I thank the Deputy for the question. Under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on individual planning cases. Under Project Ireland 2040, including the national planning framework, the Government has taken a broadly welcomed lead on moving away from sprawl to more compact urban growth as a key mechanism to support proper planning and sustainable development, as well as action on climate change and congestion.
Project Ireland 2040 restates the commitment to implement statutory planning guidelines on sustainable residential development in urban areas, which were published by my Department in 2009. These guidelines generally require densities in the range of 35 to 50 dwellings per hectare in urban areas and more than 50 dwellings per hectare in more central urban areas. Many examples of the successful achievement of these density levels are set out in an accompanying urban design manual, which is available on the Department’s website. In addition, it is important to note that the guidelines also provide scope for densities under 35 dwellings per hectare in smaller towns and villages, to assist in delivering sustainable urban housing alternatives to one-off rural houses. I am satisfied that the 2009 guidelines are entirely consistent with the compact urban growth objective of the national planning framework. My Department will continue to engage with local authorities, the home building industry and other sectoral interests to address any issues arising, particularly in the context of the amendments to be made to development plans as part of the roll-out of the national planning framework.