With regard to co-living development, I indicated in a letter dated 23rd November 2020 to all local authorities, An Bord Pleanála and the Office of the Planning Regulator, that my preferred approach was to restrict commercial co-living development, through an update of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2018 document, with a Specific Planning Policy Requirement (SPPR) for a presumption against granting planning permission for Co-Living/Shared Accommodation Development.
This preferred approach was subject to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening process in accordance with Regulations that give effect to the EU SEA Directive and which require a mandatory four-week consultation with the relevant environmental authorities. The consultation period was completed on 21 December 2020 and gave rise to no further issues.
Further to the SEA screening process, I issued the updated Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (December 2020), as Ministerial guidance under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) on 23 December 2020.
The updated apartment guidelines now include a Specific Planning Policy Requirement (SPPR) for a presumption against granting planning permission for co-living/shared accommodation development, and replace the previous, 2018 version of the guidelines. The December 2020 changes relate solely to the ‘Shared Accommodation’ (Co-living) aspects of the guidance.
The 2018 guidelines remain in effect for planning applications that had already been submitted prior to the publication of the updated Guidelines on 23 December 2020. Any planning applications and consequent appeals, or SHD applications made after the date of publication of the updated guidelines, will be subject to the updated guidelines.
The letter I issued to planning authorities on 23 December 2020 was accompanied by the updated technical guidance, Design Standards for New Apartments: Guidelines for Planning Authorities (December 2020) and are available on the website at the following link: