Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Planning Issues.

  664. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the way in which he intends to respond to demands from residents associations in the Dublin area, particularly in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area, for legislation on height and density limits on building development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34297/05]

  Mr. Roche: The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county development plan, 2004-10, was adopted in March 2004 and came into effect on 20 April 2004 following an intensive two year preparation period which included extensive public consultation. The objectives incorporated in the plan include building sustainable communities and maintaining existing population levels within built-up areas. Housing demand and demographic factors are an integral part of the council’s housing strategy which forms part of the county development plan.

Regarding the scale of buildings, the county development plan sets out policies on building height and scale. In evaluating the scale and height of proposed developments the plan states it is the policy of the council to balance strategic planning needs with the visual impact of relevant proposals and their effect on existing amenities, particularly residential amenities. The objective is to ensure the proposed development is either capable of being absorbed into its physical context or, alternatively, is clearly demonstrated to be of such a high quality of architectural merit and design that it makes a positive visual contribution to the existing environment.

The incorporation of objectives in development plans in respect of matters such as height and density of building development is a reserved function of the local authority elected members in the adoption of their development plans, taking account of relevant national policies. There is no proposal to bring forward further legislation regarding these matters.