 2 3 2 4
* Assuming resi-led scheme
** Potentially suitable for exceptional tall building(s)
Table 11.2 Cork City Density Building Height Standards

A wide range of factors will affect the residential densities that can be achieved on sites that are suitable for higher densities, including:

    0-10 10-25 25-40 40-70 70-100 100-200 200-400 400-600
HOUSING MIX                  
Short Terrace Rows                  
Terraced Townhouses                  
Low-Mid Rise Apt                  
Mid-High Rise Apt                  
AMENITY SPACE                  
Large front & back garden                  
Large back garden                  
Small garden/terrace                  
Large balcony/roof terrace                  
Small balcony                  
Communal garden space                  
Communal roof terrace                  
PARKING PROVISION                  
2+ parking spaces on the property                  
1 parking space on the property                  
On street car patrking                  
Dedicated communal car park                  
Dedicated podium level parking                  
Dedicated underground parking                  
No parking/support car club                  
No overlooking                  
Potential overlooking                  
Some overlooking                  
DAYLIGHT AND SUNLIGHT                  
Full daylight & sunlight                  
Occasional overshadowing                  
Some overshadowing                  
Figure 11.4 Relationship between density and planning standards Source: Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study.

Quantitative Standards for
all Residential Development


Development proposals will need to ensure that they have an appropriate residential mix in terms of dwelling type, dwelling size, tenure, and specialist housing.


The mix of dwelling type will be determined in the main by the proposed density of development. There are three main types of dwelling types in developments: Houses; Apartments; and Stacked Homes with independent access to the street. Dwelling types will generally conform to the study referenced above.


All developments will need to comply with dwelling size mix set out in Tables 11.3 -11.9.


The HNDA has provided the basis for the dwelling size mix across Cork City and the identification of targets for the whole development plan period. Cork City Council has applied the household size distribution from the HNDA population modelling for the City to dwelling sizes to provide guidelines to be applied in the planning system to ensure that the forecast households will be able to find suitable accommodation in Cork City.


The HNDA forecasts a requirement for a mixed dwelling type product to meet the needs of the market, as 73% of new homes will need to be tailored around providing for households of between 1 and 3 people. When combined with location and density targets this will mean that new development will need to combine dwelling types across Cork City and its urban towns and hinterland villages.


Dwelling Size Mix targets have been identified for four different market types:
1. The City Centre.
2. City Docks.
3. Cork Suburban Areas / Tivoli Docks.
4. The Urban Towns / Hinterland Villages.


Objective 11.2

Dwelling Size Mix

All planning applications for residential developments or mixed-use developments comprising more than 50 dwellings will be required to comply with the target dwelling size mix specified in Tables 11.3-11.9, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Applications for 10-50 dwellings will need to provide a dwelling size mix that benefits from the flexibility provided by the dwelling size target ranges provided for the respective sub-area.

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation schemes will be exempt from dwelling size mix targets. Where there is a target for student accommodation, and it can be demonstrated that this demand has been provided for within the area, then this demand can be reassigned to other dwelling sizes according to the relative target proportions.

Where a clear justification can be provided on the basis of market evidence that demand / need for a specific dwelling size is lower than the target then flexibility will be provided according to the ranges specified.


Evidence to justify provision at a lower rate than the target specified on the basis of demand / need will need to be provided, including market evidence and the housing authority that they (or an approved AHB) have declined the option to acquire the units. Applicants will need to fund an independent peer review of market data to ensure validation of the evidence presented. In the event that the Planning Authority accepts this evidence then development proposals must include an alternative dwelling size mix that assists in achieving a balanced community.


Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) will be provided in locations outlined in Chapter 3: Delivering Homes and Communities. As both UCC and MTU are located in the Cork City Suburbs this sub-area will need to accommodate studios / PBSA to allow the supply targets to be met during the Plan period.

No of Dwellings Dwelling Type Scheme Type Standard Basis
<10 Apartment Refurbishment / Urban Infill Max 4 Studios Specific Planning
Policy Requirement
(SPPR) 21
<50 Apartment Refurbishment / Urban Infill

First 9 Units (as perabove)

Units 10-49 (as per Tables 11.5 - 11.9)



Table 11.3 Dwelling Size Mix for Small Apartment Schemes
No of Dwellings Dwelling Type Scheme Type Standard Basis
<10 Apartment Refurbishment / Urban Infill Max 4 Studios SPPR 2
<50 Apartment Refurbishment / Urban Infill

First 9 Units (as per above)

Units 10-49 (as per Tables 11.5 -11.9)



Table 11.4 Dwelling Size Mix for housing developments.


  Min Max Target
Studios/PBSA 0% 30% 20%
1 Bedroom 20% 30% 25%
2 Bedroom 30% 40% 35%
3 Bedroom 15% 25% 20%
4 Bedroom/Larger 0% 100% 0%
Table 11.5: City Centre Dwelling Size Mix for Housing
  Min Max Target
Studios / PBSA 5% 15% 10%
1 Bedroom 25% 35% 30%
2 Bedroom 35% 55% 45%
3 Bedroom 15% 25% 20%
4 Bedroom/Larger None None 0%
Table 11.6: City Docks Dwelling Size Mix for housing developments.
  Min Max Target
Studios / PBSA 0% 5% 1%
1 Bedroom 15% 25% 18%
2 Bedroom 45% 55% 48%
3 Bedroom 20% 40% 29%
4 Bedroom/Larger 0% 7.5% 0%
Table 11.7: Tivoli Docks Dwelling Size Mix for Housing Developments.
  Min Max Target

Studios / PBSA (at LRT Stops / Urban Centre / HEI Campus Only)

0% 15% 10%
1 Bedroom 15% 25% 20%
2 Bedroom 25% 40% 34%
3 Bedroom 18% 38% 28%
4 Bedroom/Larger 5% 15% 8%
Table 11.8: City Suburbs Dwelling Size Mix for Housing Developments
  Min Max Target
Studios / PBSA (at LRT Stops / Urban Centre / HEI Campus Only) 0% 5% 0%
1 Bedroom 15% 25% 21%
2 Bedroom 30% 40% 34%
3 Bedroom 25% 35% 30%
4 Bedroom/Larger 10% 20% 15%
Table 11.9: Urban Towns and Hinterland Villages Dwelling Size Mix for housing developments.



Determining dwelling size does not equate to a determination of dwelling type, as different dwelling types can be incorporated into housing schemes.


Duplexes are defined as homes over two-storeys that are not houses (duplexes can also be called maisonettes, double-lowers / uppers). A triplex is a home over three storeys. Where duplexes front onto a street directly and have own-door access onto the street they are defined as a duplex house and will have living accommodation over them. Where they are accessed from common areas they will be defined as apartments.


For example, within areas of the City being developed at densities of 70dph or more, 3-bed homes could be provided in the form of a house, an apartment, or a duplex. For urban design reasons it may be considered desirable to require on-street front doors in urban developments in the form of duplexes / vertical live-work units or domestic-scale apartment buildings providing a fine grain.


Similarly there are special building types that have been developed at medium densities to provide own door access to homes in four storey buildings avoiding the need for external stairwells or lifts, and therefore avoiding the need for expensive communal services and management fees that can be an impediment to the provision of truly affordable housing.


Development strategies for different areas of the city will include guidance on dwelling type mix / urban design characteristics (e.g. urban grain / street frontage). Bespoke block typologies may need to be developed that meet urban design needs with standard commercial property products. Housing and block models are addressed in Density Models (see Density, above).

Housing Quality
and Standards

Objective 11.3

Housing Quality and Standards

a. High quality functional design: Housing developments should be of a high quality design and provide adequately sized rooms with comfortable and functional layouts, which are fit for purpose without differentiating between tenures.
b. Housing quality: Qualitative aspects of development are key to ensuring successful sustainable housing. Table 11.10 sets out key qualitative aspects that should be addressed in the design of housing developments.
c. Dual aspect dwellings: Housing development should maximise the provision of dual aspect dwellings and normally avoid the provision of single aspect dwellings. A single aspect dwelling should only be provided where it is considered to be a more appropriate design solution than a dual aspect dwelling, and it can be demonstrated that it will have adequate passive ventilation, daylight and privacy, and avoid overheating.
d. Daylight Sunlight and Overshadowing: The design of developments should provide sufficient daylight and sunlight to new and surrounding housing that is appropriate for its context, whilst, minimising overshadowing and maximising the useability of outdoor amenity space.
e. Waste: Housing should be designed with adequate and easily accessible storage space that supports the separate collection of dry recyclables, food waste and residual waste.
f. Minimum spatial standards: Housing developments are required to meet the minimum standards defined below.


National guidance on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of housing development can be found by utilising the following sources:
1. Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities (GoI, 2007).
2. The Sustainable Urban Residential Development in Urban Area (GoI, 2009).
3. Urban Design Manual (GoI, 2009).
4. Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments (GoI, March 2018 and updated December 2020).


In addition, the Building Regulations will be applied under separate legislation and Universal Design Guidelines for Homes in Ireland (NDA, 2015) will be relevant to designing homes to be future-proofed for lifecycle needs and bespoke housing for targeted at older people and the disabled.


The minimum size of habitable rooms for houses and apartments flats shall conform with appropriate National guidelines or standards in operation at the date of application for planning permission, including the minimum dimensions as set out in ‘Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (2018), and ‘Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities: Best Practice Guidelines for Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities’ (2007).

Layout, Orientation and Form
A The built form, massing and height of the development should be appropriate for the surrounding context, and it should be shown that alternative arrangements to accommodate the same number of units or bed spaces with a different relationship to the surrounding context have been explored early in the design process, particularly where a proposal is above the applicable density indicated.
B The layout of the scheme (including spaces between and around buildings) should:
– form a coherent, legible and navigable pattern of streets and blocks
– engender street-based activity and provide a sense of safety
– maximise active frontages onto public facing sides of a development, where appropriate wrapping around inactive frontages
C The site layout, orientation and design of individual dwellings and, where applicable, common spaces should:
– provide privacy and adequate daylight for residents
– be orientated to optimise opportunities for visual interest through a range of immediate and longer range views, with the views from individual dwellings considered at an early design stage
– provide clear and convenient routes with a feeling of safety
– help reduce noise from common areas to individual dwellings
– help meet the challenges of a changing climate by ensuring homes are suitable for warmer summers and wetter winters
Outside Space
D Communal outside amenity spaces should:
– provide sufficient space to meet the requirements of the number of residents
– be designed to be easily accessed from all related dwellings
– be located to be appreciated from the inside
– be positioned to allow overlooking
– be designed to support an appropriate balance of informal social activity and play opportunities for various age groups
– meet the changing and diverse needs of different occupiers
E Private amenity space for each dwelling should be usable and have a balance of openness and protection, appropriate for its outlook and orientation
Usability and Ongoing Maintenance
F The development should ensure that:
– the experience of arrival, via footpaths, entrances and shared circulation spaces is comfortable, accessible and fit for purpose
– features are designed to allow maintenance activities such as window cleaning, to be undertaken with ease
– sufficient levels of secure, covered and conveniently located externally accessible storage is provided for deliveries and other bulky items
Table 11.10 Qualitative design aspects to be addressed in housing developments

Apartment Design


Apartments will become increasingly important to the housing market with the compact growth priority to provide half of new homes within the existing built up areas. The proportion of housing being provided in the form of apartments will increase as higher density neighbourhoods and schemes are brought forward in accordance with Cork City’s growth strategy. Locations for apartments will correlate with the higher density locations defined in the Density Strategy.


Government guidance in the form of Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments provides the current quantitative guidance for designing mainstream apartments in order to ensure design quality safeguards are in place to avoid the development of poor quality living environments. This provides quantitative standards for (references to paragraphs and SPPRs refers to the above-mentioned Guidelines):
1. Apartment Floor Area (SPPR 3)
2. Dual Aspect Ratios (SPPR 4)
3. Floor-to-Ceiling Height (SPPR 5)
4. Lift and Stair Cores (SPPR 6)
5. Internal Storage
6. Private Amenity Space (Appendix 1)
7. Communal Amenity Space (Appendix 1)
8. Children’s Play space provision (para 4.13)
9. Cycle storage (4.15-4.17)
10. Build-to-Rent schemes (SPPR 7 & SPPR 8)

• Play Space Quantum: In applying the play space standards the City Council will seek to introduce a bespoke Cork City Child Yield Calculator during the lifetime of the Plan (see Chapter 3 Delivering Homes and Communities).
• Universal Design: Currently there are no national minimum quantitative standards for the proportion of dwellings that are required to be designed to universal design standards to future proof housing. Housing to this standard is either provided as a response bespoke to the requirements of individuals or for specialist older person housing.
• Floor-to-Ceiling Height: In urban schemes floor-to-ceiling height will impact on a range of qualitative residential amenity factors, including daylight and sunlight, ventilation and overbearance. Floor-to-ceiling heights should ideally be increased to at least the minimum standard prescribed in the Building Regulations Part F: Ventilation to ensure design quality.
• Private Amenity Space: Private amenity space shall be provided in the form of gardens or patios / terraces for ground floor apartments and balconies at upper levels. Where provided at ground level, private amenity space shall incorporate boundary treatment appropriate to ensure privacy and security. Private amenity space should be located to optimise solar orientation and designed to minimise overshadowing and overlooking. Balconies should adjoin and have a functional relationship with the main living areas of the apartment. In certain circumstances, glassscreened ‘winter gardens’ may be provided. In exceptional circumstances balcony space can be incorporated into the dwelling as additional space (i.e. added to the minimum floor areas) where climatic factors can be clearly demonstrated (e.g. tall buildings).
• Cycle Parking: In addition to the defined quantitative standards and qualitative guidance, it will also be important that cycle storage areas are designed to encourage cycle use by being convenient and ergonomic. To this end best practice in the form of the Bike Parking Infrastructure Guidance (Dublin Cycling Campaign, 2017) and the London Cycle Design Standards (Transport for London, 2014) should be taken into account when designing cycle storage access in relation to minimum lift sizes, ramp design, maximum number of door thresholds, multi-level storage, and other design considerations not covered by the apartment guidelines or the National Cycle Design Manual. 

• Specialist Housing for Older People: Age Friendly Principles and Guidelines for the Planning Authority (Age Friendly Ireland, March 2021) inform principles and standards of housing for older people as part of the community. Bespoke Housing for older people should be designed to:
(i) The minimum standard of a 2 Bed / 3 person apartment in order to ensure that older people have homes that have sufficient space to enable visitors / carers to be accommodated within the home; and
(ii) Universal Design Standards to enable homes to able to futureproof homes so that they can comfortably accommodate wheelchair use if and when required.

Technical guidance relating to the specification for the design of housing for older people is likely to be forthcoming and will be taken into account when assessing planning applications.


Government guidance in the form of Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments provides the current qualitative guidance for designing apartments developments. Additionally, Cork City Council will seek to ensure that:
1. Communal space within schemes should benefit from excellent daylight and sunlight that exceeds the minimum standards (the scheme layout and volumetric configuration of buildings should optimise solar gain to all spaces). Where daylight and sunlight are at minimum standards, this should be supplemented by rooftop communal amenity space.
2. Communal space is equally accessible to all residents and is tenure blind.
3. Rooftop spaces should be put to productive use for either: green roofs, blue roofs, solar energy, communal rooftop gardens, communal MUGAs, or communal allotments.
4. Green and blue roofs should be designed according to best practice (e.g. Living Roofs and Walls, GLA ,2008).


All applications for planning permission for apartment schemes or mixed housing developments that include apartments must submit a schedule that details the number and type of apartments and associated individual unit floor areas, including number of dual aspect units, private amenity space size, storage space, access, proposed tenure and level of accessibility.


Planning conditions may be applied relating to a wide range of relevant development issues specific to apartment schemes, including:
1. Operation and management of apartment developments, in compliance with the Multi-Use Developments Act 2011.
2. Equality of access to communal spaces.
3. Glazing systems to manage overheating.
4. Rooftop communal space for amenity and growing.
5. Green walls.

(Click on Map for High Resolution Image)

Daylight Sunlight and
Overshadowing (DSO)


Achieving urban densities that are higher than 40 dph (a suburban density threshold) will result in a degree of reduction in the amount of daylight and sunlight that homes can expect.

Objective 11.4

Daylight Sunlight and Overshadowing (DSO)

All habitable rooms within new residential units shall have access to appropriate levels of natural / daylight and ventilation. Planning applications should be supported by a daylight and sunlight design strategy that sets out design objectives for the scheme itself and its context that should be included in the Design Statement.

The potential impacts of the proposed development on the amenities enjoyed by adjoining properties will need to be assessed in relation to all major schemes and where separation distances are reduced below those stipulated. Cumulative impacts of committed schemes will also need to be assessed.

Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing (DSO) assessment, utilising best practice tools, should be scoped and agreed with the Planning Authority prior to application and should take into account the amenities of the proposed development, its relevant context, planning commitments, and in major development areas the likely impact on adjacent sites.


In this regard, and in order to maximise available light, glazing to all habitable rooms should generally not be less than 20% of the wall area of any habitable room. Development shall be guided by the principles of ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight, A guide to good practice’ (Building Research Establishment Report, 2011) and any updated guidance.


A daylight analysis will be required for all proposed developments of more than 50 units and in relation to smaller applications where there are impacts on habitable rooms and the nature of the impact is not clear (e.g. if simple rules of thumb cannot be effectively applied to determine daylight levels on adjacent properties).


It is very important that DSO assessment is clearly set out to aid the planning assessment and is legible to non-technical people. To this end assessments should include an assessment of the scheme utilisjng best practice tools, such as BRE guide ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight’ (2nd edition) or BS 8206-2: 2008 – ‘Lighting for Buildings – Part 2: Code of Practice for Daylighting’ to satisfy minimum standards of daylight provision. In doing this it is very important that all measures of daylight (Vertical Sky Component, Average Daylight Factor and No Skyline) and sunlight (annual probable sunlight hours) are assessed in order to avoid presenting a partial, or biased, analysis of performance.


Assessments should clearly:
1. Assess the DSO levels of the scheme itself.
2. Defines appropriate case studies in relation to housing typologies impacted by the development and their DSO performance in relation to approved schemes.
3. Assess the DSO levels of the buildings and spaces impacted by the scheme. Source: Cork City Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study. 
4. Provide drawings and schedules within the assessment that enable the performance of individual rooms to be legible, including identification of the room type and any other mitigating factors (e.g. balconies / trees). Schedules should clearly include the numerical performance and colour code the results to enable relative performance to be legible (i.e. values, room type, habitable room / nonhabitable rooms, numerical category and pass/fail). The room types of impacted dwellings should always be identified.
5. Provide an overview of the assessment that clearly set out the performance of the application scheme itself, including any mitigating circumstances.
6. Provide an overview of the impacts of the scheme on surrounding buildings / homes and their constituent rooms, including any mitigating circumstances and clearly indicate any factors not calculated (e.g. trees).
7. In any assessment impacts should be illustrated in relation to the baseline and the cumulative impacts of schemes benefitting from planning permission “committed schemes”).

(Click on Map for High Resolution Image)

Overlooking and


Privacy and overlooking are important for quality of life. Levels of privacy will gradually diminish as urban densities increase above 25 dph. This will be taken into account in assessing planning applications.


Traditionally a minimum separation distance of 22m between the rear elevations of buildings was required to provide sufficient privacy and avoid overlooking of back gardens. This rule-of-thumb was derived from the Parker Morris Standards of 1919 and was intended to provide adequate privacy for people to enjoy their back gardens. Best practice has since evolved, and lesser separation distances are often appropriate, particularly in an urban context, subject to design solutions and site-specific context. All development proposals will be required to demonstrate that they have been designed to avoid overlooking.


There are no minimum separation distances for front and street-facing elevations, and distances will generally be derived by the street typology.


Proposals for apartment developments and those over three storeys high, shall provide for acceptable separation distances between blocks to avoid negative effects.


‘Overbearance’ in a planning context is the extent to which a development impacts upon the outlook of the main habitable room in a home or the garden, yard or private open space service a home. In established residential developments any significant changes to established context must be considered. Relocation or reduction in building bulk and height may be considered as measures to ameliorate overbearance.


Overlooking may be overcome by a multitude of design tools, such as:
1. Building configurations (bulk and massing).
2. Elevational design / window placement.
3. Using oblique windows.
4. Using architectural features.
5. Landscape and boundary treatments.

Quantitative Standards
for Houses


The size of a dwellings and its living spaces and functional spaces are a key determinant of its liveability and its adaptability to new household requirements and needs and therefore fulfilling lifecycle needs.


Cork City Council will seek to ensure that all new houses are designed to excellent design standards. In determining the adequacy of living space, Cork City Council will refer to the minimum standards for apartments, also taking into account the space required for vertical circulation where homes are over two or three floors. Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities (2007) provides a quality reference point that will be taken into account. The development of infill houses or adaptation of existing buildings to provide dwellings are considered below.

(Click on Map for High Resolution Image)


Ensuring that homes have adequate private space for amenity purposes is a key component of ensuring quality of life for residents. This can be provided for in many forms (see above). Provision of outdoor amenity space brings many benefits, including the health and wellbeing of residents, biodiversity, and permeable surfaces. Outdoor amenity space enhances development and the area surrounding the development.


Outdoor amenity space becomes increasingly important for high density development in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of residents. However, flexibility is also important so that design can respond to the often complicated needs of iinfill and mixed development sites and to ensure maximum use of the outdoor amenity space that is provided. New homes should provide some open space that allows the occupants to enjoy fresh air and light in privacy.


Private space is one of the key land economy components of housing developments that impact on the ability to increase densities. In the context of the need to increase densities in order to achieve compact growth it is considered appropriate to apply the minimum standard for private amenity spaces set out in the Objective below.


Traditionally suburban housing developments have included front gardens of at least 5m to incorporate a car parking space and a rear garden of 11m, resulting in private garden of at least 80sqm. Where parking is off-plot this reduces the amount of private space required (e.g. in urban and inner urban locations with reduced size front gardens and the provision of boundary / privacy strip spaces).

Objective 11.5

Private Amenity Space for Houses

Houses should provide a private garden / terrace, of adequate size and proportions for the size of house proposed. The private outdoor areas should allow space for outside dining and / or clothes drying, with reasonable circulation. Private open space for houses should aim to be at least 48 sqm. However, it may be acceptable to provide a smaller area where it can be demonstrated that good quality, useable open space can be provided on site.

The following factors will be material in assessing whether adequate space has been provided:
a. The density of the proposed development.
b. The context of the development in relation to the size and layout of existing residential plots and the pattern of development.
c. The orientation of the outdoor area in relation to the path of the sun.
d. The degree to which enclosure and overlooking impact on the proposed new dwellings and any neighbouring dwellings.
e. The overall shape, access to and usability of the whole space to be provided.
f. Clear delineation public and private space (avoiding rear boundaries onto streets and public realm).
g. The location of the plot in relation to publicly accessible open space and the offer of that space.

Public Open Space in Housing Developments


Public open space for residential developments will normally be required as per Table 11.9, below, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Area Public Open Space Provision
Greenfield Sites / areas for which a local area plan is appropriate 15%
General provision 10%
Table 11.11: Residential Public Open Space Provision

Qualitative criteria relating to the provision of public open space are set out in Chapter 6: Green and Blue Infrastructure, Open Space and Biodiversity and the Sustainable Residential Development Guidelines 2009 and the Urban Design Manual 2009. Public open space is intended to be usable as well as provide visual amenity and biodiversity value, and will normally be required in addition to land required for landscape reasons, such as woodland, habitats, tree belts, floodplains, etc.

Naming and Numbering of Residential Estates, New Developments & Streets


All new street and development names shall reflect local historical, heritage or cultural associations.

1 Naming and numbering of new developments, streets and residential estates shall be agreed with Cork City Council prior to launching any advertising campaign for the residential development.

2 Nameplates of an approved type shall be provided on all estate roads.

3 Nameplates shall be provided in bilingual format in the English and Irish languages.

4 All houses to be provided with numbers legible from the adjoining roads.

Phased Development


All large development proposals should be accompanied by a phasing schedule, which may be subject to planning condition to ensure compliance.


Developments over 100 residential units shall demonstrate that adequate provisions for specified physical and social infrastructural requirements, including roads, sewers, water mains, community, recreational and sporting facilities (indoor and outdoor), public transport, first and second level schools and shops are available at completion to support the development.


In addition, when considering proposals for development within the curtilage of Protected Structures a proposed phasing agreement should be provided that will normally provide for the renovation and development of the built heritage asset prior to the completion of other development phases.


Phasing strategies will be critical to understanding both the duration and timing of delivery of development and all enabling  infrastructure. It will also be relevant to construction logistics management plans.

Taking in Charge and Management Companies


Cork City Council will seek to take in charge all public areas within developments, including new streets and spaces in order to ensure that quality, publicly accessible space and public rights of way are maintained and provided.


Cork City Council will apply the provisions of the Taking in Charge Policy for Residential Developments (2018) and the applicant shall have regard to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Governments document ‘Taking in Charge of Residential Developments Circular Letter PD 1/08’, and ‘Circular Letter PL 5/2014’. Within major development areas Cork City Council will seek that all streets and public spaces possess public rights of way / public access that are subject to Cork City Bye-Laws only and not private landowner restrictions, whether or not they are taken in charge.


In residential developments which are not proposed to be taken in charge by Cork City Council, evidence will be required that private Management Companies are to be set up by time of completion of the development, and of which membership shall be compulsory for all purchasers of property.


If a development (or part thereof) is to be taken in charge by Cork City Council the applicant shall agree which areas are to be taken in charge and this shall be clearly indicated on a site layout plan. All areas not to be taken in charge by Cork City Council shall also be clearly indicated and shall be maintained and the responsibility of a properly constituted Private Management Company. These details shall be submitted with the planning application.


All roads, footpaths, sewers, drains, lighting columns, mini-pillars, watermains, services and open spaces within the privately managed areas, irrespective of the management and maintenance regime to be put in place for these areas, shall be satisfactorily completed to the standard for development works as set out in the Council’s Taking in Charge Policy document.



To ensure the satisfactory completion of development works – such as roads, surface water drainage, public lighting and open space, including the protection of trees – on a site which has been the subject of a grant of permission, a bond or cash lodgement may be required until the development has been satisfactorily completed. The bond or cash lodgement may be sequestered in part or in its entirety at the discretion of the Planning Authority where the development has not been satisfactorily completed. The amount of such bond or cash lodgement will be determined by the Planning Authority.

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation


Chapter 3: Delivering Homes and Communities sets out the targets and general locations for student housing, including close to campus, the City Centre, City Docks and locations accessible by public transport.

Objective 11.6

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

Development proposals for purpose-built student accommodation will be assessed against the following criteria:
a. The proposed use is consistent with the land use zoning objective.
b. The proposed development provides adequate external communal space for the needs of the development, with a purposebuilt student bed space being considered equivalent to a mainstream studio for the purposes of this calculation.
c. The quantum of bed spaces does not undermine the ability of Cork City Council to achieve its HNDA targets.
d. The quantum of purpose-built student accommodation development does not result in a neighbourhood with a disproportionate proportion of residents being students in order to ensure residential amenity and a balanced community.
e. The proposed development includes ancillary uses (e.g. health services / café / convenience shop / takeaway) at ground floor level in locations not served by convenient services.
f. Accommodation is provided to the quantitative standards set out in National Guidelines for student accommodation.
g. The proposed development includes internal communal facilities sufficient to meet the needs of the development. Schemes should include communal facilities appropriate to the scale of the development, including communal lounges; games rooms; bookable study rooms; gym; and TV / cinema room.
h. The proposed development includes ancillary facilities adequate to meet the needs of the development, including refuse facilities, car parking and cycle parking.
i. The building / complex is designed to minimise impacts on the surrounding area (e.g. by building noise mitigation strategies and configuration of external amenity spaces).
j. At least 10% of bed spaces are designed for disabled students
k. Facility Management Plans will be required to provide a clear framework for the management of the facility to meet the needs of students and the wider neighbourhood.


All permissions for student housing shall have a planning condition attached requiring planning permission for change of use from student accommodation to other types of accommodation. Future applications for this type of change of use will be resisted.



The Cork City Traveller Accommodation Plan 2020-2025 sets out a requirement for five traveller accommodation sites, three of which are new and two extensions. Development proposals will be assessed against the criteria in the following policy as well as all other relevant policies of the Plan, including Urban Hinterland policies.

Objective 11.7

Traveller Accommodation

Development proposals for Traveller accommodation will be assessed against the following criteria:
a. Sites have adequate accessibility by walking, cycling and public transport to facilities and services including shops, healthcare, education and employment.
b. Sites have safe vehicular access, adequate vehicle parking, services and there is adequate access for emergency services.
c. Sites have adequate open space to meet the needs of the population and their livestock.
d. There is adequate access to or provision of facilities and servicing, including water supply, electricity and disposal facilities for sewage and waste.
e. The development site is not a biodiversity site, scheduled monument or public open space.
f. Sites are not located in Flood Zones A or B.
g. The proposed development will not cause any adverse visual impacts.

Age Friendly and
Supported Living


Many older people and people with disabilities want to live in their own homes. However, other households may require more specialist housing designed to meet their needs, which may include extra-care or Registered Care Homes.


When assessing planning applications for Age Friendly and supported living developments a number of criteria will be taken into account, as set out in Objectives 11.8.

Objective 11.8

Older Persons and Specialist and Supported Living Accommodation

Planning permission for elderly-persons and supported and specialist care accommodation will be granted where it:
a. Is located with good access to local facilities and services including public transport, shops and healthcare facilities.
b. Is located close to or as part of a mixed community and will contribute positively to the creation and maintenance of mixed and balanced communities.
c. Is appropriate for its intended residents and the neighbourhood in terms of form, scale and design.
d. Includes gardens and amenity space of appropriate size and quality.
e. Meets the affordable housing requirements of Chapter 3 Delivering Homes and Communities.

Planning permission will not be granted for the loss of existing specialist care accommodation unless it can be demonstrated that provision is to be replaced or that there is a not a need for the facility.

Rural Generated
One-Off Housing in
the Urban Hinterland


Objective 3.11: Rural Generated Housing and paragraphs 3.47-3.50 provide the policy basis for rural generated housing in the Urban Hinterland. Part of the policy requirement is that development proposals for new dwellings are supported by a demonstrable case to justify a genuine need to reside on the land or farm holding, in order to meet one of the key tests for representing an exceptional rural generated housing need.

Objective 11.9

One-Off Housing: Demonstrable Need to Reside on Landholding

Applicants shall satisfy the Planning Authority that their proposal represents a demonstrable need to reside on the land by based on their social and / or economic links to a particular local rural area, and in this regard, must demonstrate that they comply with one of the following categories of housing need:
a. Farmers, including their sons and daughters who wish to build a first home for their permanent occupation on the family farm.
b. Persons taking over the ownership and running of a farm on a full-time basis, who wish to build a first home on the farm for their permanent occupation, where no existing dwelling is available for their own use. The proposed dwelling must be associated with the working and active management of the farm.
c. Other persons working full-time in farming, forestry, inland waterway, or marine related occupations, for a period of over seven years, in the local rural area where they work and in which they propose to build a first home for their permanent occupation.
d. Landowners including their sons and daughters who wish to build a first home for their permanent occupation on the landholding associated with their principal family residence for a minimum of seven years prior to the date of the planning application.


In circumstances, where a family land holding is unsuitable for the construction of a house, consideration may be given to a nearby landholding where this would not conflict with Objective 3.11 and other objectives in this Plan. In this context a ‘nearby landholding’ may be construed to mean adjoining landholdings but not normally more than 0.4 km from the prospective applicant’s family residence. Proposals exceeding the 0.4 km distance may be considered in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The total number of houses within the Metropolitan Greenbelt, for which planning permission has been granted since 15th January 2015 on a family farm or any single landholding within the rural area, will not normally exceed two.


‘Landholding’ is to be interpreted as set out under paragraph 3.49, and ‘landowners’ is to be construed in this context.


Rural house design is important to maintaining the rural character of the City Hinterland. One-off housing in the urban hinterland has traditionally been urban generated and dwellings have been much larger than the housing need would dictate (e.g. +200 sqm average). Dwelling size should be limited to that required on the basis of need and therefore be limited to the applicant’s household at the time of application. Dwellings should be designed to be extendable in phases as part of an architectural strategy to anticipate household size growth.


Any new rural housing development must be of a design, scale and layout that is respectful and sympathetic to traditional rural house designs and layouts. Suburban style dwelling house designs and large-scale developments that are not appropriate to a rural area in terms of character and layout should be discouraged.


The urban hinterland includes many built heritage assets (houses, cottages and farm buildings), whether designated or undesignated, and it is desirable to conserve and enhance and provide a viable use for these assets. These are of cultural significance and make a significant contribution to the identity and character of the rural landscape. Many of these have been lost due to abandonment and neglect in recent years. The first priority in meeting housing need will be to re-use vacant / derelict rural built heritage assets utilising a conservation approach. Extensions to these will be considered enabling development in order to secure the conservation of the principal built heritage asset. In the event that a farm does not include built heritage assets for conversion then new dwellings will be considered providing they utilise the architectural language of traditional farm cottages, houses or farm buildings.


The demolition of built heritage assets should be a final resort. Any such proposals to demolish an existing building and replacement will have to be strongly justified by the applicant with advice from an accredited conservation practitioner. As part of a planning application for any such proposal the applicant will have to provide a strong justification as to why the structure is to be demolished in addition to meeting the requirements of other relevant policies (e.g. Policy 3.A-11: Rural-Generated Housing).


“Ribbon development” is formed by the development of a row of houses along a rural road outside of settlement boundaries. The Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines 2005 recommend against the creation of ribbon development for a variety of reasons relating to road safety, future demands for the provision of public infrastructure as well as visual impacts. Therefore, Cork City Council will discourage development which would contribute to or exacerbate ribbon development (defined by Cork City Council as five or more houses on any one side of a given 250 metres of road frontage).


Cork City Council will assess whether any given proposal will exacerbate such ribbon development, having regard to the following:
1. The degree to which the proposal for a single dwelling might be considered an infill development.
2. The degree to which existing ribbon development would be extended or whether distinct areas of ribbon development would coalesce as a result of the development.
3. Local circumstances, including the planning history of the area and development pressures.
4. Normal planning considerations.

Objective 11.10


Objective 11.11

Design and Landscaping
of New Dwelling Houses
in Rural Areas

Where permitted, rural dwellings must adhere to the following:
a. New dwelling house design must respect the character, pattern and tradition of existing places, materials and built forms and must fit appropriately into the landscape.
b. Be energy efficient in their design, layout and siting.
c. Incorporate appropriate landscaping and screen planting by using predominantly indigenous species.


Refurbishment of
Farm Buildings

Encourage proposals for the sensitive renovation and conservation of existing disused or derelict dwellings subject to normal planning considerations and the requirements of other objectives in this Plan and provided that it satisfies the following criteria:
a. The original walls must be substantially intact.
b. The structure must have previously been in use as a farm-related dwelling or building.
c. The dwelling must be physically capable of undergoing renovation / conversion without demolition. Where the building is derelict, a structural survey by a qualified engineer should be submitted as part of any planning application to include measures to protect the building from collapse prior to, and during, the construction works.
d. The design, scale and materials used in any renovation and or extension should be sympathetic to the character and setting of the existing dwelling.
e. Mature landscape features are retained and enhanced, as appropriate.


Objective 11.12


Objective 11.13

Replacement Dwelling

To discourage the demolition and replacement of existing building stock of a vernacular quality, which should be retained and refurbished. Where a dwelling or building of significant vernacular quality is proposed to be demolished, an architectural conservation report by a qualified conservation architect should be submitted as part of any planning application.


Ribbon Development

There is a presumption against development which would contribute to or exacerbate ribbon development.


Small Residential
developments &
Alterations to Existing


Adaptation of existing housing and re-using upper floors, infill development will be encouraged within Cork City. New infill development shall respect the height and massing of existing residential units. Infill development shall enhance the physical character of the area by employing similar or complementary architectural language and adopting typical features (e.g. boundary walls, pillars, gates / gateways, trees, landscaping, fencing, or railings).


Cork City has a housing stock that is varied in type and size to meet the needs of a range of different household sizes in different locations. As part of the Core Strategy it is essential that existing homes are utilised and the vacancy rate in Cork is kept at very low levels (see Chapter 3: Delivering Homes and Communities) in order to ensure that a full range of homes is available for occupation.


In order to ensure that existing homes are utilised by occupation Cork City Council supports the retention and adaptation of the existing housing stock to suit the evolving needs of society. Traditionally house adaptation comprises a significant proportion of all planning applications and Cork City Council may introduce planning guidelines to assist applicants in putting development proposals together.


The design and layout of extensions to houses should have regard to the amenities of adjoining properties particularly as regards sunlight, daylight and privacy. The character and form of the existing building should be respected, and external finishes and window types should match the existing.


Extensions should:
1. Follow the pattern of the existing building as much as possible.
2. Be constructed with similar finishes and similar windows to the existing building so that they would integrate with it.
3. Roof form should be compatible with the existing roof form and character. Traditional pitched roofs will generally be appropriate when visible from the public road. Given the high rainfall in Cork the traditional ridged roof is likely to cause fewer maintenance problems in the future than flat ones. High quality monopitch and flat-roof solutions will be considered appropriate providing they are of a high standard and employ appropriate detailing and materials.
4. Dormer extensions should not obscure the main features of the existing roof, i.e. should not break the ridge or eaves lines of the roof. Box dormers will not usually be permitted where visible from a public area.
5. Traditional style dormers should provide the design basis for new dormers.
6. Front dormers should normally be set back at least three-tile courses from the eaves line and should be clad in a material matching the existing roof.
7. Care should be taken to ensure that the extension does not overshadow windows, yards or gardens or have windows in flank walls which would reduce the privacy of adjoining properties.


In encouraging the residential use of the upper floors of buildings in commercial use at the ground floor level in established retail / commercial areas, Cork City Council will consider possible dispensations from normal standards such as private open space, parking and unit size to facilitate the re-use of this space and the creation of additional homes. The standard of accommodation proposed however will be a key consideration. In addition, the re-use of the space will bring economic use and investment in built fabric, which is welcomed where buildings are designated or undesignated built heritage assets. Building occupation will also contribute positively to the regeneration of areas provided any proposed modifications will not have a negative impact on visual amenities or the existing streetscape.


The cumulative effect of the removal of front garden walls and railings damages the character and appearance of suburban streets and roads. Consequently, proposals for off street parking need to be balanced against loss of amenity. The removal of front garden walls and railings will not generally be permitted where they have a negative impact on the character of streetscapes (e.g. in Architectural Conservation Areas and other areas of architectural and historic character) or on the building itself (e.g. a Protected Structure). Consideration will be given to the effect of parking on traffic flows, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and traffic generation.
Where permitted, “drive-ins” should:
1. Not have outward opening gates.
2. In general, have a vehicle entrance not wider than 3 metres, or where context and pattern of development in the area allows not wider than 50 per cent of the width of the front boundary.
3. Have an area of hard-standing equivalent parking space of (2.5 m x 5m) with the balance of the space suitably landscaped.
4. Hard surfaces must be permeable.
5. Inward-opening gates should be provided. Where space is restricted, the gates could slide behind a wall. Gates should not open outwards over public footpath or roadway.
6. Other walls, gates, railing to be made good.


Ancillary family accommodation refers to sub-division or extension of a single unit to accommodate an immediate family member. It is also recognised that there may be other circumstances other than age (e.g. illness, disability) where a close relative may need to live close to their family for support but still enjoy some degree of independence.


Applications for such ancillary family accommodation shall demonstrate:
1. A bona-fide need for such a unit including details of the relationship between the occupant of the main dwelling and the occupant of the ancillary accommodation.
2. The unit shall comprise a physical extension of the main house with direct access to the main dwelling and shall be located at ground floor level.
3. The ancillary unit should not impact adversely on either the residential amenities of the existing property or the residential amenities of the area.
4. The entrance to the family flat shall be via the main dwelling. Where own-door access is unavoidable, own-door access shall be located to the side or rear.
5. The accommodation shall revert back to being part of the original house when no longer occupied by a member of the family.
6. No sub-division of the garden shall be permitted.


A small detached habitable room (but not for residential accommodation) can provide useful ancillary accommodation such as a playroom, gym or home office for the main residence. It must be modest in scale relative to the main house and remaining rear garden area. Development proposals will be required to demonstrate that the design and use of the proposed structure will not detract from the residential amenities of the main house or adjoining property. Any such structure shall not provide residential accommodation in any form and shall not be equipped to do so (i.e. no kitchen, toilet, etc) and shall not be let or sold independently from the main dwelling.


Home based economic activity is defined as small scale commercial activity carried out by residents of a house, being subordinate to the use of the house as a single dwelling unit and includes working from home. The home-based activity should be ancillary to the main residential use and the resident continues to reside in the house. The proposal shall not have any adverse impacts on the amenities of neighbouring dwellings. In determining applications involving working from home the planning authority will have regard to the following considerations:
1. The type of business proposed.
2. The nature and extent of the work.
3. Reason for its location (e.g. why it is not in a designated neighbourhood/district centre etc.).
4. The proposed times of operation.
5. Anticipated levels of traffic generated by the proposal, accessibility, and car-parking.
6. The effects on the amenities of the adjoining occupiers particularly in relation to hours of work, noise and general disturbance.
7. Members of the public in terms of numbers coming and going from the premises; at what times; car-parking; traffic / noise generated from visiting members of the public.
8. Whether the proposal requires deliveries to be received and how this will be managed.
9. Arrangements for storage and collection of waste.


A temporary permission may be granted to enable the planning authority to monitor the impact of the development in the area. Furthermore, thereafter, a condition may be applied requiring that the unit be returned to residential use on the cessation of the business in question.


Small extensions or conversions for use as a studio, home office, childcare facility or small enterprises by the occupier of the dwelling, at a scale as would not unduly interfere with the primary use of the dwelling as a private residence or adversely affect the general residential amenity will be considered. This may apply to:
1. Conversion or subdivision of exceptionally large residential units on relatively large sites to multiple units, without a dramatic alteration in the prevailing character of the area will be considered. Part conversion will only be considered when the building is adjacent to commercial premises, adjoining major traffic routes or located on particularly large sites, where the character of the area is not adversely affected.
2. The assessment of such proposals will take into consideration the established character of the area, residential amenity, recreation and amenity space, parking, traffic considerations, etc.
3. Part conversion to commercial units will only be considered where it can be demonstrated that the proposed use serves a local need and/or is located with an established commercial area.


Houses suitable for family accommodation may not be subdivided and converted to flats. Notwithstanding same, the subdivision of housing above business premises, housing on key transport routes and certain large houses may be permitted in some instances provided:
1. The minimum size of the unit is above standards outlined in this Plan (apart from historic buildings where flexibility maybe applicable).
2. Apartments are self-contained (apart from in exceptional circumstances with regard to historic buildings).
3. Parking spaces provision is not at the expense of a garden/courtyard.
4. There is adequate amenity area.
5. Each apartment has a refuse bin storage area and washing/drying facilities accessible to the occupants.


Cork City Council will resist the demolition of existing historic buildings, apart from in exceptional circumstances.


The Council has a preference for the deep retro-fit of structurally sound, habitable dwellings as opposed to demolition and replacement unless a strong justification in respect of the latter has been put forward by the applicant. The loss of historic buildings is of concern for four main reasons:
1. It is more environmentally sustainable to re-use existing buildings.
2. Many buildings predate suburban development and make a very significant contribution to the overall character and distinctiveness of an area, though often of modest architectural significance in themselves. This would include farmhouses, artisan cottages and other building types.
3. Buildings are of architectural merit (either in their own right or as part of a group, whether or not they are protected on a statutory basis).
4. It generally results in the loss of larger housing stock.


Demolition of an existing house in single occupancy and replacement with multiple new build units will not be considered simply on the grounds of replacement numbers only but will be weighed against other factors. Better alternatives to comprehensive demolition of, for example, a distinctive detached dwelling and its landscaped gardens, may be the construction of structures around the established dwelling and seek to retain characteristic site elements.


Cork City Council will assess single replacement dwellings within an urban area on a case by case basis. Where the original building is a designated or undesignated built heritage asset of significance this should be repaired and re-used. Where it is proposed to reinterpret the site with a built heritage asset integrated into a new layout this will require great skill. In the case of a designated heritage asset (i.e. a Protected Structure or a building within an ACA) enabling development will be considered favourably where it brings a building back into public use.


Provision of dwellings that are capable of being lifecycle homes and take into account the sixteen criteria of the Lifetime Homes Standards are encouraged.

Adaptable Roof Space


Homes that are built with a pitched roof should generally be designed to enable extension into the roof space in the future for extra living space without increasing site coverage. This may not be appropriate in all instances, however, for example in certain Architectural Conservation Areas. Cork City Council can advise on this matter.

Neighbourhood & Community

Community Facilities


As a general principle the location and provision of community facilities is a prerequisite to the creation and enhancement of viable, enjoyable, sustainable and attractive local communities. In assessing planning applications for community facilities, including for example leisure facilities, sports grounds, playing fields, play areas, community halls, organisational meeting facilities, medical facilities, childcare facilities, community enterprise / business start-up centres, new school provision and other community orientated developments, regard will be had to the following:
1. Overall need in terms of necessity, deficiency, and opportunities to enhance/share existing facilities.
2. Design to allow for multi-functional use and/or the co-location of similar uses as part of a community hub.
3. Practicalities of site location relating to uses, impact on local amenities, desirability, and accessibility. They should be well integrated with pedestrian and cycle routes and, where they serve a wider community, on or close to a public transport route.
4. The principles of placemaking and contribution to the 15-minute city and walkable neighbourhood concepts.


Development proposals for 100 or more homes will be required to prepare and submit a Community Infrastructure Assessment (CIA) in support of the planning application. It should assess the impacts of the development proposals on community infrastructure and where there is a deficit in community infrastructure having regard to existing or committed capacity improvements within the City Neighbourhood or larger catchment as the case may be depending on the type of infrastructure, the development proposals will be encouraged to address the deficiency through on-site provision. Community facilities will be required to be provided in tandem with the development of large new residential areas.


The loss of existing social and community facilities such as community centres, community halls or recreational facilities such as playing fields / courts and playgrounds to non-community uses will be discouraged unless higher quality alternatives are available and have capacity or new replacement facilities are proposed on-site or nearby.

Childcare Facilities


Childcare is an essential part of sustainable communities. Cork City Council will seek to facilitate the provision of childcare facilities in appropriate locations and may require their provision in large residential, office, retail or community developments. The provision of childcare facilities is subject to the DEHLG ‘Childcare Facilities Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (2001) and the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No. 2) Regulations (2006) and Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) (Amendment) Regulations (2006) (Department of Health and Children).


Purpose built childcare facilities will generally be required as part of proposals for new residential developments of more than 75 dwelling units. However, where it can be clearly established that existing facilities are sufficient, alternative arrangements will be considered.


Employers with more than 500 members of staff will be required to provide childcare facilities as part of planning applications for significant new and extended development.


In assessing individual planning applications for childcare facilities, the Planning Authority will have regard to the following (not an exhaustive list):
1. Contribution to placemaking and to the 15-minute city and walkable neighbourhood concepts.
2. Suitability of the site, location and type of facility.
3. Proximity to public transport.
4. An audit by the applicant of existing facilities in the vicinity.
5. Adequate traffic management, safe access and parking and drop-off.
6. Impact on neighbouring amenity in terms of noise generation; storage of waste, etc.
7. Adequate facilities and indoor and outdoor play space.
8. Hours of operation.
9. Proposed signage.


Childcare facilities in new residential developments or as part of new or extended employment facilities should be provided at ground floor level in purpose built, preferably standalone buildings.


Within existing residential areas, detached or substantial semi-detached properties are the most suitable for the provision of full day care facilities. Properties with childcare should include a residential component within the dwelling, and preferably should be occupied by the operator or a staff member of the childcare facility. Applications for childcare facilities in existing residential areas will be treated on their merits, having regard to impacts on amenities of adjoining properties and the surrounding area.


The most suitable location for childcare facilities are:
1. Major new residential developments.
2. Places where there are significant numbers of workers.
3. In the vicinity of schools.
4. Neighbourhood and District Centres.
5. Adjacent to Public Transport Corridors.

Schools and Colleges


The provision of suitable and adequate educational facilities is an essential element of any community. The following shall be taken into account in the assessment of educational facilities (not an exhaustive list):
1. Location, site suitability and effect on neighbouring amenity.
2. Design – urban typologies are encouraged in urbanised areas including the City Centre, City Docklands and Urban Town Centres.
3. Adequate traffic management, safe queuing and drop-off facilities including adequate staff carparking.
4. Adequate cycle parking facilities.
5. A School Travel Plan.
6. Accessibility in terms of walking, cycling and public transport.
7. Adequate provision of indoor and outdoor amenity space i.e. for recreation and sports.
8. Adaptable design of communal buildings and indoor/outdoor amenity spaces to facilitate dual-use opportunities for other community uses upon completion of the project or in the future.


Cork City Council will consider school developments having regard to specific requirements of the Department of Education and guidance set out within ‘The Provision of Schools and the Planning System, A Code of Practice for Planning Authorities’ (2008).

Nursing Homes
/ Housing for the


There is a continuing and growing need for nursing and elder care homes. Such facilities should be integrated whenever possible into the established residential areas of the city where residents can expect reasonable access to public transport and local services. In considering applications for nursing / elder care facilities, the following factors will be taken into account:
1. The effect on the amenities of adjoining properties.
2. Provision of adequate parking facilities and proper access and egress from the facility.
3. Adequate provision of open space.
4. Proximity to local services and facilities.
5. Design and proposed materials.
6. The size and scale of the facility proposed; the scale must be appropriate to the area.

Medical Related


Currently premises for general practice and medical related consultants include a wide variety of building types ranging from adaptations of domestic premises for single practitioners to purpose built premises for larger group practices. Cork City Council will support the provision of health care facilities in the City Centre, Urban Town Centres, District Centres and Neighbourhood and Local Centres.


In assessing proposals for conversions of dwellings to medical or health-related uses in residential areas, conversion of part of a dwelling to a medical or related use may be considered where ideally the dwelling remains as the main residence of the practitioner and where a local need has been demonstrated and provided there are no adverse effects on neighbouring amenities (e.g. in terms of traffic generated, car-parking, noise, etc.). In assessing applications for medical related practices, the following will be considered (not an exhaustive list):
1. Contribution to placemaking and to the 15-minute city and walkable neighbourhood concepts.
2. An audit by the applicant of existing facilities in the vicinity.
3. Impacts on the amenity of the area and privacy of adjacent neighbouring properties.
4. Proximity to public transport.
5. Adequate traffic management, including safe access, parking and drop-off.
6. Traffic generation.
7. Hours of operation.
8. Proposed signage.

Places of Worship


Places of Worship are integral parts of sustainable neighbourhoods and provide opportunities for communities to interact. However, activities can result in changes to traffic flow, parking availability, and impact on the prevailing amenity of an area amongst other planning factors. The following will be taken into consideration when determining proposals for places of worship including changes of use (not an exhaustive list):
1. Contribution to placemaking and to the 15-minute city and walkable neighbourhood concepts.
2. Proposals must be considered to complement the activities and use of adjoining developments. Proposals should not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the area.
3. Proposals will be assessed in the context of the location of the site, ease of access to public transport, services and utility connections and the existing and / or desired level of amenity in the area.
4. Any additional uses proposed should be made known to the Planning Authority as the likely wider use of the facility is a factor that assists Cork City Council in its assessment of the appropriateness of the location for the desired activity.

Economic, Employment and
Retail Development

Office/Business and
Technology Proposals


All new office / business and technology proposals are expected to comprise a high-quality layout, design and finish. The following shall also be taken into consideration:
1. A high-quality landscaping scheme with a comprehensive maintenance strategy.
2. Proportionate open space provision on sites identified as strategic employment locations within the Development Plan unless it can be demonstrated there are sufficient open space facilities within walking distance of the development or there are proposals to provide a larger area of open space elsewhere in the wider site as part of a comprehensive masterplan. In some circumstances and at the Local Authority’s discretion, dual-use SUDS measures / open space may be acceptable.
3. A workplace travel plan.
4. Protecting the amenity of nearby occupiers / residents.
5. Maximising opportunities to incorporate climate mitigation and action measures in accordance with Objectives contained in Chapters 5 and 6.

Industrial Uses &
Business Parks


A high standard of design, finish, layout and landscaping will be required for warehousing, industrial and business park development. Where proposals of this nature generate large volumes of HGV traffic, they shall not be located where they would encourage movement of such traffic through residential areas. The following shall also be taken into consideration:
1. The compatibility with adjoining uses.
2. Site layout and the quality of urban design, and building design including materials and reflectivity.
3. A comprehensive landscaping plan.
4. Each proposed warehouse / industrial / business park unit must be provided with adequate space for loading and unloading goods (including fuels) in areas clear of the public road.
5. Be supported by a travel plan having regard to public transport accessibility.
6. Where possible, a variety of unit sizes shall be provided to cater for the differing needs of potential occupants.
7. Maximise opportunities to incorporate climate mitigation and action measures in accordance with Objectives contained in Chapters 5 and 6.

Employment Uses
in the City, Town and
District Centres


The mix of uses being proposed within individual development schemes, particularly in mixed use areas such as the City Centre, Town, District Centres need to be orientated towards placemaking and creating vibrant centres both in terms of the mix of uses (avoiding an over-dominance of nonretail uses) and the design (including the scale, massing, layout and appearance) of the scheme. Where possible, proposals should prioritise the provision of active uses at ground floor level and optimise opportunities to incorporate landscaping and facilitate public realm and urban design improvements. Proposals should also:
1. Consider compatibility with adjoining uses.
2. Be supported by a travel plan.
3. Ensure that signage is of an appropriate scale and design so as to be compatible with the character of the area and avoid cumulative proliferation of signage.
4. Incorporate dedicated waste management/ storage facilities on-site.
5. Maximise opportunities to incorporate climate mitigation and action measures in accordance with Objectives contained in Chapters 5 and 6.

Rural Economic


Rural economic development, innovation and entrepreneurialism is supported but care is needed to ensure proposals do not have significant adverse impacts on the receiving environment in terms of, but not limited to, residential amenity, economic activity, the environment, biodiversity, transportation and utility services.


All development proposals should be of a high quality design that is reflective of, or compatible with, the character of the surrounding area and surrounding development and uses. The scale of the proposal should be reflective of the site’s rural location and limitations associated with public transport accessibility and the quality and capacity of the road network to accommodate large scale enterprise.

New Retail


It is essential that new retail development is designed to a high standard and of an appropriate scale to the centre in which it is located (see ‘Retail’ in Chapter 7 Economy and Employment). All retail development proposals shall consider the guidance contained in the ‘Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ and in the companion ‘Retail Design Manual’ (DoECLG, 2012). New neighbourhood and local centres will be subject to a retail impact assessment and should comprise of mixed-use schemes, incorporating a range of local services, a vertical mix of uses where possible, and a high quality of urban design appropriate to their scale and character. In additional to retail, centres may include residential and complementary local services, such as childcare, retail offices, pharmacies, medical consultancies, public houses, small shops, etc. Where a scheme is dominated by one particular use or is of a scale or design, which would be detrimental to the mixed-use function or design quality of the scheme, the development will generally not be permitted. The same principles will apply to the expansion of existing centres, where significant additional population growth is planned and as indicated in Chapter 7, or for applications for change of use of units within existing centres.


In all developments, measures should be incorporated to control the extraction of fumes and odours. Internal ducting or flues should be incorporated as part of new developments so that ground floor units have the potential for fumes to be extracted to and discharged at roof level and cater for current or proposed ground floor uses such as restaurants or dry cleaners. In order to minimise noise disturbance, sound insulation should be incorporated between individual units and to the adjoining building in order to reduce the transmission of impact and airborne noise between units and/or premises and to or from the external environment. The scheme of sound/ acoustic insulation should be submitted with the planning application for development. Acceptable floor-toceiling heights may be specified by the planning authority depending on the location and to allow for internal ducting.


In the case of retail development, adequate on-site storage space should be provided at the discretion of the Planning Authority to reduce the frequency of deliveries and consequent traffic congestion.


Applications for petrol stations including refurbishments to existing premises will be required to have a high standard of design and layout. To take account of same, standard corporate designing may need to be modified as required. Consideration will be given to the following:
1. Distribution of existing facilities in the city.
2. Access to filling stations will not be permitted closer than 35 metres to a road junction.
3. Frontage on primary and secondary routes must be at least 20 metres in length.
4. All pumps and installations shall be set back at least 5 metres from the roads.
5. A wall, of a minimum height of 0.5 metres, must separate the forecourt from the public footpath.
6. The provision of low emission fuel/recharging infrastructure.
7. Forecourt lighting including canopy lighting should be limited to that which is necessary for the safe operation of a petrol station. All external lighting should be cowled and directed away from the public roadway to prevent traffic hazard. The use of high-level and powerful lighting should not interfere with the amenities of adjoining premises.
8. A proliferation of large illuminated projecting signs will not be permitted at filling stations. Generally, only one such sign will be permitted.
9. Car-washing and turbo-drying facilities are to be sited so as not to interfere with residential amenities.
10. A landscape masterplan will form part of any planning application.
11. Pedestrian routes to and from retail areas shall be clearly defined.
12. Any shop being provided shall be ancillary to the principal use of the premises as a filling station and shall generally be a maximum size of 100m² net retail floorspace (see Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DoECLG, 2012). Where permission is sought for floor-space in excess of 100m², the sequential approach to retail development shall apply.
13. Late night opening will only be permitted if it does not impact adversely on nearby residences.


The positive contribution of cafés and restaurants and the clusters of such uses to the vitality of the City is recognised. The following shall be considered in assessing applications for cafés/restaurants:
1. The need to retain, protect and strengthen the vitality and multi-use function of designated centres.
2. The number/frequency of cafés / restaurants in the area.
3. The effect of noise, fumes, hours of operation, and general disturbance on nearby amenities and residents. Full details of any external extractor fans/vents and hours of operation of the development shall form part of a planning application.
4. Traffic implications including adequate and safe delivery areas.
5. Waste storage facilities.
6. Any proposed signage/advertising/lighting shall be suitable and unobtrusive.


In order to maintain an appropriate mix of uses and protect night-time amenities in a particular area, it is the objective of Cork City Council to prevent new takeaways in inappropriate locations, to prevent an excessive concentration of takeaways and to ensure that the intensity of any proposed takeaway is in keeping with both the scale of the building and the pattern of development in the area. In order to protect residential amenity, fast-food takeaway units, will be resisted in predominantly residential areas and only permitted in designated centres and will be subject to the criteria below. The provision of hot food takeaways/fast-food restaurants will be strictly controlled having regard to the following:
1. The need to safeguard the vitality and viability of designated centres in the City and to maintain a suitable mix of retail and other uses. The proliferation or oversupply of takeaways that cause or are likely to cause disturbance or nuisance, detract from amenities or seriously detract from an area generally in terms of use and services mix will not be permitted.
2. Land use zoning and specific objectives contained in the plan (for example Objectives CC-6 Land Use on Primary Retail Frontages and Objective CC-7 Land Use on Secondary Retail Frontages).
3. The potential impacts on buildings on the RPS, NIAH or in Architectural Conservation Areas.
4. The impact on the economic viability of streets.
5. The number/frequency of such facilities in the area.
6. The effect of fumes, hours of operation, and general disturbance on nearby amenities and residents.
7. The need for adequate ventilation systems which are to be integrated into the design of the building.
8. Design of the unit in particular the shopfront and the need to avoid dead frontage onto the street.
9. Any proposed advertising/lighting should be suitable and unobtrusive. Any advertising/ signage should be removed on the cessation of operation of the business.
10. Traffic implications resulting from the proposed development.
11. Fast food outlets/takeaways with proposed drive-through facilities will generally only be acceptable within designated Level 2 District/Large Urban Town Centres (Ballincollig) and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Public houses and other types of licenced premises play an important role in the Night-time Economy of the City providing a night-time use which adds to the attractiveness, particularly of the City Centre as a place to visit. Cork City Council will encourage entertainment/cultural/music uses which help create an attraction for residents and tourists and add to the vibrancy of the City Centre. However, there is a need to strike an appropriate balance between the role of these entertainment uses in the economy of the city, while ensuring a balanced mix of uses is maintained and the need to protect the amenities of residents from an over-concentration of late-night venues.


Applications for new or extensions to existing uses such as public houses and other licensed premises will be assessed having regard to the following:
1. The need to ensure a balanced mix of uses in designated centres and prevent an inappropriate, over-concentration of latenight venues. Such uses will generally not be permitted in predominantly residential areas.
2. The amenity of neighbouring residents and occupiers including hours of operation, environmental quality and impact on the streetscape. Noise emanating from and at the boundaries of these establishments are issues which will need to be addressed in planning applications for such establishments. Noise insulation and reduction measures, especially relating to any mechanical ventilation or airconditioning, will be required to be submitted with any such planning application.
3. Traffic management and deliveries.
4. Shopfront treatment, signage and lighting


The City Council will seek to protect residential amenity and the provision of a viable mix of uses within designated centres by ensuring that the quantum of betting shops - particularly within smaller centres - is not disproportionate to the overall size and character of the area. It is an objective to prevent a concentration of betting offices, thereby ensuring the number of units in the City Centre, District or Neighbourhood/Local Centres is not disproportionate to the overall number of shops, community and other uses. The provision of betting offices will be controlled having regard to the following, where appropriate:
1. The need to safeguard the vitality and viability of mixed-use centres in the City and to maintain a suitable mix of retail and other uses.
2. The number/frequency of such facilities in the area.
3. The existing proliferation of similar retail offices, hot-food takeaways, amusement arcades, off-licences etc. in the area.
4. The effect on the amenities of the area by reason of noise, hours of operation and litter.
5. The external appearance and design of the betting office (including any satellite dishes advertising and TV screens displayed) shall not detract from the streetscape.


Off-licences provided in the City’s designated commercial centres (City Centre, Town, District and Neighbourhood / Local Centres) provide a valuable local commercial service. Off- licences in other locations will only be considered where they fall outside the catchments of existing/proposed centres. Cork City Council will ensure that centres provide a real diversity in retail provision that suits the needs of communities by ensuring that the proportion of off- licences is not disproportionate to the number of units. However, the number and control of off-licences will primarily be a licensing issue. The consideration of proposals for off-licences will also have regard to the amenities of nearby residents, i.e. noise, general disturbance, hours of operation and litter.


Amusement centres / arcades generally include the playing of amusements with-prize machines and/or amusement only (e.g. video gaming) as the main use. In assessing applications for amusement centres / arcades, the proposal must demonstrate:
1. It will not cause harm to neighbouring properties in terms of noise and general disturbance.
2. The external appearance and design of the amusement centre shall not detract from the streetscape and it is recommended that an appropriate shop front with a window display be included in proposals.
3. Appropriate opening hours.
4. An excessive concentration of amusement centres/arcades will not be permitted.


The following (but not limited to) shall be taken into consideration when assessing applications for casinos / private member’s clubs:
1. The amenity of neighbouring residents and occupiers.
2. Hours of operation.
3. Traffic management.
4. The external appearance and design of the casino/private member’s club shall not detract from the streetscape and it is recommended that an appropriate shop front with a window display be included in proposals.
5. An excessive concentration of casinos/private member’s clubs will not be permitted.

Shop Fronts,
Advertising &
Security Signs


Shop fronts and façades are one of the most important elements in determining the character, quality and image of commercial streets. As such:
1. Original, traditional shop fronts, pub fronts and façades shall be retained, preserved or restored.
2. Contemporary shop / pub fronts will be considered when: materials and proportions are appropriate to the scale and fabric of the building and/or street, the design complements the design of the upper floors of the building, the shop front/façade does not extend into the floor above concealing first floor window cills and existing elevations are not straddled.
3. The City Council will aim to reduce visual clutter and control the number and type of signs that are displayed.
4. Generally the use of external roller shutters/security screens shall not be permitted on the front of shops. If required they should be placed behind the shop front display.
5. Consideration will be given to the protection and enhancement of the architectural character of the city. Particular care and regard will be had to any proposed shop fronts in ACAs.
6. The design of the shop front/façade should include the street number of the premises.
7. The applicant shall submit proposals for the removal of external signage in the event the unit ceases trading.
8. Planning permission is required for the erection of canopies. Canopies of traditional design and retractable materials will be favoured.


In general advertising on buildings should conform to the following:
1. Be sympathetic in design and colouring both to the building on which they will be displayed and their surroundings.
2. The City Council will aim to reduce visual clutter and control the number of signs and advertising that are displayed.
3. Shop front advertising should be designed as an integral part of the shop front.
4. Not obscure architectural features such as cornices or window openings.
5. Illuminated signs or other advertising structures will not be allowed above the eaves or parapet level on buildings in any part of the city.


As a general principle fascia signs and protecting signs should be simple in design, not excessive in illumination or size. The following basic guidelines will be applied in assessing planning applications:
1. Plastic derived fascias with product advertising and internally illuminate fascias will not be permitted.
2. Projecting signs should be of 2.4m clearance above street level.
3. Internally illuminated signs shall be restricted.
4. The design of illuminated signage should be sympathetic to the building on which it is to be displayed.
5. Overall illumination of fascia signage or shop fronts of distinctive architectural features should be discreet and limited to spot lighting, uplighting or disguised minimalist strip lighting.
6. The daytime appearance when unlit will also be considered.
7. The use of banners, flags, billboards and other forms of advertising will be strictly controlled in the City Centre.
8. Product advertising on canopies will not be permitted.


Excessive outdoor advertising will be strictly controlled. New advertising hoardings and billboards will generally not be permitted. Permanent cross street banners/advertisement symbols will not be permitted in any location within the City unless an agreed timetable for use has been approved by Cork City Council. Tri vision signage will not be permitted.


Cork City Council will consider appropriately designed and located public information display panels in the City Centre. Panels must be of highquality design and materials and must not obstruct pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles.


The erection of fingerpost signs will require a licence from the Planning Authority and should comply with the following:
1. Directional signs for major tourist attractions and community purposes will be considered but business and product advertising will not be permitted.
2. Signs must be of a standard size and colour and where permitted will be provided by the licencee but will be erected by the City Council.
3. Signs which interfere with the City Council’s or the National Roads Authority’s (NRA) directional signs, including Cork City Council Wayfinding signs, will not be permitted.


Certain uses in the public realm, including elements of street furniture, can lead to problems of visual clutter and to obstruction of public footpaths for pedestrians, in particular people with disabilities. These elements include newspaper stands, traffic and bus signs, tables and chairs, taxi and bus shelters as well as unauthorised A-frames and spinner stands erected by retailers. It is an objective of the City Council to control the location and quality of these structures in the interests of creating a high-quality public realm. All outdoor furniture provided by private operators including retailers, publicans and restaurateurs, etc., and utility companies should be to the highest quality, preferably of good contemporary design avoiding poor historic imitation and respect the overall character of the area and quality of the public realm. They shall be located so as to prevent any obstruction or clutter of all footpaths and paved areas including landings. In this regard, street furniture requires either a licence under Section 254 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) or planning permission (including street furniture erected on private lands). In both instances, the applicant is required to submit details of the location, design, specification and quality of the proposed elements of street furniture. Details of maintenance and cleansing schedules may also be required. In considering applications for outdoor tables and chairs, the planning authority shall have regard to the following:
1. Size and location of the facility.
2. Concentration of existing street furniture in the area.
3. The visual impact of the structure, particularly in relation to the colour, nature and extent of advertising on all ancillary screens.
4. Impact on the character of the streetscape.
5. The effects on the amenities of adjoining premises, particularly in relation to hours of operation, noise and general disturbance.
6. Impact on access and visibility.

Built Heritage

Protected Structures


Development of Protected Structures and within the curtilage of Protected Structures is addressed in Chapter 8 Heritage Arts & Culture. The overall guiding principle is positive enhancement of the special character of a Protected Structure. The provisions of the ‘Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines’ (DOEHLG, 2004) will be taken into consideration when assessing planning applications for works to Protected Structures or within the curtilage of Protected Structures.

Conservation Areas


Development in Architectural Conservation Areas is addressed in Chapter 8 Heritage Arts & Culture. The overall guiding principle is positive enhancement of the unique qualities that make a place special because of its particular character. The requirements for documentation to accompany planning applications for development within Architectural Conservation Areas and for their subsequent assessment are set out in the ‘Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines’ (DOEHLG, 2004).

Managing Archaeology
in Development


Archaeological remains are a non-renewable resource and so it is essential that they are properly safe-guarded and managed. Developers are encouraged to contact the City Council’s Archaeologist to find out if there may be any archaeological implications or requirements within their proposed development site. This is particularly important for sites which are located within the historic core of the city. It is in the developer’s best interest to assess and quantify the archaeological implications of a proposed development at the earliest stages of the planning process.


Preservation in-situ and preservation by record are the two approaches applied in the protection of the archaeological heritage. In relation to archaeological considerations the following shall apply:
1. The City Council will require that archaeological investigation be undertaken prior to the commencement of development. All such investigations must be undertaken by a qualified archaeologist in consultation with Cork City Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
2. Conditions which modify the development may be imposed, in order to facilitate archaeological investigation or to preserve the archaeological record.
3. Detailed assessment and survey of sites of industrial archaeological importance is essential in order to assess the impact of a proposed development. The impact on the aesthetic and architectural merits of the buildings is an additional consideration.


Developers are encouraged to supply an archaeological assessment and method statement outlining construction procedures. An archaeological assessment should be carried out by a suitably qualified archaeologist and should include the following:
1. A detailed account of the historical and archaeological background of the site, including examination of all relevant maps.
2. The nature, extent and locations of any archaeological fabric including industrial archaeological features or buildings within the areas proposed for demolition and redevelopment. This shall be based on detailed inspections of standing structures.
3. Identification of all constraints within the proposed development such as occupied buildings.
4. The likely impact of the proposed development on any archaeological fabric.
5. Suggested mitigation procedures for addressing these impacts, with particular reference to foundation design proposals.


Archaeological surveys, test excavation and / or monitoring will be required for development proposals in areas of archaeological importance, if the application is likely to impact upon in-situ archaeological structures or deposits.


Outside the Zone of Archaeological Interest of a RMP or sites listed in the Historic Environment Viewer, where in the opinion of Cork City Council a development involves major ground disturbance (sites over 0.5 hectares or linear development over 1km), archaeological conditions may be applied particularly in the vicinity of known archaeological sites.


All development proposals which impact upon industrial buildings and sites of industrial archaeological importance must be accompanied by an archaeological assessment of the building(s) and their surrounding environment. Retention and/or incorporation of industrial buildings will be encouraged. Where in exceptional circumstances demolition is permitted, a detailed building record, to include measured survey and photographs, will be required.


All development proposals which will impact on marine, riverine, intertidal and estuarine environments, and areas of former reclaimed land, shall be subject to appropriate archaeological assessment by suitably qualified underwater archaeologists.


In development proposals where archaeology is to be retained in-situ the archaeology will be protected, safeguarded and where suitable interpreted in an accessible manner. Where the archaeology is to remain in an open space, then this will be in addition to the overall open space provisions.

Public Art


An important feature of Cork City’s cultural heritage is its Public Art. Public pieces of art contribute to the overall appearance of a city and improve the quality of life through the enhancement of the area. The Per Cent for Arts Scheme is a scheme that allows for the inclusion in the budgets for all capital construction projects of up to 1% as funding for an art project subject to conditions.

Green and Blue Infrastructure,
Landscape & Biodiversity

Green and Blue
Infrastructure in


To help protect the City’s character, all existing green and blue infrastructure (e.g. mature trees, hedgerows, watercourses, etc.) shall be identified at the initial stages of the planning process and used to guide the site layout and design.


New green and blue infrastructure shall be designed at an early stage and implemented to allow adequate time to become successfully established. The creation of green and blue infrastructure assets, links and greenways must be appropriately designed to avoid habitat loss and disturbance due to increased movement of people.


Where required by the Planning Authority, development proposals shall be accompanied by a Green and Blue Infrastructure Access Plan showing existing and proposed green and blue infrastructure routes and other details. The specification of new and upgraded routes should be appropriate to the location, the type of users and the level of anticipated use.


Entrances to the green and blue infrastructure network in developments shall be designed to be welcoming, allow access for all, have clear sight lines while also being overlooked and well-lit. They should be positioned to maximise accessibility to the development, and wider green and blue infrastructure network.


New developments shall promote healthy environments that provide for and encourage active travel. Wherever feasible, active travel routes shall be fully integrated into the design process including, but not limited to, the following:
1. The provision of safe, convenient and direct links connecting existing green and blue infrastructure networks, schools, community facilities, local amenities, and public transport hubs/bus stops.
2. A design that facilitates different types of users (such as walkers, cyclists and those with limited mobility or sensory impairments) as appropriate.
3. Where appropriate, provide additional seating, signage, cycle parking, storage, etc.

Green and BlueInfrastructure and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems


Development proposals shall be designed to integrate naturalised and biodiverse SUDS into the site and wider green and blue infrastructure network. Schemes should replicate natural drainage as closely as possible, maximising benefits for water quality, biodiversity and amenity.


Development proposals should integrate green and blue infrastructure measures to offset peak flood flows including the following options:
1. Nature based solutions and slow-the-flow initiatives.
2. Incorporation of SUDS to limit runoff from existing and new development.
3. Wetland enhancement on flood plains.
4. Native tree planting and landscaping schemes.
5. Green roofs and green walls.
6. Rainwater harvesting and rainwater boxes.
7. Natural banks, water dykes and water squares.
8. Natural flood management techniques.

Adjoining Watercourse


Development proposals in or adjoining watercourse corridors should:
1. Preserve the biodiversity value of the area subject to Ecological Assessment by a suitably qualified Ecologist.
2. Not involve landfilling, diverting, culverting or realignment of river and stream corridors.
3. Not have a negative effect on the distinctive character and appearance of the waterway corridor and the specific characteristics and landscape elements of the individual site and its context.
4. Protect and enhance wetland areas.
5. In new major development locations, preferably retain and protect existing riparian habitats while providing parks in waterside locations to maximise the potential linkages between landscape, natural heritage and recreational opportunity.


Development proposals should incorporate an appropriately-sized buffer zone to maintain natural fluvial processes and to protect the water environment. Greenways and blueways within the protection zone should be considered on a case-bycase basis, subject to appropriate safeguards and assessments. Where appropriate, development proposals should enhance the green and blue infrastructure network by de-culverting, re-meandering or removing redundant structures or barriers to fish passage and enhancing bankside habitats.


Development proposals should protect watercourses in accordance with Inland Fisheries Ireland’s “Planning for Watercourses in the Urban Area” including the protection of riparian sections of rivers and streams, where possible, as set out below. Existing development will be taken into account.
1. Protection of the streamside zone, (within 15m of riverbanks);
2. Utilisation of outer riparian buffer zone (>8m) for treatment and reduction of stormflow runoff;
3. Minimal disturbance of the corridor 15-30m from the river;
4. Explore opportunities for river corridors for access and use as local amenity; and
5. Encourage riparian buffer strips on agricultural land.

Development and
Landscape, Natural
Environment and


New development shall be sensitively designed to fit the existing landscape setting, using high quality design and where necessary, landscape mitigation measures that maintain or enhance the landscape.


Where required, Landscaping Management Plans shall be submitted as part of development proposals detailing existing green and blue infrastructure and showing how opportunities to create new green and blue infrastructure including linkages have informed design, layout and management proposals. Landscaping plans and planting proposals for new development shall include native species of Irish or local provenance.


All development proposals are expected to:
1. Avoid, or as a last resort satisfactorily mitigate, adverse impacts on existing designated and non-designated habitats. This is in addition to the Appropriate Assessment requirement relating to designated sites.
2. Integrate provision for biodiversity enhancement which may include compliance through public open space, gardens, areas of planting (pollinator friendly planting and native tree species should be prioritised), sustainable urban drainage systems, incorporating green roofs, bee hotels, bird and bat boxes.
3. Avoid adverse impacts, incapable of satisfactory avoidance or mitigation, on mature trees, protected flora, animal or bird species.


All planning applications for development where there is evidence of alien invasive species on the site are required to submit a management plan for the effective management and removal of the species.

Transport and Mobility

Large Scale


The layout of proposed new residential, commercial or mixed-use developments must be designed in accordance with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS).


DMURS sets out design guidance and standards for constructing new, and reconfiguring existing, urban roads and streets, incorporating a multidisciplinary approach to the design of low speed environments in urban areas. A Quality Audit will be required for major developments that impact on the road network and for all new road and traffic schemes. This should be carried out in accordance with DMURS and best international practice.


The DMURS Quality Audits consist of a number of individual and overlapping audits that may include:
1. An audit of visual quality; a review of how the street is/may be used by the community.
2. A road safety audit, including a risk assessment.
3. An access audit.
4. A walking audit.
5. A cycle audit.
6. A non-motorised user audit.
7. A community street audit (in existing streets) and a place check audit.
8. A street design audit must be submitted as a component of a Quality Audit (for larger projects) or as a stand-alone audit process for smaller projects with an emphasis on placemaking and promoting the multidisciplinary aspects of successful street design.


Applications for proposed new residential, commercial, mixed use, industrial and educational developments shall be accompanied by a Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA) to be prepared in accordance with the TII “Traffic and Transport Assessment Guidelines, 2014”.


Development proposals that have significant potential for traffic generation must contain, a detailed assessment of the following.
1. Both public and private transportation modes available.
2. The impact of the proposed development on the surrounding /receiving environment and transportation network, which must be demonstrated through the submission of a Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA), in accordance with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) ‘Traffic and Transport Assessment Guidelines’ (2014). All major road and traffic schemes and existing and proposed developments in an area including residential and other uses including education must be considered as part of TTA preparation.

Travel Plans


A Travel Plan is a document which comprises a strategy for reducing private car uses to and from a development site, combined with a package of measures for implementing the strategy. They are required through the planning process for a broad range of land uses, including residential, retail, employment, education, leisure and health. Travel plans must be dynamic and evolving documents monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

Full details are provided in Achieving Effective Workplace Travel Plans: Guidance for Local Authorities; and Workplace Travel Plans – A Guide for Implementers; and Toolkit for School Travel (both developed by the National Transport Authority). The Smarter Travel Workplaces Programme, which is managed by the National Transport Authority, continues to engage with a number of larger employers in the Cork area in the development and implementation of Workplace Travel Plans.


Travel Plans may be required for new developments: the thresholds and sub-thresholds for Travel Plans are listed in Table 11.10 below. However these are for guidance purposes only. There may be developments below the threshold scale which could benefit from a Workplace Travel Plan and shall be determined by Cork City Council at pre-planning stage.


The National Transport Authority (NTA) have produced a ‘Toolkit for School Travel’ which provides guidance on school travel plans.

Land Use Workplace Travel Plan Statement Indicative Number of Jobs Standard Workplace Travel Plan Indicative Number of Jobs
Office / Financial > 500 sqm 25-100 > 2,000 sqm > 100
Retail / Shops > 600 sqm 25-100 > 2,500 sqm > 100
Industrial > 2,500 sqm 25-100 > 6,000 sqm > 100
Leisure   25-100   > 100 or greater than
> 10,000 visitors annually
Hospitals / Medical Centres   25-100   > 100 or greater than
> 10,000 visitors annually
Warehousing > 2,500 sqm 25-100 > 10,000 sqm > 100
Table 11.12: Workplace Travel Plan Thresholds.

Car & Bicycle Parking


The City Council area is divided into four zones for the purposes of car parking control (see map below), based on each area’s accessibility to mass transit, cycling and walking. Car parking standards for both residential and non-residential developments are set out in Table 11.13. These standards are maximums in order to constrain car trip generation and promote patronage of active travel and public transport.

Zone 1


Parking Zone 1 generally comprises Cork City Centre and the inner city. This zone is currently accessible by public transport and is a walkable environment. It is policy to constrain parking within the City Centre below the maximum level of provision indicated in the table in order to reinforce pedestrian priority in the area and to promote a material shift to non-car transportation. Provision of additional commuter parking within this area will not generally be permitted. In exceptional cases a small amount of parking may be allowed on site (subject to mobility management plans and, workplace travel plans) as an incentive to promote the renewal / redevelopment of large strategic sites. This will only be feasible where the location and configuration of sites is such as to allow parking without causing undue local congestion or negative impact on pedestrian movements.

Zone 2


Parking Zone 2 reflects areas that are or will be accessible to mass transit on the form of Light Rail Transit or BusConnects and encompasses most the city suburbs.

Zone 3


Parking Zone 3 covers the Urban Towns of Blarney, Tower and Glanmire and the outer suburb of Rochestown. Although these areas have been identified for public transport improvements, the interventions currently being considered are not a the scale envisaged to allow for a more substantial reduction.

Zone 4


Parking Zone 4 covers the City Hinterland and the Hinterland Villages of Kerry Pike, Killeens and Upper Glanmire.


Separate standards are prescribed for the Docklands and Tivoli and are set out in Chapter 10 Key Growth Areas and Neighbourhood Development Areas.


Maximum parking requirements for all zones as set out in this plan will be reviewed periodically in tandem with the implementation of the measures and interventions identified in Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study (CMATS).

Land Use Category Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4
  City Centre & Inner City Ballincollig, City Suburbs and areas accessible to mass transit (existing or proposed LRT, Core Bus Network) Blarney, Glanmire, Tower, Rochestown Hinterland and Hinterland Villages
Maximum Standards: 1 space for each unit of gross floor area sq m unless otherwise indicated
(1-2 Bedroom)
0.5 1.0 1 + 0.25 spaces for visitor parking Case by Case
(3 - 3+ Bedroom)
1.0 2.0 2 + 0.25 spaces for visitor parking 2 plus 0.25 spaces for visitor parking
Docklands These areas have different car parking standards. Please refer to Chapter 10.

Elderly Person Dwellings

Warden Supervised
Group Housing Schemes

Sheltered Housing

0.25 0.5 0.5 1.0
Residential Institution None 1 per 20 bed spaces 1 per 10 bed spaces 1 per 10 bed spaces
Student Housing None 1 per 20 bed spaces 1 per 30 bedspaces Case by Case


Colleges of Further

0.5 Per
1 Per Classroom
1 Per 20 Students
1 Per 10 Students 1 Per Classroom
1 Per 5 Students
Schools 1 Per 5
1 Per 5
2 Per Classrooms 1 Per Classroom
Créches 1 Per 5
1 Per 5
2 Per Classrooms 1 Per Classroom
Places of Worship 50 Seats 30 Seats 20 Seats 10 Seats
Community & Recreational
250 150 75 50
Leisure: Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and Conferfencing
Commercial Leisure:
(Amusments Centres,
Play Centres, etc,)
1 Per 300 150 100 50
Conference Centres:
Public Areas
200 200 75 50
Hotel & Guest Houses
(Excl. Public Areas)
0.5 Per 5 Rooms 200 75 50
Restaurants / Takeaways
Café Bars, Public Houses
(Incl. Hotel Bars >100 sqm)
No Parking for Smaller
than 100 sqm
None None 1 Per 30 sqm 1 Per 20 sqm
Theatres, Cinemas and
50 Seats 30 Seats 10 Seats 10 Seats
Other Cultural, Recreational
& Leisure Uses
Dependent upon nature and location of use.
Convenience Retail 100 50 30 20
Retail (Including Retail
Office & Retail Services)
275 100 50 20
Retail Warehouse 200 100 75 30 (Net Sq. m.)
Showrooms 300 200 100 50
(In-Patient Facilities,
Nursing Homes)
1 Per 10
Patient Beds
1 Per 5 Patient Beds 1 Per 1 Patient Bed 1 Per 1 Patient Bed
100 sqm 80 sqm 60 sqm Case by case

Medical Clinics

Primary Health Care

1 Per
Consulting Room
1 Per
Consulting Room
1 Per
Consulting Room
Case by case
Employment: Including Offices, Industry Light and General
(Light and General)
400 300 200 80


Enterprise & Employment

500 300 200 100
Docklands These areas have different car parking standards. Please refer to Chapter 10.
Warehouse 500 400 300 200
Table 11.13: Maximum Car Parking Standards.


5% of car parking spaces provided should be set aside for disabled car parking. Where the nature of particular developments is likely to generate a demand for higher levels of disabled car parking the Planning Authority may require a higher proportion of parking for this purpose. Disabled car parking spaces should as far as possible be provided within streets and spaces as close as reasonably possible to building entrance points. All disabled parking should be allocated and suitably sign posted for convenient access. Parking bay widths for disabled persons will be a minimum of 3.0 metres wide by 4.75 metres long.


To encourage the use of Electric Vehicles (EV) developments shall provide the following minimum standards for EV charging points and infrastructure:
1. Multi-unit residential developments shall provide a minimum of one EV equipped parking space per five car parking. All other parking spaces shall be developed with appropriate infrastructure (ducting) that enables future installation of a charging point for EVs.
2. New dwellings with on-site car parking should be developed with appropriate infrastructure (ducting) that enables future installation of a charging point for EVs.
3. Other / non-residential development with more than 10 spaces shall provide at least 1 parking space equipped with a functioning EV charging point and at least 20% of spaces shall incorporate appropriate infrastructure (ducting) to allow for future fit out of a charging point.


Publicly accessible EV parking spaces should be clearly marked and be capable of communicating usage data with the National Charge Point Management System. EV parking spaces for disabled spaces should also be included in the development where these exist.


Motorcycle parking should be provided to meet the requirements of any development. Parking spaces should be provided on the basis of one motorcycle parking bay per 10 car parking spaces provided for non-residential developments and apartment developments. Spaces should be provided in locations convenient to building access points, similar to cycle parking requirements. Where parking is provided within streets and spaces drop-kerbs should be provided to facilitate access to motorcycle parking bays.


Bicycle parking facilities shall comply with the standards set out in Table 11.14 and be sheltered where possible and located close to main building entrances so that parking is both convenient and benefits from the direct surveillance of passersby. Bicycle stands should allow both the frame and wheels to be securely attached to a steel tube against which the frame of a bike can be leant and locked. These can either take the form of steelwork required for other reasons (e.g. tree guards or balustrade rails), or special stands. Stands should be similar to the “U” Sheffield type. However, Cork City Council is prepared to consider innovative types which satisfy the above requirement. Detailed guidelines in respect of cycle parking may be prepared during the lifetime of this Plan.


To support sustainable travel, all proposals for commercial development over 500 sqm should provide changing, shower, storage and drying facilities to encourage employees to walk, run or cycle to work.

Land Use Cycle Parking Requirement
Standard Apartments 1 Per Unit in City Centre / Inner Urban Areas
  0.50 Per Unit in Suburbs
Student Apartments 0.5 Per Bed Space
Convenience (Food) Store 1 Per 100m2 GFA
Shopping Centre 1 Per 200m2 GFA
Non Food Retail 1 Per 250m2 GFA
Retail Warehouses 1 Per 250m2 GFA
Retail Offices 1 Per 250m2 GFA
General Offices 1 Per 150m2 GFA
Business and Technology 1 Per 200m2 GFA
Light Industry (and related Uses) 1 Per 250m2 GFA
Warehousing and Distribution 1 Per 500m2 GFA
Hotel / Restaurant / Public House
Hotels 1 Per 10 Bedrooms
Public Houses and Hotel Bars 1 Per 200m2 GFA
Restaurants, Cafes 1 Per 200m2 GFA
Leisure Development
Cinema / Theatre 1 Per 30 Bedrooms
Fitness Centre/Sports Centre 1 Per 150m2 GFA
Non-Residential Institutions
Places of Worship 1 Per 50 Seats
Primary School 0.1 Per Student
Post Primary School 0.25 Per Student
Further and Higher Education 0.10 Per Staff
  0.25 Per Student
Crèches 1 Per 25 Children
Clinics/Surgeries 0.5 Spaces Per Room
Table 11.14: Bicycle Parking Requirements.

Climate Action and    Environmental Infrastructure

Renewable Energy


Applications for renewable energy will be considered in the context of current government policy and other policy objectives in this plan including visual impact, heritage and impacts on sensitive ecological sites.


Due to the largely built-up nature of Cork City’s functional area and proximity to residential areas, it is considered that the potential for large scale wind energy development is very limited and therefore generally not open for consideration. However, there may be potential for small or microscale wind energy development, which will be supported in appropriate locations. In assessing planning applications for wind energy developments, the Planning Authority will have regard to the ‘Wind Energy Development Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (2006), published by the DoEHLG, and the ‘Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines’ (2019).


Solar energy has the potential as a clean source of energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help achieve climate change targets on greenhouse gas emissions. The retrofitting of existing buildings and the integration of solar infrastructure into the design of new buildings will generally be encouraged.


In the assessment of any planning applications for solar farms, Cork City Council will consider these renewable energy developments having regard to:
1. Any future national guidance to be published on Solar Farms
2. The landscape character of the area in which the site is located
3. Visual impact
4. Glint and Glare
5. Ecology
6. Heritage and Archaeology
7. Security requirements such as CCTV, security lights, fencing
8. Construction impacts and impact on drainage patterns and water tables
9. Suitability of and access to the electricity grid
10. Decommissioning


Proposals for the installation of ground and air source heat pumps will need to demonstrate that the installation of the supporting infrastructure will not have significant adverse impacts on residential amenity by virtue of noise and vibration during installation and operation. In the case of ground source heat pumps, an assessment of any contamination risks and impacts on aquifers should be undertaken in support of the proposals.

District Heating


District Heating is a system for distributing heating comprising of a boiler which generates hot water and a network of connected underground pipes to distribute the hot water. Where practical, Cork City Council will facilitate district heating in new developments and retrofitting of existing buildings.



The assessment of any application for telecommunications antennae and support structures shall have regard to the following:
1. Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures, Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DECLG, 1996 and Circular Letter Pl 07/12 published by the DECLG in 2012.
2. The co-location of existing structures is encouraged and the construction of any new antennae or structure will only be considered when co-location is not a feasible option. Any proposal for a new structure or antennae should detail the requirements for the infrastructure and if so, why co-location is not feasible.
3. In identifying a suitable location for telecommunications structures consideration shall be given to the potential visual impact of the development and any sensitivities in the area in which the structure is proposed to be located. A Visual Impact Assessment of the development, including photomontages, may be required, depending on the nature of the development proposed.
4. Telecommunications Structures on visually sensitive elevated lands will only be considered where technical or coverage requirements mean the infrastructure is essential.

Water Supply and


All new developments will be required to connect to the public water and wastewater network, where available (or likely to be available). Applicants who need to get a new or modified connection to public water supply or wastewater collection infrastructure must liaise with Irish Water.


For individual on-site wastewater treatment systems, the standards and guidance on design, operation and maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment systems as set out in the EPA’s Code of Practice Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (PE. ≤10) (EPA 2009), and its replacement the EPA Code of Practice for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems (Population Equivalent ≤ 10) (2021), shall be complied with. Details of the location of any private well or connection to a mains water supply shall be indicated on a site layout plan.

Photo: Example of Sustaunable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) courtesy of Inland Fisheries.


Surface water attenuation and disposal details shall be included with any application. Details should show how surface water from the site can be disposed of within the boundaries of the site and shall not discharge onto the public road or adjoining property.


All new developments (including amendments / extensions to existing developments) will generally be required to incorporate Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), which offers a total solution to rainwater management and is applicable in both urban and rural situations. SUDS include devices such as swales, permeable pavements, filter drains, storage ponds, constructed wetlands, soakaways and green roofs. Development proposals will be required to be accompanied by a comprehensive SUDS assessment that addresses run-off quantity, run-off quality and its impact on the existing habitat and water quality.


The Flood Zones identified by the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (refer to the SFRA report that accompanies the Plan) should be used in line with the requirements provided for by the Flood Guidelines for land uses in Flood Zones A and B.


Land use zoning objectives provided by this Plan are subject to the following conditions:
1. Undeveloped land in Flood Zone A that is the subject of any zoning objective are only zoned for and shall only be developed for water compatible uses as identified in the Guidelines.
2. Undeveloped land in Flood Zone B that is the subject of any zoning objective are only zoned for and shall only be developed for water compatible or less vulnerable uses as identified in the Guidelines.
3. With respect to lands that have already been developed in Flood Zone A or B the potential conflict (between zoning and highly or less vulnerable development in Flood Zone A and between zoning and highly vulnerable development in Flood Zone B) will be avoided by applying the following zoning approach, subject to the exception areas set out in (iii):
(i) Cork City Council will facilitate the appropriate management and sustainable use of these areas. This will mean generally limiting new development, but facilitating existing development uses that may require small scale development such as small extensions. Development proposals within these areas shall be accompanied by a detailed Flood Risk Assessment, carried out in accordance with The Planning System and Flood Risk Assessment Guidelines and Circular PL 2/2014 (or as updated), which shall assess the risks of flooding associated with the proposed development.
(ii) Proposals shall only be considered favourably where it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority that they would not have adverse impacts or impede access to a watercourse, floodplain or flood protection and management facilities, or increase the risk of flooding to other locations and be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. The nature and design of structural and non-structural flood risk management measures required for development in such areas (see the Flood Risk Assessments section below) will also be required to be demonstrated, to ensure that flood hazard and risk will not be increased. Measures proposed shall follow best practice in the management of health and safety for users and residents of the development.
(iii) Exceptional areas are the already developed City Centre and Docklands areas, which have undergone Justification Tests and have been zoned for development, and established built-up areas of Cork City including suburban areas such as Model Farm Road / Carrigrohane Road area and Douglas. Future development in these areas will:
• be subject to site-specific flood risk assessments;
• comply with the flood risk management provisions of this Plan, including the structural and non-structural risk management measures outlined under Flood Risk Assessments below, and relevant measures contained in the Council’s 2020 South Docks Drainage Strategy; and
• will benefit from Flood Relief Schemes being progressed by the OPW.


The Council will have regard to the Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Local Authorities (DEHLG and OPW 2009) when assessing planning applications. All significant proposals for development identified as being vulnerable to flooding will be required to provide a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) in accordance with the Guidelines. A detailed site-specific FRA should quantify the risks, the effects of selected mitigation and the management of any residual risks.


Assessments shall consider and provide information on the implications of climate change with regard to flood risk in relevant locations. The 2009 OPW Draft Guidance on Assessment of Potential Future Scenarios for Flood Risk Management (or any superseding document) and available information from the CFRAM Studies shall be consulted to this effect.


In Flood Zone C, where the probability of flooding is low (less than 0.1%, Flood Zone C), site-specific Flood Risk Assessment may be required and the developer should satisfy themselves that the probability of flooding is appropriate to the development being proposed. This Development Plan’s SFRA datasets and the most up to date CFRAM Programme mapping should be consulted by prospective applicants for developments in this regard and will be made available to Development Management processes in the Council.


Further details are also included in Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastructure and Management.


Applications for vulnerable development in flood risk zones, including within Flood Zones A and B in the City Centre and the Dockland areas and in areas at risk under the OPW’s Mid-Range Future Scenario, shall provide details of structural and non-structural risk management measures to include, but not be limited to specifications of the following:

1. Floor Levels

In areas of limited flood depth, the specification of the threshold and floor levels of new structures shall be raised above expected flood levels to reduce the risk of flood losses to a building, by raising floor heights within the building structure using a suspended floor arrangement or raised internal concrete platforms.

When designing an extension or modification to an existing building, an appropriate flood risk reduction measure shall be specified to ensure the threshold levels into the building are above the design flood level. However, care must also be taken to ensure access for all is provided in compliance with Part M of the Building Regulations.

Where threshold levels cannot be raised to the street for streetscape, conservation or other reasons, the design shall specify a mixing of uses vertically in buildings - with less vulnerable uses located at ground floor level, along with other measures for dealing with residual flood risk.

2. Internal Layout

Internal layout shall be designed and specified to reduce the impact of flooding (e.g. living accommodation, essential services, storage space for provisions and equipment shall be designed to be located above the predicted flood level). In addition, designs and specifications shall ensure that, wherever reasonably practicable, the siting of living accommodation (particularly sleeping areas) shall be above flood level.

With the exception of single storey extensions to existing properties, new single storey accommodation shall not be deemed appropriate where predicted flood levels are above design floor levels. In all cases, specifications for safe access, refuge and evacuation shall be incorporated into the design of the development.

3. Flood-Resistant Construction

Developments in flood vulnerable zones should specify the use of flood-resistant construction aimed at preventing water from entering buildings - to mitigate the damage floodwater caused tobuildings.

Developments should specify the use of flood resistant construction prepared using specialist technical input to the design and specification of the external building envelope – with measures to resist hydrostatic pressure (commonly referred to as “tanking”) specified for the outside of the building fabric.

The design of the flood resistant construction shall specify the need to protect the main entry points for floodwater into buildings - including doors and windows (including gaps in sealant around frames), vents, air-bricks and gaps around conduits or pipes passing through external building fabric.

The design of the flood resistant construction should also specify the need to protect against flood water entry through sanitary appliances as a result of backflow through the drainage system. Developments in flood vulnerable zones that are at risk of occasional inundation should incorporate design and specification for flood resilient construction which accepts that floodwater will enter buildings and provides for this in the design and specification of internal building services and finishes. These measures limit damage caused by floodwater and allow relatively quick recovery. This can be achieved by specifying wall and floor materials such as ceramic tiling that can be cleaned and dried relatively easily, provided that the substrate materials (e.g. blockwork) are also resilient. Electrics, appliances and kitchen fittings should also be specified to be raised above floor level, and one-way valves shall be incorporated into drainage pipes.

4. Emergency Response Planning

In addition to considering physical design issues for developments in flood vulnerable zones, the developer shall specify that the planning of newdevelopment also takes account of the need for effective emergency response planning for flood events in areas of new development.

Applications for developments in flood vulnerable zones shall provide details that the following measures will be put in place and maintained:
• Provision of flood warnings, evacuation plans and ensuring public awareness of flood risks to people where they live and work;
• Coordination of responses and discussion with relevant emergency services i.e. Local Authorities, Fire and Rescue, Civil Defence and An Garda Siochána through the SFRA; and
• Awareness of risks and evacuation procedures and the need for family flood plans.
• Access and Egress During Flood Events
• Applications for development in flood vulnerable zones shall include details of arrangements for access and egress during flood events. Such details shall specify that:
• Flood escape routes have been kept to publicly accessible land;
• Such routes will have signage and other flood awareness measures in place, to inform local communities what to do in case of flooding; and
• This information will be provided in a welcome pack to new occupants.


Further and more detailed guidance and advice can be found at http://www.flooding.ie and in the Building Regulations.

Soil Protection,
Contamination and


As part of major development proposals, adequate soil protection measures should be undertaken where appropriate. Appropriate investigations should be carried out into the nature and extent of any soil and groundwater contamination and the risks associated with site development work, where brownfield development is proposed. The EPA’s publication Code of Practice: Environmental Risk Assessment for Unregulated Waste Disposal Sites (2007) should be considered as relevant.

Management of
Construction Sites


It will be a requirement of any major planning permission for residential, community, employment, or, infrastructure related development that a Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) be prepared for the construction phase of the development. The Construction and Environmental Management Plan should include details such as:
1. Hours of operation.
2. Construction/phasing programme.
3. Traffic Management Plan.
4. Noise and Dust Mitigation Measures.
5. Details of any construction lighting including appropriate mitigation measures for lighting specifically designed to minimise impacts to biodiversity, including bats.
6. The management of construction and demolition waste.
7. Containment of all construction-related fuel and oil within specially constructed bunds to ensure that fuel spillages are fully contained (such bunds shall be roofed to exclude rainwater).
8. A water and sediment management plan, providing for means to ensure that surface water runoff is controlled such that no silt or other pollutants enter local water courses or drains.
9. Details of a water quality monitoring and sampling plan.
10. Measures adopted during construction to prevent the spread of invasive species (such as Japanese Knotweed).
11. If peat is encountered - a peat storage, handling and reinstatement management plan.

Refuse Storage


Adequate bin storage provision shall be made for the storage, segregation, and recycling of waste in residential developments. In the case of communal refuse storage provision, the collection point for refuse should be accessible both to the external collector and to the resident and be secured against illegal dumping by non-residents. These shall be well screened from public view and adequately ventilated.

Scheme Sustainability


The built environment will play a key role in addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation and all development proposals will be encouraged to explore and incorporate climate action measures. Large scale development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how this has been taken forward through the evolution of the scheme by submitting a Scheme Sustainability Statement in support of the planning application(s).


All planning applications involving developments of 25 or more homes or over 500sqm of commercial floorspace should be accompanied by a Scheme Sustainability Statement demonstrating how the proposal positively responds to the impact of climate change through mitigation and adaption measures. The Scheme Sustainability Statement should, as a minimum, demonstrate how the following climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations inform the proposal:
1. How the location, siting, layout, design and drainage proposals maximise climate adaptation opportunities.
2. How the SUDS strategy integrates the four pillars of SUDS Design – water quantity, water quality, amenity and biodiversity.
3. The use of green roofs other green infrastructure as a means of contributing towards sustainable urban drainage, improving biodiversity and influencing heat loss/gain from the building.
4. Energy efficiency through thermal insulation, passive ventilation and cooling, passive solar design and any technologies used to help occupants better manage energy usage.
5. The use of district, renewable and/or low-carbon energy supply opportunities.
6. How the proposals at all stages embrace the Circular Economy approach in relation to waste management from construction through to the operation of the building(s).
7. How noise and air pollution will be managed across all stages of development from construction through to operation of the building(s).


As part of the Scheme Sustainability Statement, applicants will be required to demonstrate how these considerations were explored and taken forward through the evolution of the development proposal and where they have not been taken forward, reasons are given as to why the measures were not technically feasible or viable. The level of information and commitments within the Statement should be proportionate to the scale and complexity of the development proposal.

Freedom of the City Art Competition


  • 1-  Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DHPLG 2018

Assessment of Implications of Urban Density, Building Height and Tall Building Study.
Please see attached document.
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