In March 2018, I published updated Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), to respond to the changing housing needs in light of demographics and the dynamics in the urban employment market. An extensive public consultation process took place prior to finalisation of the guidelines, during which 63 submissions were made to my Department, all of which are available on my Department’s website. My Department also hosted a consultative workshop prior to finalising the guidelines.
The updated guidelines set out policy in relation to a range of apartment types needed to meet the accommodation needs of a variety of household types and sizes. This includes the introduction of the ‘Shared Accommodation’ or ‘Co-Living’ format. This format comprises professionally managed rental accommodation, where individual rooms are rented within an overall development that includes access to shared or communal facilities and amenities. Such developments are only appropriate where responding to an identified urban housing need at particular locations; they are not envisaged as an alternative or replacement to the more conventional apartment developments which are provided for elsewhere in the guidelines. To date, the number of planning applications submitted for this type of development appears to have been extremely low, relative to the total number of planning applications for residential development overall.
In view of the relatively recent issuing of the guidelines, the extensive public consultation that took place prior to their finalisation, and the need to see out the practical implementation of the guidelines, particularly with regard to shared accommodation. I am satisfied that the guidelines as issued are robust and I do not propose to review the guidelines at this time.
However, given the relatively new nature of this form of accommodation, my Department will monitor the emerging shared accommodation sector and may issue further additional technical updates to this document as appropriate.