Chapter 15: Development Management Standards

Closed20 May, 2021, 9:00am - 30 Jul, 2021, 4:30pm


15.1        Introduction – Aims

This part of the plan is concerned with the standards, which will be applied to development proposals.

The aim of this chapter is to:

  • Promote, guide and enforce high standards of development quality in urban and rural areas throughout the County having regard to quality of life, the environment, community, the economy and surrounding areas in a manner that supports the sustainable development for all of the people within the County in an equitable manner.

It is envisaged that the standards as set out in this plan would be applied in a flexible manner, in particular circumstances where proposed development is otherwise consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and achieves high design quality. The achievement of the policy objectives of the plan and the encouragement of good design, rather than the mechanistic application of development standards, will be the aim of development management.

The Council is required to manage development to ensure that permissions granted under the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) are consistent with the policy objectives of the Development Plan. In making a decision on any individual planning application, the Planning Authority is restricted to considering the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, having regard to the matters provided for under Section 34 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended). This section of the Act sets out in detail the considerations which the Planning Authority must take account of, including the provisions of the Development Plan, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2007) issued by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, other relevant Ministerial or Government policies and any submission or observations made in accordance with the Planning Regulations.

The Department produces a range of guidelines designed to help Planning Authorities, An Bord Pleanala, developers and the general public, details of which can be viewed on the DECLG’s website at

Guidelines produced under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) are relevant to and applicable to development proposals in County Galway.

15.1.1    Proper Planning and Sustainable Development

When making a Development Plan, the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) requires Planning Authorities to consider proper planning and sustainable development of the area. There are 3 dimensions to sustainable development; economic, social and environmental and these dimensions should not be undertaken in isolation, because they are mutually dependent. The Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy titled Our Sustainable Future, A Sustainable Future for Ireland 2012 - states that ‘economic growth, social cohesion and environmental sustainability must move forward in a mutually supportive manner’.

Therefore to achieve sustainable development, economic, social and environmental gains should be sought jointly and simultaneously through the planning system and in the implementation of this plan.

The DM Standards that follow apply to the entire administrative area of the County including Local Area Plan (LAP) areas.

15.1.2    Development Management Standards

The following sections set out the key standards and guidance for different development types as follows:

  • Placemaking, Regeneration and Urban Living
  • Rural Living and Development
  • Economic Enterprise and Retail
  • Transport and Movement
  • Infrastructure, Utilities and Environmental Protection
  • Tourism and Landscape
  • Marine and Coastal Management
  • Natural Heritage, Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure
  • Community Development and Social Infrastructure
  • Architecture, Archaeology and Culture
  • Climate Change, Energy and Renewable Energ

15.2 Placemaking, Regeneration and Urban Living

15.2.1  Introduction

Planning, designing and managing change to create places that enhance the quality of life are at the heart of the Plan. To succeed in achieving this requires all the interrelated social, environmental and economic themes to be considered together and find ways to make solutions be planned and designed to respond to many themes and opportunities as possible at the same time.

The Policy Objectives and supporting narrative for placemaking in Chapter 3 Placemaking, Regeneration and Urban Living promote this way of thinking from the earliest stages of development planning, design and management of proposed development and regeneration. Developers, homeowners, designers, land and asset managers should ensure they consider the Strategic Aims from the outset and how their proposals can contribute to the delivery of them as appropriate.

15.2.2    Applicable to All Development

DM Standard 1: Qualitative Assessment-Design Quality, Guidelines and Statements

The main requirement for a qualitative assessment regarding development in towns and villages shall have regard to the following:


The placemaking process will be delivered through the universal application of best practice urban design principles to all new developments. This requires all development proposals to contribute to well serviced integrated residential, commercial and employment development that is accessible to a range of community facilities, public transport infrastructure and other local services. Development must enhance sustainability, sustainable modes of transport and contribute to the attractiveness of a town or village. Residential development proposals must have regard to the 12 urban design criteria. Note that these criteria should also be considered for other development types such as employment, commercial or mixed use developments as appropriate.


Achieving good placemaking requires an holistic approach to understanding, planning, designing and managing complex interrelated issues and demands that shape places. Masterplans should be prepared in accordance with industry best practice to ensure that the:

•             Key social, environmental and economic issues and opportunities are identified

•             Priorities to be addressed are agreed and represent a well balanced response to needs

•             Voices of all the key stakeholders are fairly represented and reflected in proposed development

•             Proposed development will meet the aims of Policy Objectives set out within the plan

•             Proposals are viable, deliverable and sustainable for the long term.

Planning applications for development as deemed appropriate by the planning authority shall follow a best practice masterplan approach to enable an appropriate Design Statement to be submitted with the planning application. Masterplans shall also be developed to as appropriate to guide potential regeneration of towns and villages.

The Council will endeavour to work closely and collaboratively with all the key stakeholders including landowners, developers and appropriate agencies from the earliest stages in the planning and design of masterplans.

Design Statements

Significant development proposals will be required to submit Design Statements which will be determined by scale and impact the latter of which will vary depending on the development location and the pertinent sensitivities. The design statement must demonstrate the suitability of the proposed design solution to the site context in accordance with the relevant urban design criteria. They should include a detailed explanation with illustrations where necessary the design principles and design concept. This should refer to the development layout, landscape, sale and mix, details of materials should also be included. The statement should show how the development will contribute to the process of placemaking. Particular reference should also include:

  • A site analysis;
  • A concept plan or masterplan as deemed appropriate;
  • A statement demonstrating hour the 12 urban design criteria set out in the Sustainable Residential Guidelines for Planning Authorities;
  • Quality audit addressing street design as outlined within the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets;
  • Reference to the contribution of the development to the quality of public realm surrounding the development;
  • Demonstrate compliance with the Policy Objectives set out within the plan;

A degree of flexibility will apply to the requirements of Design Statements and other DM standards. Each town or village has its own set of circumstances which require flexible tailored design solutions where a proposal accords with specific planning standards and requirements.

Universal Access

Universal design is the design of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. Circulation within housing layouts, including access to individual buildings, open spaces and facilities, should have regard to the varying needs of occupants over their lifetimes, including needs associated with impaired mobility. Innovative dwelling design shall be encouraged in order to facilitate the potential future provision of adaptable and accessible accommodation.

Proposed development should ensure that inequalities of access to open space and other facilities specific to the local context are understood and influence the proposed provision and design to respond to them.

Crime Prevention through Design

A reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour can be achieved through the careful consideration of the building layout and the environmental design of a development. Consideration of how a proposed scheme may work and the early identification of areas of potential concern should be undertaken at the outset to identify any potential problems.


A thorough understanding of context is necessary to ensure well considered, context responsive and integrated outcomes are delivered.

The context relates to all the key social, environmental and economic characteristics and drivers specific to the application site and its location. Well planned, designed, and managed development should set out the process undertaken to understand the baseline context, what the key drivers are from analysis of the baseline condition and the specific actions that will be taken to ensure sustainable development is delivered that meets the requirements of the Policy Objectives in Chapter 3.

The following principles to understand the context should be considered:

Identify Needs:  Well planned and designed places respond to the needs of people and the environment, which are highly context specific. Key areas to identify needs that should be considered include the following:

•             Housing and Employment

•             Social and Economic

•             Services, Infrastructure and Transport

•             Nature and Biodiversity

•             Quality, Quantity and Location of Open Space

•             Health and Wellbeing

•             Cultural Heritage

•             Environment

•             Education

•             Community infrastructure

This is not an exhaustive list of topic areas and pre-application discussions will agree the scope of technical assessment and investigation appropriate to the proposed development and its context.

Carry out the appropriate baseline environmental and technical appraisal and assessment in accordance with best practice regulations and guidelines. This should include understanding of national and regional planning strategies and policy objective requirements and how this relates to the project.

Identify Priorities:  Establish the priorities that proposed development should address. Some priorities will need to be addressed on site to comply with planning and to ensure good placemaking is delivered for occupants and end users. Other priorities will be identified off site, which deliver the widest benefits for people. Close collaboration with key stakeholders to agree the priorities for action and a well coordinated strategy for responding to them should be summarised and documented to transparently show how:

•             All planning issues have been taken into account in the development of the proposal;

•             Specific actions that seek win-win outcomes where possible have been agreed and explaining trade-offs and balances made.

Design Quality

The Policy Objectives relating to design within Chapter 3 emphasise the importance of a thoughtful approach to planning and design as an essential part of ensuring attractive, efficient, sustainable and deliverable outcomes. The following guidance is included as indicators to assist those involved in the planning application process to develop and evaluate proposals to be more successful at delivering the aims and policy objectives plan. This guidance should be considered together with published national policy, standards and guidance as appropriate.

  • The physical characteristics of a site, particularly the constraints, should influence the design response as a basic pre-requisite to achieving good quality design that is deliverable and viable.
  • Proposals should aim to turn constraints into opportunities and protect site features as assets.
  • The proposed layout of development should make efficient use of land. This includes all elements of built form, landscape and infrastructure.
  • The principles of multifunctional planning and design should be applied and clearly demonstrated.
  • All the constituent parts of the development should have a readily identifiable purpose and functions. There should be no ‘left-over’ space. External space should either be placed within private plots or be in purposeful and multifunctional public open space.
  • Consideration should be given to the potential effects of change in the future when developing the layout of proposed development, such as advances in transport technology and how our external space layout and design can be future proofed to adapt easily.
  • Access and movement should ensure that the site is divided into regular shaped land parcels to deliver flexibility of development options in response to market demand.
  • The routing of proposed infrastructure should respect important site features and avoid causing damage to valuable green and blue infrastructure assets.
  • Proposed infrastructure such as services and utilities should be coordinated with the proposed access and movement network and service runs should be consolidated for ease of access without compromising amenity.

Built Form

The following points should also guide the approach to planning and design of built form together with published industry best practice guidance:

  • The primary building line should be set back a consistent distance from the edge of the street/space. There should be a consistent eve height and design on built elevations. Both of these principles are essential if design measures are to be introduced to create variation that does not create a visually confusing street.
  • Scope for variation in the street is supported, but this should be designed to be orderly.
  • Use rhythm in the design is important to achieve this. Elements that should be used to create rhythm include:
    • In the public realm: The consistent location of street trees, street furniture, light columns and the arrangement and treatment of on street car parking.
    • In the built form: Orderly variation can be achieved through rhythm in the design and arrangement of windows, the articulation of built elevation including features like recesses, doorways, stair and lift cores and arrangement of accent features or finishes.
  • The design of the boundary defining the public and private space along the street should be consistent in height and finish.
  • There should be consistent application of a refined palette of architectural design styles, materials, colours, tones and finishes in the open space and built form.
  • Variation in plot width should be arranged in an orderly way and not randomly along the street.
  • Where different design styles of built form is proposed, these should not be located randomly along the street, but grouped together in blocks. The consistent design of the public street and plot boundaries is particularly important to unify the street scene in such instances.

In residential areas where garages are proposed, these should be set back at a consistent distance from the boundary and be located to the same side of properties.


Convenient access needs to be provided between and within areas, particularly to larger community and commercial facilities and to places of work. Routes within the area should be accessible for everyone and as direct as possible. The design process should consider what levels of permeability are appropriate for different street users, with permeability for pedestrians and cyclists taking precedence over permeability for vehicles.

River paths for walkers and cyclists can provide attractive connections within and between areas. In the interests of security, it is necessary that all pedestrian and cycle links be designed in such a way so as to be overlooked.

15.2.3 Guidelines for Residential in Towns and Villages

DM Standard 2: Multiple Housing Schemes (Urban Areas)

Town and Village Centre Infill Sites

Development of infill and brownfield sites for residential or mixed use will be supported in suitable town and village centre locations. Such development must respect the character and appearance of the settlement and contribute to the delivery of good placemaking.

Ideally centrally located brownfield developments should include a level of ground floor activity such as retail, office or commercial to increase footfall in the surrounding area. Where this is not possible a clear justification is required with supporting documentation to have flexible approach.

Infill proposals should consider other site circumstances relating to:

  • The existing pattern of development, density, plot size, building height;
  • Impact on residential amenity, daylight, loss of privacy, overlooking;
  • The provision of private open space for existing and proposed properties;
  • Car parking standards;
  • Building orientation.

A degree of flexibility may apply to infill sites who cannot facilitate certain standards, particularly if it contributes to sustainable compact development.

Opportunity Sites

Opportunity sites identified in the towns and villages are centrally brownfield sites that could make a positive contribution to the town or village. A mix of uses will be supported on brownfield sites to make an area more attractive. The character of the town or village shall be preserved along with residential amenity of neighbouring properties.

Opportunity site proposals should consider other site circumstances relating to:

  • The existing pattern of development, density, plot size, building height;
  • Impact on residential amenity, daylight, loss of privacy, overlooking;
  • The provision of private open space for existing and proposed properties;
  • Car parking standards;
  • Building orientation.

A degree of flexibility may apply to opportunity sites who cannot facilitate certain standards, particularly if it contributes to sustainable compact development.

Density and Typology

Guidance relating to density is set out within the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Developments in Urban Areas. It is calculated simply by dividing the site area by the number of residential units proposed. Chapter 2 Core Strategy, Settlement Strategy and Housing Strategy sets the standard density at 35 Dwellings Per Hectare. However, to achieve the aspirations of the NPF a higher density level may be applied at strategic locations with good access to public transport services. Higher density development will only be applied where appropriate and where a good standard of development is proposed.

Building Height

Landmark buildings of significant height may be appropriate in certain urban locations with good access to local services and public transport. This is supported in the Urban Development and Building Height Guidelines 2018 which provide comprehensive detail in relation to the assessment and considerations of a planning application of a tall building. SPPR 1 of the guidelines outlines Government’s increasing support for building height and density in locations with good public transport, particularly in town cores. The impact of a tall building must be thoroughly assessed. Applications should include a Design Statement in accordance with DM Standard 1 above. As well as impact on character and amenity the implications of a tall building in terms of microclimate, daylight, shadow study should also be considered.

Public Open Space

The provision of high quality accessible public open space should be set out as an integral part of the design process for proposed development. Deficiency of open space can vary in complexity and are highly context specific. For example, there may not be enough open space for the number of people living in an area. In other instances, there may be enough open space, but the mix of uses including provision for outdoor sport, play, relaxation or local food growing does not meet the needs of the community.

The proximity of open space to where people live, and work is an important factor underpinning the creation of the successful walkable neighbourhood. The closer people are to good open space, the more likely they are to use it and derive all the benefits that come from this. Co-location of open space uses, particularly in larger open spaces, should be considered and well-integrated to maximise the benefits to people, nature and the environment.

It is acknowledged that meeting the open space standard for quantity and location will be difficult or impossible in some circumstances. The planning authority will take a flexible approach in the interests of delivering good quality development and the wider Policy Objectives for placemaking. The barriers to delivery of the open space standard should be made clear by the applicant and collaborate with the council and stakeholders to overcome them in the first instance. This will involve working with developers, landowners, businesses, communities and stakeholders to ensure that the approach to identification of open space identifies creative solutions that delivers the maximum benefits overall.

The maintenance of public open space will be considered as appropriate as part of the application assessment. Open space calculations must be derived from accessible open space that is of a good standard for members of the public.

Natural Features

The layout of the development should be designed around the retention of existing natural features and features that form part of our built and cultural heritage. This would include any existing trees, hedgerows, watercourses and landform features, as well as buildings and places of interest for instance.

Design Innovation

Innovation in layout is of key importance. New types of layout, for example the creation of home-zones, will be encouraged.


A high standard of landscaping is an essential part of high quality new developments. Plans for landscaping, including hard and soft landscaping, should be submitted at planning application stage. In general, indigenous planting suitable to the local site and soil conditions should be used.

Safety and Security

The layout and design of new developments should consider appropriate Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to ensure the safety and security of residents and other users. This is set out in Chapter 11 Community Development and Social Infrastructure. Opportunities for vandalism and anti-social behaviour should be reduced to the greatest possible extent by ensuring that: areas used by the public (such as open spaces, footpaths, roads and parking areas) are overlooked by housing; there is adequate accessibility, visibility and lighting, particularly for pedestrians; a clear demarcation of public, semi-public and private areas is created; etc.

Traffic Safety and Management

The quality of the layout of developments and the manner in which it addresses traffic management and safety is vital to the creation of successful walkable neighbourhoods. Access and movement planning and design should seek to minimise conflict between pedestrians/cyclists and vehicular traffic wherever possible. Creative approaches to the design of multifunctional streets and roads which reduce the speed and perceived dominance of vehicles is encouraged, such as the arrangement of on street parking, street trees, narrowing of carriageways at pedestrian crossings etc. Streets and road design should not impede the ease of pedestrians/cyclists movement to key destinations within or beyond the development. These standards must be complied with in accordance with the Policy Objectives of Chapter 6 Transport and Movement.

Cycling Facilities

Ensuring there is adequate infrastructure provided in new development to support people in making the choice to adopt active travel is important to achieve the aspirations of the policy objectives set out in Chapters 3 and 6.

Phasing of Development

All applications for large/medium residential development shall include a phasing plan. Phasing proposals shall ensure that open space and infrastructure to serve dwellings in a given phase e.g. public lighting, footpaths, and community facilities such as crèches and playgrounds are completed to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority prior to the initiation of the succeeding phase.

Additional Standards for Residential Development

Side Boundaries

In general, it is desirable that all new houses shall have a minimum clear distance of 2 meters to the side boundaries of the site and shall not have first floor side window living room oriented in such a manner so as to cause overlooking and loss of privacy to other residential properties. Both the front and rear boundaries of each site in addition to the overall site must be suitably delineated with the use of block walls either, plastered/not plastered and capped/uncapped being the normal requirement.

Private Open Space

Private Open Space shall be designed for maximum privacy and oriented for maximum sunshine and shelter. In general, a minimum back to back distance between dwellings of 22 meters shall apply in order to protect privacy, sunlight and avoid undue overlooking. Reductions will be considered in the case of single storey developments and/or innovative schemes where it can be demonstrated that adequate levels of privacy, natural lighting and sunlight can be achieved.

Estate Names and Numbering

Residences in housing estates shall be numbered in accordance with a naming and numbering scheme

to be agreed with the Planning Authority prior to the commencement of development. The estate name shall be prominently and clearly displayed at the entrance to the estate and the naming and numbering of individual cul-de-sacs shall also have appropriate signage. New developments shall be required to consult with Coiste Logainmneacha Chontae na Gaillimhe, the Galway County Council Placename Committee, and to identify an appropriate name for new development shall reflect the local heritage and character of the area.

Housing Layout Assessment

Where land is being developed for housing, the following considerations will be taken into account in the assessment of the proposal:

• The need for land and public services to be used economically;

• Appropriate density;

• The adequacy of present and future community facilities;

• Adequate privacy for individual dwelling units;

• The safety of proposed layouts and the capacity of existing roads to absorb future development;

• Adequate provision for car parking, EV charging points, open space, landscaping and planting;

• Integration with existing development and the preservation of features on site.

Taking in Charge

Developers intending on having residential developments “Taken in Charge” by the Local Authority shall engage with the relevant personnel in the Planning Authority with regard to the requirements of same to ensure compliance with appropriate standards and the Grant of Permission and ensure an orderly handover of services, roads, etc on completion of the development. Individual wastewater treatment plants serving housing developments will not be taken in charge.

Unfinished Estates

Emphasis will continue to be placed on successfully completing and consolidating these estates in line with any in place Site Resolution Plans. Appropriate density controls, phasing and high design standards will be required in all settlements for future residential developments.


The Council will require daylight and shadow projection diagrams to be submitted in all proposals where buildings of a significant height are involved or where new buildings are located very close to adjoining buildings. This will provide an element of control in situations where overlooking occurs. In general, there should be a distance of 22 metres between opposing first floor windows. This separation distance will be increased for developments over two storeys in height.

Bin Storage

Each residential unit shall have adequate storage for three wheeled bins. Residential units with no rear access shall provide adequate storage for the bins to the front of the development, in appropriately designed contained units. For residential units without suitable private open space a set of three x 240 litre bins shall be provided for a block of 10 apartments. All external storage including bin storage, oil tanks etc. shall be visually screened from the public areas with adequate screening by fencing or walls of appropriate height.

Dwelling Mix

All residential schemes should ensure an appropriate mix of housing typologies and unit sizes to support the provision of a variety of household types and tenures that accord with the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas.

The changing nature of the age profile of the County requires greater consideration of the housing needs of an ageing population. For those who wish to continue to live independently in their community but wish to downsize, it is imperative to offer a range of attractive and appropriately located accommodation choices which will in turn will enable the underutilisation of larger houses, particularly in more established areas, to be addressed. Design of accommodation needs to take account of the needs of persons with a disability.

Housing with long term adaptability and potential for flexibility allows for change as circumstances alter or families grow. Adaptability that allows for the alteration of the fabric of a building and flexibility which allows for spaces to accommodate a range of uses are key considerations in the design of a home.

 Residential Density

 Dwelling Units/Ha

 Dwelling Units/Acre

 Possible Appropriate Locations

Medium to High



Town centre or immediately adjacent to public transport hubs.

Low to Medium




Neighbourhood centres

(typically within 400m

walking distance of centre point), inner urban suburbs.




Urban periphery, outlying lands, areas with capacity/ environmental constraints

Table 15.1: Residential Density

DM Standard 3: Apartment Developments (Urban Areas)

The design of apartment type development should be guided by the Design Standards for New Apartments - Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2018) (or as updated/superseded) in relation to all issues in relation to apartment development. In general apartments are only considered appropriate in town centres.

Multiple Housing Schemes in Towns and Villages

All applications for new residential developments in urban areas will be assessed having regard to the standards set out in this section of the Development Plan.

Proposals for significant housing schemes must include a design brief or design statement in accordance with the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas-Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2009.

To achieve good urban design in residential developments, (including apartment developments), the 12 Urban Design Principles set out in the Urban Design Manual-A Best Practice Guide 2009 (including any updated/superseding document) should be taken into account in designing schemes.

Quality of Proposed Layout and Elevations

The quality of the residential environment will be paramount in the acceptability of planning applications for multiple housing schemes. Layouts, elevations and design must be designed to create a strong sense of identity, place and community. The Council will seek to achieve a high standard of design through the provisions of the statutory plans and the development management process. However, as set out in the DoEHLG Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas Guidelines 2009, including its accompanying document Urban Design Manual-Best Practice Guide 2009 – where the design is of such poor quality as to result in a sub-standard housing environment, permission will be refused.

15.2.4 Other Residential Development (Rural and Urban)

DM Standard 4 – House Extensions (Urban and Rural)

Proposed extensions shall:

• In general, be subordinate to the existing dwelling in its size, unless in exceptional cases, a larger extension compliments the existing dwelling in its design and massing;

• reflect the window proportions, detailing and finishes, texture, materials and colour unless a high quality contemporary and innovatively designed extension is proposed;

• not have an adverse impact on the amenities of adjoining properties through undue overlooking, undue overshadowing and/or an over dominant visual impact; and

• carefully consider site coverage to avoid unacceptable loss of private open space.

DM Standard 5 - Dependent Relative Accommodation/Granny Flats (Urban and Rural)

Proposals for this accommodation should demonstrate:

  • A bona-fide need for such a unit;
  • A physical connection to the main house with direct access to the main dwelling;
  • That the proposal does not impact adversely on either the residential amenities of the existing property or the residential amenities of the area;

That the accommodation can revert back to being part of the original house when no longer occupied by a member of the family.

All applications for family flat development shall comply with the following criteria:

  • The flat shall form an integral part of the structure of the main house with provision for direct internal access to the remainder of the house i.e. not detached;
  • The flat shall be modest in size and shall not have more than one bedroom (2 bedrooms in exceptional circumstances). The unit shall not exceed a gross floor area of 50 square metres;
  • The flat shall not have a separate access provided to the front elevation of the dwelling;
  • There shall be no permanent subdivision of the garden/private amenity space;
  • The flat shall remain in the same ownership as that of the existing dwelling on site. In this regard, the flat shall not be let, sold or otherwise transferred, other than as part of the overall property;
  • The design proposed shall enable the flat to easily fully revert to being part of the original house when no longer occupied by the family member(s);
  • If the site is not connected to public mains, the existing wastewater treatment system on site must be capable for any additional loading from the flat, and if not proposals should be submitted to accommodate the additional loading.

DM Standard 6 – Domestic Garages (Urban and Rural)

  • The design, form and materials should be ancillary to, and consistent with the main dwelling on site;
  • Structures should generally be detached and sited to the rear of the dwelling house and be visually subservient in terms of size, scale and bulk;
  • Storage facilities should be used solely for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling and not for any commercial, manufacturing, industrial use or habitable space in the absence of prior planning consent for such use

15.3 Rural Living and Development

15.3.1 Rural Housing

DM Standard 7: Rural Housing

In order to substantiate a rural housing need the following documentation will be required:

• Justification for location as proposed;

• Land registry maps and associated documentation;

• Proof of local connection to an area;

• Any other details that may be deemed necessary at time of application by the Planning Authority.

DM Standard 8 – Site Selection and Design

Apply the following guidance in assessing planning applications for rural housing:

Site Selection and Design

  • The scale, form, design and siting of the development should be sensitive to its surroundings and visually integrate with the receiving landscape.
  • Simple design forms and materials reflective of traditional vernacular should be used.
  • Have regard to the scale of surrounding buildings. A large house requires a large site to ensure effective integration into its surroundings (either immediately or in the future, through planned screening
  • A visual impact assessment may be required where the proposal is located in an area identified as “Protected Views/Scenic Routes” in the Landscape Character Assessment of the County or in Class 3 and 4 designated landscape sensitivity areas.
  • The design, siting and orientation of a new dwelling should be site specific responding to the natural features and topography of the site to best integrate development with the landscape and to optimise solar gain to maximise energy efficiency.
  • The siting of new development shall visually integrate with the landscape, utilising natural features including existing contours and established field boundaries and shall not visually dominates the landscape. (Cutting and filling of sites is not desirable).
  • New buildings should respect the landscape context and not impinge scenic views or skylines as seen from vantage points or public roads.
  • Larger houses (e.g. in excess of 200sqm) should incorporate design solutions to minimise visual mass and scale e.g. sub-divided into smaller elements of traditional form to avoid bulky structures.
  • Use a simple plan form to give a clean roof shape – a long plan in preference to a deep plan. This will avoid the creation of a bulky shape.
  • Where existing vernacular structures exist on site, consideration should be given to their re-use, adaptation and extension in preference to new build.
  • Clustering with existing rural buildings is generally preferable to stand-alone locations.

DM Standard 9 – Site Sizes for Single Houses Using Individual On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

A minimum site size of 2000m2 is generally required for a single house so as to provide for adequate

effluent treatment, parking, landscaping, open space and maintenance of rural amenity. For house sizes greater than 200m2 the site size shall be increased by 10m2 for each 1m2 of house area above 200m2. Special consideration will be given to existing houses and to proposed developments who can demonstrate Rural Housing Need and comply with EPA guidelines where the minimum size is not totally achievable.

DM Standard 10 – Linear Development

Linear development is a prevalent issue in the County that is having a detrimental impact on the character of the rural landscape. The Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines define linear development as five or more houses on any one side of a given 250 metres of road frontage. Linear development does not necessarily have to be served by individual accesses nor have a continuous or uniform building line. Buildings sited back, staggered, or at angles and with gaps between them can still represent ribbon development, if they have a common frontage or they are visually linked.In cases where a development would create or extend linear form of development, the proposal will not be considered favourably.
Applicants will be considered favourably if this is the only family owned site available (5 or more in
250m does not apply in this case).

DM Standard 11 – Log Cabins/Pods

Log Cabins and Pods or similarly designed structures are not vernacular typologies of the Galway countryside and are only permitted in limited cases where a unique siting and landscape situation allows (ie. Log cabins may have potential in a woodland setting).

DM Standard 12: Landscaping

‘Landscaping proposals should be submitted with all planning applications for development and shall include a schedule of indigenous native plant species and implementation timeline’.

DM Standard 13 – Rural Clustering on un-serviced lands in Villages

The development of rural clusters of five dwelling or less within the footprint of existing unserviced villages, within the 60km speed limits and serviced by public footpaths shall be considered to provide an alternative to one off rural housing (ie. No public sewer) subject to the following:

  1. Site size shall be reflective of both the site context and the surrounding built environment. The proposed layout shall ensure setbacks appropriate to the site and surrounding context are met while also ensuring minimum separation distances for waste water infrastructure can be achieved in accordance with the EPA Code of Practice for Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems serving single house.
  2. A design statement shall accompany the application and will be required to demonstrate how the proposal will integrate appropriately with the village.
  3. A single access point shall be provided from the public road which shall be designed in accordance with the principles and standards set out in the ‘Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets’ (2013).
  4. Each dwelling house shall be served by their own on site individual waste water treatment system which shall be will be required to be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the ‘EPA Code of Practice Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems for Single Houses’ in place at the time of the application.

15.3.2 Agriculture

DM Standard 14: Agricultural Buildings

In dealing with planning applications for such buildings the Planning Authority will have regard to:

a) Design and Layout

The quality of design and layout of the farm complex. Where possible new buildings, shall be located within or adjoining the existing farmyard complex. Buildings shall be of minimum scale and use of muted coloured materials shall be encouraged.

b) Residential Amenity

The proximity of any existing dwelling house.

c) Public Road Access

The safe access to public roads.

d) Rural Landscape

The assimilation of the buildings into the rural landscape by means of appropriate siting, external colouring, screening and shelter belting.

DM Standard 15: Agricultural Effluent

The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014 set out the requirements for storage of farm effluents and the minimum holding periods for storage of farm wastes. All soiled liquid waste shall be collected before being further treated or spread on land in suitable weather conditions.

The following will be a requirement of planning permission:

•             Design calculations;

•             Design calculations supporting the selection of a particular volume of storage and details of the spread area.

DM Standard 16: Horticulture

In dealing with planning applications for such allotment the Planning Authority will have regard to:

(i) The location of lands which shall be required to be situated within or immediately adjacent to the edge of towns/villages or are easily accessible to the residents of a particular town or village; and

(ii) Adequate water supply and adequate parking facilities can be provided.

15.3.3 Forestry

DM Standard 17 Forestry Development

The provision and maintenance of the trees shall comply with the requirements of Forestry Standards and Procedures Manual 2015 (including any updated/superseding document). Any proposals for forestry development should have regard to the following guidelines published by the Forest Service:

•             Forestry and Landscape Guidelines;

•             Forestry and Water Quality Guidelines;

•             Forestry and Archaeology Guidelines;

•             Forestry Biodiversity Guidelines;

•             Forestry Harvesting and Environmental Guidelines.

15.3.4 Rural Enterprise

DM Standard 18: Rural Enterprise

The Council will consider rural enterprises, and resource development (such as agriculture, agri-food sector, agri-tourism, commercial fishing, aquaculture, marine tourism, forestry, bio-energy, the extractive industry, recreation, cultural heritage, marine enterprise sector, research and analysis) and renewable energy resources (such as wind/ocean energy) in rural and coastal areas within the County subject to considerations  of proper planning and sustainable development and shall include the following:

a) Existing Buildings

The conversion of existing farm buildings in rural areas for small scale employment purposes will be

considered subject to policy.

b) Agriculturally Related Industry

Agriculturally related industry, involving processing of farm produce where it is unsuited to an urban

situation and is environmentally sustainable.

c) Farm-Related Business

Business directly related to farming, such as the servicing and repair of farm machinery, land reclamation, drainage work, agricultural contracting etc., where it will not give rise to adverse environmental effects, have safe access and not be prejudicial to residential amenity.

The following information shall accompany any application:

  • The type of business proposed;
  • The nature and extent of the work;
  •  Reason for its location (e.g. justification on why it is not proposed within settlement centre, etc.);
  • Anticipated levels of traffic generated by the proposal, accessibility, and car-parking;
  • The effects on the amenities of the adjoining occupiers particularly in relation to hours of work, noise and general disturbance;
  • Whether the proposal requires delivery/shipment of goods and details of same;
  • Arrangements for storage and collection of waste. (Materials used or goods manufactured, serviced or repaired in the home-based business must be stored within a building).
  • No goods manufactured, serviced or repaired should be displayed so that they are visible from outside the site.
  • Should not have any adverse impacts on the amenities of neighbouring dwellings.

15.3.5 Extractive Development

DM Standard 19: Extractive Development

The following details shall be considered central to the determination of any application for planning

permission for extractive development:

a) Guidelines

Compliance with the provisions and guidance, as appropriate, contained within Section 261 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended), by Section 74 and Section 75 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010, the DoEHLG Quarries and Ancillary Facilities Guidelines 2004 and the EPA Guidelines for Environmental Management in the Extractive Sector 2006. Where extractive developments may impact on archaeological or architectural heritage, regard shall be had to the DAHG Architectural Conservation Guidelines 2011 and the Archaeological Code of Practice 2009 (including any updated/superseding documents) in the assessment of planning applications. Reference should also be made to the Geological Heritage Guidelines for the Extractive Industry 2008 (including any updated/superseding documents) and the Guidance on Biodiversity in the Extractive Industry (NPWS).

b) Land Ownership

The extent of land ownership. Details should be submitted showing the proposed site in relation to all lands in the vicinity in which the applicant has an interest.

c) Deposits

The nature of all deposits. Details to be submitted to include: depths of topsoil, subsoil, over burden and material, at various points on the site; an indication of the type of minerals, which it is intended to extract; a statement as to whether the parent rock from which the mineral is extracted is suitable for other uses; and the estimated total quantity of rock and mineral, which can be extracted commercially on the site.

d) Methods

The methods of excavation and machinery to be used. Details to be submitted to include all proposed site development works, including; the proposed method of working; any existing or proposed areas of excavation; stages of work proposed; locations of any settling ponds, waste material and/or stockpiling of materials; methods for removing and storing topsoil, subsoil and overburden; etc.

e) Production

The quantification of production in a given time. Details to be submitted to include the proposed production process to be employed, all requirements for water, electricity and/or other inputs to the production process and any proposals for chemical or other treatments.

f) Mitigation

Methods to reduce environmental impact. Details to be submitted to include an assessment of potential impacts on water resources, residential and visual amenity (including noise, dust and vibration impacts), biodiversity and any other relevant considerations together with appropriate proposals for their mitigation.

Proposals for development, where appropriate should be accompanied by:

• A Surface Water Baseline Study of water courses in the vicinity of the site;

• A Hydro-Geological Assessment of the impact of groundwater flows in the area and the impact of well waters supplies in the area.

g) Access

Vehicle routes from site to major traffic routes and the impact on the adjoining road networks. Details should be included on the mode, number and weight of trucks or other vehicles being used to transport materials and any truck sheeting or washing proposals.

The Council may require a Traffic Impact Assessment and Road Safety Audit (to be prepared by an approved assessor) for all new development. The Council may require a Special Contribution in accordance with Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, for upgrade/improvement works along the route corridor of the quarry, to facilitate the proposed development.

h) Rehabilitation

A scheme of rehabilitation and after care. Details to be submitted should include a report with plans and sections detailing: the anticipated finished landform and surface/landscape treatments, both of each phase and the whole excavation; quality and condition of topsoil and overburden; rehabilitation works proposed; the type and location of any vegetation proposed; proposed method of funding and delivery of restoration/ reinstatement works; etc.

The Council will require that all proposals for development are accompanied by a detailed restoration plan and aftercare proposals which shall be progressed on a phased basis. The restoration plan shall ensure the landscape is restored with regard to its original character and with reference to the Landscape Character Assessment for County Galway and as incorporated within Appendix 4 of this plan. The restoration plan shall be accompanied by a detailed costing of the work by a qualified quantity surveyor.

The Council will apply a bond, as appropriate for the satisfactory completion of the restoration works. The site may be adapted for a variety of uses depending on the level of extraction and shall be in agreement with the Planning Authority and consideration of the local community.

i) Environmental Impact Study (EIS)

Any Environmental Impact Study including any remedial EIS required by statute. An EIS should ensure that all impacts in relation to heritage, environment, biodiversity, groundwater protection, etc are clearly addressed and appropriate mitigation measures are included.

j) Proximity

Proximity to other developments. Details to be submitted to include location of all existing developments in the vicinity of the site that might be affected by site development works, extractive operations and/or traffic movements generated.

k) Landscaping and Screening

Landscaping and screening proposals. Details to be submitted to include an indication of existing trees or other screening to the retained or removed and any proposed screening, grassing or planting of trees or shrubs and proposals for their maintenance.

l) Heritage and Biodiversity

Proposals in relation to heritage and biodiversity would include any recommendations for the site to be considered as part of the geological heritage of the County and any proposed measures with regard to the protection and promotion of the environment and biodiversity, including any proposals for rehabilitation. The Council will require an Ecological Impact Assessment for all proposals within or in the vicinity of an SPA, SAC or NHA. Where a quarry development falls within a conservation designation, the developer is advised to consult with the DECLG prior to making an application. Evidence of such consultation should be submitted to the Planning Authority at application stage. It shall also be a requirement that all new proposals that are likely to have an impact on SAC or SPA shall be screened for the need to undertake a Habitats Directive. The Council will require that the operator of the quarry shall put in place an Environmental Monitoring System, to monitor all environmental standards (noise, dust, blasting etc.) on an on-going basis.

m) Security of the Site

Security boundary/fence. Full details regarding securing the perimeter boundary of quarries shall be

submitted and agreed by the Planning Authority as part of the planning process.

15.4 Economic Enterprise and Retail

Chapter 5 Employment, Enterprise and Retail Development sets out the Policy Objectives for such developments with additional standards to be complied with as set out below.

DM Standard 20: Industrial/Commercial

Industrial, commercial enterprise and retail development will be required to satisfy minimum requirements for placemaking, public realm, design, layout, access, landscaping, tree planting, boundary treatment, water supply, surface water disposal, wastewater disposal, solid waste, screened storage areas, fire safety, odour control, emissions control, lighting, parking, manoeuvring space, loading and unloading space, energy efficiency and biodiversity. Care should be taken in the laying out of parking areas to avoid conflict between the movements of customer’s vehicles, goods vehicles and pedestrians.

Commercial Developments

Commercial developments shall be subject to the proper planning and development of the area, specifically the following requirements:

• Advertising Signs - Advertising signs shall be confined to the name of the establishment being painted on or affixed to the façade of the building and illuminated, if required, from an external light source so arranged as not to cause glare to road users or intrusion to adjacent property owners;

• Operating Times - In the case of permitted hot food “take aways” closing time shall be 12.30am;

• Security Shutters - Roll down shutters placed externally on the front façade shall not be permitted. Any necessary security screens shall be inside the shop windows;

• Site Coverage: -For single storey or 6m high, shall not normally exceed 75%;

-For two storey or 9m high, shall not normally exceed 60%;

-For three storey or 12m high, shall not normally exceed 50%.

Industrial Development

There shall be a presumption that only industrial processes of appropriate size and whose nature will not cause nuisance or injury to the predominant residential environment of towns and villages, shall be permitted. Industrial development shall be subject to the proper planning and development of the area, specifically the following requirements:

Hours of Operation - The hours of industrial operation will be controlled where they are likely to result in harm to environmental amenities including residential amenity;

Noise Levels - Noise levels shall not exceed 55 dB (a) Leq when measured at the boundary of the site;

Waste Management/Storage - Provision shall be made on site in a screened compound for short-term waste and segregation storage pending collection and disposal. There must be adequate provision for storage of segregated waste (bio-waste/dry recyclables/residual waste) pending collection;

Advertising Signs - Advertising signs shall be confined to the name of the establishment being painted on or affixed to the façade of the building and illuminated, if required, from an external light source so as not to cause glare to road users or intrusion to adjacent property owners;

Density - Site coverage shall not normally exceed 75% nor shall plot ratio exceed 1:2;

Landscaping - A comprehensive professionally prepared planting scheme for the site shall be necessary.

The Planning Authority shall also consult relevant Local Area Plans where appropriate that may relate to industrial/commercial/enterprise and retail sites including the site coverage, plot area ratio and public open space requirements.

Home Based Economic Activities

Home based economic activity may be considered. The use must be ancillary in scale and nature to the residential unit, there can be no associated visitors and no impact on neighbouring residential amenity.

DM Standard 21: Shopfronts

Require that new shopfront design is of a quality design standard that respects the character and architectural heritage of the existing streetscape.

Historic shopfronts should be retained and refurbished, where feasible. Such features as existing arches, stringcourses, plaster detailing or existing fascias and brackets should be considered in the new design and new internal alterations or proposed advertising should generally not interfere with such details. Wholesale removal of rendering along a streetscape is generally not encouraged.

Contemporary shop front design will be encouraged, where appropriate. Design cues of modern shop fronts should include the basic shopfront elements of fascia, pilasters and stallriser/base and should employ high quality architectural detailing and quality materials appropriate to the size of window openings.

Proposals for new/amended shop fronts shall be required to comply with the following criteria:

  • Generally restrict the use of film, adhesive stickers and any other screening that obscures the glazed area of a shopfront window where it negatively impacts upon the streetscape.
  • Require that security shutters on new shopfronts (where required) are transparent and placed behind the shopfront window glazing,
  • Illumination of fascia signage, shopfronts or distinctive architectural features should be discreet and limited to spotlighting, uplighting or disguised minimalist strip lighting. In this regard, internally illuminated fascias and internally illuminated signs are generally not permitted.
  • Ensure that corporate logos (or other similar logos), lighting designs and colours are not used where it would detract from the character and architectural heritage of the streetscape.

DM Standard 22: Petrol Filling Stations

In assessing planning applications for service stations, the following considerations will be taken into account:

  • The preferred location for petrol filling stations is within the 50-60kph speed limit of all settlements.
  • Forecourt Store/Retail unit associated with a petrol filling station should generally not exceed 100sqm net floor area. Where an increase in this standard is sought, the Sequential Approach to retail development shall apply i.e. the retail element shall be assessed similar to an application for a standalone retail development in the same location.
  • Forecourt shops should be designed and sited to facilitate safe pedestrian and bicycle access, with unimpeded access for delivery vehicles. The safety aspects of circulation and parking within the station forecourt should be demonstrated fully (ie. Autotrack Analysis,TTA and Safety Audit).
  • A low wall of an approximate height of 0.6 metres shall be constructed along the frontage with allowance for two access points each 8 metres wide;
  • Design and layout of service stations and forecourts should be of high-quality and integrate with the surrounding built environment. In urban centres, where the development would be likely to have a significant impact on the historic or architectural character of the area, the use of standard corporate designs and signage may not be acceptable.
  • Forecourt lighting, including canopy lighting, should be contained within the site and should not interfere with the amenities of the area.
  • Ancillary services such as car wash services should be sited so as not to result in queueing onto the public road network or negatively impact on neighbouring residential amenities.
  • Rapid EV charging point(s) should be provided and clearly demarcated with appropriate signage, in collaboration with ESB networks.
  • Service stations and associated truck parking facilities in locations at or near national roads will be assessed having regard to the Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012).

15.5 Transport and Movement

This Section sets out the transportation standards for development in the County. As part of the strategy of supporting the integration of land use and transportation and promoting a modal shift away from a dependence on the private car, new developments shall, as far as possible, include provision for sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling, and public transport.

These standards should be read in conjunction with existing national guidance, which includes the following publications:

  • Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS);
  • Roads Traffic Act, 1994 (as amended);
  • Traffic Signs Manual, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport;
  • Road Traffic Regulations,1997-2012;
  • DN-GEO-03030 - Guidance on Minor Improvements to National Roads;
  • Traffic Management Guidelines;
  • Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas: Guidelines for Planning Authorities;
  • National Cycle Manual;
  • Smarter Travel;
  • TII Publications / Design Manual for Roads and Bridges;
  • Recommendations for Site Development Works for Housing Areas;
  • Spatial Planning and National Roads: Guidelines for Planning Authorities;
  • TII Publication PE-DDV-02046 Area Based Transport Assessment (ABTA) Guidance Notes;
  • TII Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA) Guidelines (2014);
  • Road Safety Impact Assessment (RSIA), TII Publication PE-PMG-02001 Road Safety Impact Assessment;
  • Road Safety Audit: TII Publications GE-STY-01024 Road Safety Audit ;
  • DNGEO-03084 Treatment of Transition Zones to Towns and Villages on Urban Roads;
  • Achieving Effective Workplace Travel Plans Guidance for Local Authorities;
  • Workplace Travel Plans A Guide for Implementers and
  • Permeability Best Practice Guide.

15.5.1 Integration of Land Use and Transportation

DM Standard 23: Walking and Cycling

The provision of quality and attractive walking and cycling facilities that are accessible, safe, and well connected to surrounding streets and neighbourhoods can lead to an increase in the number of people choosing to use these facilities. These facilities shall be a central element of the design of any new roads.

Footpaths shall be designed to allow pedestrians pass each other in comfort, shall have a minimum width of 2metres, and shall accommodate people with mobility issues and those who are visually impaired.

Cycle paths shall be designed in accordance with the Traffic Management Guidelines and the National Cycle Manual and shall be provided on all new arterial/distributor roads and link roads unless a suitable alternative route is available. Local roads shall be designed to reduce the speed, vehicles, and making the road safer for other road users including cyclists. This provides opportunities to create a shared space for cyclists and motor vehicles.  Street lighting shall be provided along footpaths and cycle paths in accordance with the recommendations made in ‘Site Development Works for Housing Areas’ (DoEHLG) and any subsequent publication or successor to this document.

DM Standard 24: Bus Network

Any new or upgrades to existing roads or the development of large scale residential and employment areas, shall include provision for bus infrastructure including bus stops, shelters, and lay-bys that would improve public transport provision.

The provision of these facilities shall be agreed in consultation with the Council and the National Transport Authority. The location of bus shelters shall meet the needs of the users but shall also strive to integrate into the local streetscape and shall not unduly interfere with pedestrian and cyclist movement along the footpath.

DM Standard 25: Park and Ride Facilities

Any development in the vicinity of existing rail lines shall comply with the setbacks and construction requirements of Iarnród Éireann, the National Transport Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and any other relevant stakeholders.

DM Standard 26: Rail Network

In addition to providing parking facilities, the design and layout of Park and Ride facilities shall include provision for a set down area for buses, a sheltered waiting area for customers, appropriate pedestrian and cycle connectivity within the facility and from the surrounding neighbourhoods, and bicycle parking. The facility shall also be suitably lit to provide a degree of security and public safety.

15.5.2 Guidelines for Roads & Parking

DM Standard 27: Access to National and Other Restricted Roads for Residential Developments

The provision of residential access to National and other Restricted Roads will have regard to the following:

• Chapter 6: Transport and Movement of the GCDP 2022-2028 (and any other applicable policy objectives, standards or guidelines in the plan) and to any specific policy objectives as contained within each of the Settlement Plans;

• Part 4, Article 28(j)(i) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001;

DECLG Spatial Planning and National Road Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2012;

• TII publication – ‘Traffic and Transport Assessment Guidelines (PE-PDV-02045)’ 2014;

• TII publication –‘Rural Road Link Design (DN-GEO-03031)’ June 2017;

• TII publication – ‘Geometric Design of Junctions (priority junctions, direct accesses, roundabouts, grade separated and compact grade separated junctions) (DN-GEO-03060) June 2017;

• TII publication – ‘Guidance on Minor Improvements to the National Roads (including Erratum No.1, dated April 2013 and Erratum No.2, date June 2013) (DN-GEO-03030)’ March 2013;

• TII publication – ‘Road Safety Audit (GE-STY-01024) December 2017;

• TII publication – ‘Road Safety Impact Assessment (TII PE-PMG-02001)’ October 2016;

• DTTaS/DoECLG publication – ‘Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets’ 2019;

Metric Handbook Planning & Design Data (3rd Edition). Including any updated/superseding versions of the above listed documents that may be published during the lifetime of the plan.

Road construction and other services will generally be required to comply with the current edition of Recommendations for Site Development Works in Housing Areas published by DoEHLG and TII design standards as appropriate.

The following requirements shall apply to the provision of residential access to National and other Restricted Roads:

Housing Need Eligibility

a) Residential development along National Roads will be restricted outside the 50-60kmp speed zones in accordance with the DoECLG Spatial Planning and National Road Guidelines (2012).

Consideration shall be given to the need of farm families to live on the family holding on a limited basis and a functional need to live at this location must be demonstrated. Where there is an existing access, the combined use of same must be considered and shown to be technically unsuitable before any new access can be considered. Access via local roads shall always be the preferred access.

b) Proposed access onto any restricted Regional Road outside the 60kmp kph speed zones shall be restricted to members of the farm family on the family holding and on a limited basis only. Where there is an existing access, the combined use of same must be considered and shown to be technically unsuitable before any new access can be considered.  This may require the upgrading and/or relocation of the existing entrance to serve the combined development. Access via local roads shall always be the preferred access. Any new access and must be accompanied by a justification for the proposed access.  

c) An Enurement condition will be attached to grants of planning permission for the above.

DM Standard 28: Access to National and Other Restricted Roads for Commercial & Other Developments

Commercial development along National Roads and Other Restricted Roads will be restricted outside the defined settlement centres or the Local Area Plan boundaries as follows:

a) Class I Control Roads (National Road)

In general, commercial and industrial development shall be prohibited outside the 50/60kph speed limits of National Routes. Consideration will be given to substantiated cases for extension and intensification of existing establishments and to the provision of park and ride facilities. All existing and proposed National Roads are included under the Class 1 Control Roads designation.

b) Class II Control Roads (Regional Road)

Commercial, industrial and community facilities development and land use shall be restricted to essential needs, in the particular locality, of agriculture, tourism infrastructure, fisheries, forestry, park and ride facilities or existing extractive industries, and where these cannot be in the opinion of the Planning Authority, be reasonably located along other non-listed regional or local roads. All restricted regional roads are included under the Class 2 Control Roads designation. Restricted Regional Roads are listed hereunder:













Ballinasloe to City Boundary North of Oranmore

Tuam – Bearnaderg – Horseleap

Galway – An Spidéal – Ballinahow Cross

Galway – Carnmore – Monivea

Derrydonnell – Athenry

Headford – Tuam

Ballinasloe – Portumna

Ballinasloe – Mountbellew

Gort – Loughrea

Lough George – Annagh Hill 

Kilcolgan – Galway /Clare County Boundary

Claregalway – M6 (Junction 19) – Oranmore













Table 15.2 Restricted Regional Roads

DM Standard 29: Sight Distances Required for Access onto National, Regional, Local and Private Roads

Vehicular entrances and exit points must be designed by the developer as part of a planning application with adequate provision for visibility so that drivers emerging from the access can enjoy good visibility of oncoming vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Where a new entrance is proposed, the Planning Authority must consider traffic conditions and available sight lines. Road junction visibility requirements shall comply with Geometric Design of Junctions (priority junctions, direct accesses, roundabouts, grade separated and compact grade separated junctions) (DN-GEO-03060) for rural roads and Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets for urban roads (including any updated/ superseding document). Where substantial works are required in order to facilitate the provision of adequate sight distances lands within the sight distance triangles shall be within the control of the applicant and shall be subject of a formal agreement with the adjacent landowner which ensures certainty that the applicant is in a position to comply with the relevant condition and or standard.

Exit Visibility Check

Visibility splays shall be measured a minimum distance of 2.4m from the edge of the carriageway (‘x’ distance) or as determined by Galway County Council. In limited instances this may be reduced to 2.4m and to 2.0m in difficult circumstances on urban roads.

Site visibility requirements shall be provided within the development boundary of the site or on lands in the control of the applicant or lands in public ownership.

Letter of consent from adjoining property owners will be required in order to achieve sightlines, and
these works to be carried out in advance of commencement of construction.

Entry Visibility Check

A vehicle turning into the proposed development shall be visible to an approaching vehicle for a distance of Y in order to avoid a rear end collision.

A vehicle turning right into the proposed development shall have a forward visibility to the centre of the opposite lane for a distance of Y to ensure they can safely cross the path of an on-coming vehicle.

The Sight Distances required for Access onto National Regional and Local Roads are set out below:

Design Speed and Sight Distances 

Sight Distance required for the following Design Speed on the Major Road in kph

Design Speed








Y Distance on Major Road








Table 15.3: Sight Distances required for Access onto National, Regonal and Local Roads

On narrow Local Roads with poor horizontal and vertical alignment and where the 80 km/h speed limit applies, the design speed applied for access visibility requirements should be the speed (km/h) that one can drive the road in a safe manner. This can be assessed as the 85th percentile speed drivers travel on the road. The visibility will then be assessed on the 85th percentile speed for that road.

In general, where the capacity, width, surface condition or alignment of the road is deemed inadequate, development will not be favoured.

DM Standard 30: Building Lines

A setback of buildings is required in the interests of residential amenity, rural amenity, public safety and to allow for any future road widening or realignment. In general, the following minimum building lines are necessary for the various routes:

a) Motorways/Interchanges

90 metres from the existing or proposed realigned carriageway surface edge.

b) National Primary and Secondary Routes

35 metres from the existing or proposed realigned carriageway surface edge and former national routes which are now classified as regional routes.

c) Regional Routes

25 metres from the existing or proposed realigned carriageway surface edge.

d) Local Roads

15 metres from the existing or proposed realigned carriageway surface edge.

e) Urban Roads and Streets

Building lines will be related to the location of the building in the town or village, i.e. village streets, housing estate, cluster development.

DM Standard 31: Developments on Private Roads

The following shall apply to development on a private road:   

  1. Where development is proposed on a private road, the safety and capacity of the junction of the private road with the public road shall be a consideration by the planning authority. The applicant should demonstrate that the sightlines are in compliance with DM Standard 31 of the GCDP 2022-2028 at the junction of the private road and local road, in their planning application.
  2. Where an applicant proposes development on a private road, they shall satisfactorily demonstrate to the Planning Authority comprehensive evidence by way of legal documentation and associated maps of a right of way agreement and the requisite consent of the relevant parties to utilise the existing infrastructure and/or to indicate works along the proposed access route for the purpose of installing, repairing and/or upgrading infrastructure so as to render the development site adequately equipped to serve the proposed development.                                                                                                 
  3. In general, where the capacity, width, surface condition or alignment of the private road is deemed inadequate development will not be favoured.

DM Standard 32: Parking Standards

Whilst this Plan promotes a modal shift away from the private car to more sustainable modes of transport, the car will continue to be an important mode of transport, and therefore there will normally be a requirement to provide car parking as part of a development. Car parking should be located to the rear of building lines where possible. Large areas of car parking should be accompanied by a landscaping plan to mitigate the visual impact of same. In assessing applications for change of use or for replacement buildings within towns and villages, an allowance will be given for former site use in calculating the car parking requirements generated by the new development. In relation to infill sites and sites adjacent to public transport corridors or civic parking facility, a flexible application of standards will be considered. In addition to car parking, sufficient space will be required within a development site for all service vehicles necessary for the operation of the business or building, including drop-off areas, loading/unloading areas etc. In relation to Car Parking Design Standard Dimensions refer to Section 16 of the DoEHLG/DoT/DTO Traffic Management Guidelines and to the Metric Handbook Planning and Design Data (3rd Edition) and to the Design Manual of Roads and Streets DMURS (as amended).

Dimensions of Parking Spaces

The dimensions of parking and loading spaces shall be as follows:

 Parking Space


Parking Space - perpendicular to kerb

5.0m x 2.5m

Parking Space - adjacent to a wall or other obstruction

5.0m x 2.75m

Parking Space - parallel to the kerb

6.0m x 2.5m

Accessible Parking Bay

5.0m x 2.5m plus 1.2m to the side and rear of each space

Loading Bay

6.0m x 3.0m

Circulation areas

6.0m in width

Table 15.4: Parking Space Dimensions

The following parking requirements will be applied for different types of development:

a) Dual Use Parking and Mixed Use Developments

The Council will encourage the provision of dual use parking areas where peak times of users do not

coincide. In mixed use developments it may therefore not be necessary to meet full parking standards

where it can be shown that shared parking is viable.

b) School Parking

All applications for new schools and where possible extensions to schools will be required to prioritise

access safety and will indicate safe access and egress to the school for pupils, parents and students. A

Road Safety Audit which should cover the public-private interface will be required in some cases. Drop off facilities will be required in accordance with Department of Education & Skills Guidelines. Off road parking for teachers and bus/car collection will be indicated in all cases as well as secure bicycle parking facilities.

c) Parking in Residential Areas

In general, residential layouts should not be dominated by car parking along access roads. New residential development should take account of the following criteria:

  • The design standards and  guidance set out in the Design Manual of Roads and Streets DMURS  (as amended).                                                                                                                              
  • Car parking for detached and semi-detached housing should generally be within the curtilage of the individual house site.                                                                                                                           
  • Car parking for apartments and terraced housing where appropriate, should generally be at basement level. Where this is not possible, parking for apartments and terraced housing should be in small scale informal groups overlooked by residential units;    

d) Car Parking Standards

The Table 15.5 illustrates the car parking standards for different types of development:(It should be noted that a flexible approach to these standards may be applied where such a case is substantiated, there is no traffic safety issue, and it is clearly demonstrated to the Planning Authority in the interest of proper planning and development, that the standard should be adjusted to facilitate the site specific context).


Car Parking Standard

Dwellings/Apartments (1-3 bedrooms)

1.5 Spaces Per Dwelling

Dwellings/Apartments (4+ bedrooms)

2 Spaces Per Unit

Shops (<250 sq.m gross)

1 car space per 24m2 of gross floorspace

Shops (250 -1000 sq m gross)

1 car space per 18m2 of gross floorspace

Large Stores (>1000 sq m gross)

1 car space per 12m2 of gross floorspace

Banks, Financial Institutions

1 car space per 14m2 of gross floorspace

Offices (Town Centre)

1 car space per 25m2 of gross floorspace

Office Park

1 car space per 20m2 of gross floorspace

Ìndustry/Manufacturing/Light Industry

1 car space per 33m2 of gross floorspace

Data Centre 1 per 100m2 gross floor area

1 space per 100m2 gross floor area


1 car space per 100m2 of gross floorspace


1 car space per 50m2 of gross floorspace

Petrol Station

4 spaces per fuel pump

Retail outlets within petrol stations

1 space per 10m2 of net floor area & 1 HGV space per 30sqm2 net floor area is required where food is served on the premises.

Car Show Rooms

1 car space per 50m2 of gross floorspace

Cash & Carry

1 car space per 100m2


1 car space per 3 seats

Hotels/Guest Houses (Excluding Function Rooms)

1 car space per bedroom


1 car space per bedroom or 1 car spaced per

10 bed dormitory.

Temporary Accommodation (Caravans/Yurts/Glamping/Mobile Homes) 

1 space per unit


1 car space per 10m2 or public floorspace


1 car space per 10m2 or public floorspace

Leisure Centre

1 car space per 50m2 of gross floor area


1 space per 10m2 dining area+


1 car space per 18m2 gross floor area

Conference Centres

1 car space per 25m2

Function Room/Dance Halls/Clubs

1 car space per 3m2

Playing Fields/Sports Clubs

20 car spaces per pitch/2 spaces per court

Swimming Pool

5 car spaces per 100m2


1 car space per 10m2

Community Centre

1 car space per 10m2

*Primary Schools

1 car space per classroom

*Secondary Schools

2 car spaces per classroom

Nursing Homes

1 car space per 2 bedrooms


To be agreed with the Council

Funeral Home

1 space per 6m2

*Childcare Facilities

1 car parking space per staff member + 1 car

parking space per 4 children

Clinics and Group Medical Practices

2 car spaces per consultant

Churches/Religious Buildings

1 space per 6 seats


1 space per plot

Table 15.5: Car Parking Standards

*A setdown area may be appropriate in certain circumstances. 

e) Accessible Car Parking                                                             

Car parking provision shall be provided for the disabled and mobility impaired in all car-parking developments and should be located in the most convenient locations for ease of uses. The minimum criteria for such parking provisions are detailed in the National Disability Authority Guidelines Building for Everyone published in 2012 (including any updated/superseding document).                                                                                                                                      

Provision of four spaces in every 100, and one space for every 100 after for buildings not normally visited by the public. For buildings that the public are likely to visit the following standards should apply:

• 1 space within 5 – 25 spaces

• 3 spaces within 25 – 50 spaces

• 4 spaces within 50- 75 spaces

• 5 spaces within 75 – 100 spaces

• 3 spaces per 100 thereafter                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Age Friendly car parking spaces should generally be provided, where possible, in all developments and in main towns, near strategic areas e.g. Post office, credit union, doctors’ surgery, civic buildings, etc. 

f) Bicycle Parking Standards

In compliance with Smarter Travel Policies, secure cycle parking facilities shall be provided in new office, residential, retail and employment generating development. Larger developments should provide a broad range of facilities for cyclists to encourage increased cycle usage, including cycle parking facilities and associated facilities such as air pump to reflate flat tyres, lockers, changing rooms and shower facilities.

Bicycle parking shall be located in a prominent position within 30m of the facility served. A bicycle parking bay shall be 0.8m wide and 1.8m long. The bicycle park should have a shelter and be signposted. Provision must be made in the development for bicycle parking spaces in accordance with the standards outlined within The National Cycle Manual, by the National Transport Authority, in particular Section 5.5.7 which deals with the allocation of cycle parking for developments and shall include the following:

  • Housing Developments: 1 private secure bicycle space per bed space (note - design should not require bicycle access via living area), minimum 2 spaces 1 visitor bicycle space per two housing units                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Offices: 10% of employee numbers, (subject to minimum of 10 bicycle storage places or one bike space for every car space, whichever is the greater)
  • Schools: 10% of pupil registration numbers, minimum 10 places.
  • Other Developments: 1 bike storage space for every car space
  • Shops 1 storage space per 100 sq. m.
  • Public Transport pick-up points (Rail, tram, taxi ranks and QBCs) 2.5% of number of daily boarders at that point/ station, subject to minimum of 10 bicycle storage places.                                                                   

g) Electric Charge Points Spaces

  • All developments should provide facilities for the charging of battery operated cars at a rate of up to 20% of the total car parking spaces. The remainder of the parking spaces should be constructed so as to be capable of accommodating future charging points, as required.
  • New residential development should accommodate at least one car parking space equipped with an EV charging points for every five car parking spaces being provided for the associated development.                                                                                                            
  • Electric car charging spaces should be clearly demarcated with appropriate signage.
  • Rapid Charge Points: Should be provided within centres of commercial activity and clearly demarcated with appropriate signage, in collaboration with ESB networks.

h) Taxi Parking

  • Planning applications for significant commercial, industrial or other development shall be required to demonstrate satisfactory provision of drop-off and set down areas for taxi services.  
  • Taxi facilities shall be provided in supermarket and neighbourhood development proposals.

i) Visual impact of car parking.

Large areas of extensive parking in public view should be avoided. Carparking should be located to the rear of buildings and services. The visual impact of large areas of parking should be reduced by the use of screen planting, low walls and the use of different textures or coloured paving for car parking bays.

A reduction in the car-parking requirement may be acceptable where the Planning Authority is satisfied that:

  • There is sufficient parking available in the vicinity of the development to cater for any shortfall.
  • The nature of the development is such that existing parking spaces in the vicinity could facilitate the dual use of parking spaces, particularly if the development operated at off-peak times. Supporting documentation will be required demonstrating how the dual use will work.
  • The public transport links available would reduce the demand for car parking.
  • The central location of the development is such that the customers/residents/users of the development would be likely to walk or cycle.

A Transport Mobility Management Plan supporting any reduction in car parking shall be included with any application where the quantum of parking is significantly below that set out in the Car Parking Standards. Parking demand calculations shall be provided detailing the demand throughout the day from a database of similar types of development in similar circumstances.

DM Standard 33: Controls for Signage along Public Roads

The following requirements will be applied in respect of signage along public roads:

a) Licensing System

The Planning Authority will operate a licensing system for all signs and structures on public roads.

b) Rural Areas

Advertising signs will not be permitted along roads in rural areas outside the boundaries of towns and villages save for a limited number, which relate to heritage or tourist attractions and which are of national interest.

c) Towns, Villages & Settlements Areas

Within towns, villages and settlement areas, no signage will be permitted where it may constitute a hazard or obstacle for pedestrians or road users or where the location of such signage may obscure sight distances at junctions or cause undue or necessary distraction to road users. The proliferation of non-road traffic signage on and adjacent to all roads outside of the 50-60kmh speed limit area shall be avoided in the interest of traffic safety and visual amenity, in accordance with the Spatial Planning and National Road Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2012 (or any updated/superseding document). Signs should not impair the setting of any archaeological or historical site or any proposed or protected building or structures within an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA).

d) Fingerpost Signs

The system for fingerpost signs, which relate to premises, and are located away from major routes will operate on the basis of any future policy document prepared by Galway County Council in relation to finger post signs. Signage in the Gaeltacht shall be in the Irish Language only.

DM Standard 34: Traffic Impact Assessment, Traffic & Transport Assessment, Road Safety Audit & Noise Assessment

All new road layouts should be designed in accordance with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) and the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB). Development proposals should also include provision for a sustainable modal spilt, with pedestrian and cycling facilities recognised as an important aspect of new design proposals.                                                          

All significant development proposals, or those that the Planning Authority consider would pose a safety risk or traffic impact shall be accompanied by road safety audits, road safety impact assessments and transport and traffic assessments. These shall include a consideration of the cumulative impact of development on the road network. This shall be guided by the following:

a) Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA), Road Safety Audit (RSA) & Road Safety Impact Assessments (RSIA)

Require all planning applications for significant development proposals to be accompanied by a TTA, RSA and RSIA to be carried out by a suitably competent consultant, which are assessed in association with their cumulative impact with neighbouring developments on the road network.

Guidelines in relation to the TTA are provided in the Traffic Management Guidelines as published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government (DoEHLG) Dublin Transportation Office (DTO) and the Department of Transport (DoT). Guidance as provided in the TII publication – ‘Traffic and Transport Assessment Guidelines (PE-PDV-02045)’ (and any updated/superseding documents).

In relation to a Road Safety Audit guidance is provided in the TII’s - ‘Road Safety Audit (GE-STY-01024)’. The Guidelines also include recommendations on the requirement for sub-threshold traffic and transport assessments. (Refer to the Transport Infrastructure Ireland website

Road Safety Impact Assessment is described in the EU Directive on Road Infrastructure Safety Management (EU RISM) 2008/96/EC as a strategic comparative analysis of the impact of a new road, or of substantial modifications to an existing road, on the safety performance of the road network. Guidance is provided on RSIA’s in TII publication – ‘Road Safety Impact Assessment (TII PE-PMG-02001)’.

b) Noise Assessment

Require all new proposed developments, within 300m of roadways with traffic volumes greater than 8,220 AADT to include noise assessment and mitigation measures if necessary with their planning application documentation.

DM Standard 35: Mobility Management Plans

All new developments and proposed extensions to existing developments should give consideration to limiting traffic generation as far as possible. Where medium to large scale residential, commercial, mixed use, business/enterprise or industrial developments are proposed a Mobility Management Plan will be required and should incorporate proposals for use of public transport, cycling, walking, car sharing, car pooling etc. as appropriate.

Mobility Management Plans should include achievable measures to reduce dependency on private car use for daily commutes and incorporate where possible; - Measures to promote use of public transport, cycling and walking; - Car sharing/carpooling; - Charges for parking;  - Staggered working/business hours. Guidance is provided on Mobility Management Plans in NTA publication – ‘Workplace Travel Plans: A Guide for Implementers’.

The following information should be provided with any Mobility Management Plans:

  • Details of the parking vehicular and cyclist parking provision;
  • Links between the development and public transport;
  • Cyclist and pedestrian facilities;
  • How the needs of people with impaired mobility will be met; and
  • How people will be encouraged to use sustainable modes of transport.

DM Standard 36: Pavement Finish of a Surface Abutting a Public Road

To prevent damage to the structure of a public road, Galway County Council require a developer to provide adequate road base with bitumen finish where the private access joins the public road surface. These works may require a road opening licence.

15.6 Infrastructure, Utilities and Environmental Protection

15.6.1 Water and Wastewater

DM Standard 37: Public Water Supply and Wastewater Collection

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

Where the applicant has concerns about the feasibility of connecting to the public network, they should make a pre-connection enquiry to Irish Water in order to establish the feasibility of a connection in advance of seeking planning permission.

DM Standard 38: Group Water Scheme and Private Wells

The provision of a safe and reliable water supply is a requirement of development. If the water is supplied by a group water scheme, any planning application must be accompanied by a letter of consent to connection from the secretary of the scheme and in certain circumstances; the developer may be required to extend the main to the site. Where a bored well is necessary or more feasible, details of separation distances from treatment systems shall be in compliance with the standards in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Code of Practice for Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Dwellings.

Private Bore Holes should comply with the Guidelines from The Institute of Geologist of Ireland publication ‘Water Well Construction’

The following should be submitted to the Planning Authority:

•             A record of an appropriate test of the sustainable yield of the well;

•             Documentation of the well construction, its yield and its water quality including a list of tested chemical and bacteriological parameters;

•             A detailed account of the water treatment system that will be installed if necessary.

DM Standard 39: Effluent Treatment Plants

The suitability of a site for the treatment of wastewater shall be determined, in accordance with the criteria set down in the EPA Wastewater Treatment Manuals (1999, 2009) or any revision or replacement of these manuals or any guidelines issued by the EPA concerning the content of these manuals.

• For single houses the EPA Wastewater Treatment Manuals-Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2009 (including any updated or superseding document) shall apply;
• For larger developments (where appropriate) the EPA Wastewater Treatment Manuals-Treatment Systems for Small Communities, Business, Leisure Centres and Hotels shall apply.

The following requirements shall apply with respect to effluent treatment facilities:

a)  Single Houses
Each dwelling house shall be serviced by its own septic tank or treatment plant and shall not share this facility with any other dwelling other than in exceptional circumstances.

b) Clustered Housing
In the case of clustered housing schemes, public (Irish Water) wastewater connection is encouraged. In the case of unserviced villages, private wastewater treatment plants for each dwelling shall be permitted where the treatment systems are in compliance with the standards in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Code of Practice for Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Dwellings

c) Certification
Certification will be required that septic tanks have been de-sludged in accordance with EPA Guidelines. The following will be a requirement of Planning Permission:
• Design Details - Design calculations supporting the selection of a particular type and size of system;
• Maintenance - A maintenance agreement specifying associated terms and conditions;
• Certification - Certification that septic tanks have been de-sludged in accordance with EPA Guidelines.

15.6.2 Waste Management

DM Standard 40: Construction and Demolition Waste

Where significant construction and demolition waste is envisaged arising from a proposed development, the Council will seek the submission of a waste management plan for the construction phase of the development for the written agreement of the Council, which shall be in compliance with the Best Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction & Demolition Projects, by the DRHLG. All waste materials generated during both the construction and operational phases of development must only be collected by appropriately licensed waste contractors and disposed of in licensed waste facilities.

Construction and Demolition Waste Management Plans shall be required as part of any planning application in excess of the following thresholds;

• New residential development of 10 houses or more;

• Developments including institutional, educational, health and other public facilities, with an aggregate floor area in excess of 1,250 m²;

• Demolition/renovation/refurbishment projects generating in excess of 100 m³ in volume, of Construction and Demolition waste;

• Civil engineering projects producing in excess of 500 m³ of waste, excluding waste materials used for development works on the site.

DM Standard 41: Waste Recovery/Disposition Sites

Planning applications for waste related facilities shall:

• Ensure that the proposed development does not impact significantly upon Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs), sensitive landscape areas, visual amenity, geology, heritage or cultural value, or areas at risk of flooding;

• Detail the type, source and volume of waste material to be processed and its method of processing, including hours of operation and duration of permission sought;

• Phasing programme showing the development in layout drawings and site sectional drawings for each phase of development including the restoration of the site;

• Show by the submission of a Traffic and Transport Assessment indicating details of road access, sightlines / visibility, vehicle turning manoeuvres, parking areas, pull-in areas, the number and types of vehicles which will frequent the site, the carrying loads of vehicles, and haul routes and that the roads infrastructure in the area can accommodate the proposed development;

• Submit evidence that the proposed development is in accordance with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive and associated River Basin Management Plans;

• Ensure that environmental emissions such as noise, fumes, odours, dust, grit, vibration and lighting, along with controls and monitoring of same are adequately mitigated and do not impact significantly upon residences in close proximity to the proposed development;

• Provide for adequate screening of the proposed development through the submission of detailed landscaping plans and boundary treatment proposals; and

• Ensure that sufficient detail is submitted in relation to restoration and remediation measures following cessation of the proposed development, including a timeframe for implementation and anticipated finished landform.

15.6.3 Electricity and Information and Communications Technology

DM Standard 42: Electricity Transmissions lines

Electricity transmission lines are an essential and inevitable element in providing the necessary energy for economic and social progress. The development of electricity transmission lines shall be subject to the following:

a) Landscape Sensitivity

Seek to locate electricity transmission lines in non scenic amenity areas where possible, having regard to the Landscape Sensitivity Rating Assessment of the County. In instances where their location in a Class 3(Special) or 4 (Iconic) landscape category areas or in proximity to a National Monument, Protected Structure, Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) or within a scenic route/protected view is essential, it shall be necessary to minimise their obstructiveness in as far as is practically possible. A Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) shall be required to be submitted with planning applications for these locations.

b) Amenity Impacts

New transmission lines should have regard to existing residential amenity and environmental designations and should mitigate against any significant diminution of views of special amenity value.

c) Applications

Applications for new transmission lines shall be accompanied by a justification statement of the regional importance of, and demonstrated need for, the proposed development in strengthening the electricity network in the region.

DM Standard 43: Telecommunications Masts

In order to facilitate the evaluation of development proposals for the erection of antennae and support structure with regard to the DoEHLG, Planning Guidelines for Telecommunications Antennae and Support (1996 including any updated/superseding document) and DECLG Circular Pl 07/12 regarding the1996 Planning Guidelines. While the current state of technology requires the construction of masts and antennae in the countryside the following standards will apply:

a) Landscape Sensitivity

In instances where telecommunications masts are essentially required in landscape sensitivity Class 3(Special) or Class 4 (Iconic), a Visual Impact Assessment shall be required with all planning applications for these locations.

b) Amenity Impacts

Masts and associated base station facilities should be located away from existing residences and schools.

c) Landscape Impacts

Masts should be designed and located so as to cause minimum impact on the landscape. If possible, sites should be located within forest plantations. Access roads shall be permitted only where essential. Where provided, they should not scar the landscape on which they are located. Roads should follow the natural contours of the site in order to minimise their visual intrusion, and should be bordered with shrubs after construction. Masts should be sited to avoid the location of such structures in sensitive landscapes, in nature conservation areas, in highly sensitive landscapes and where views are to be preserved.

d) Co-Location

Licensees shall be required to co-locate their services by sharing a single mast or, if necessary, locating additional masts in cluster form. Co-location agreements to be provided where possible. Where new facilities are proposed applicants will be required to satisfy the Council that they have made a reasonable effort to share facilities or to locate facilities in clusters.

e) Security

Mast compounds should have security fencing and anti-climbing devices designed to local aesthetic and safety requirements.

f) Redundancy

In the event of the discontinuance of any mast installation the mast and its equipment shall be removed from the site and the land shall be reinstated.

All planning applications shall be required to furnish a statement of compliance with the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) Guidelines or the equivalent European Pre-Standard 50166-2 in the interest of health and safety.

15.7 Tourism and Landscape

15.7.1 Tourism Related Developments

DM Standard 44: Tourism Infrastructure and Holiday Orientated Developments

While seeking to ensure that most tourism development locate in or close to towns and villages, the Council recognises that by its nature, some tourism development may require other locations. Developments that may be open to consideration outside settlement centres include: indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, golf courses, swimming, angling, sailing/boating, pier/marina development, equestrian and pony trekking routes, adventure/interpretative centres and associated ancillary uses, tourist related leisure facilities including walking and cycling.

In these circumstances the Council shall promote the reuse of existing buildings outside of settlements for holiday homes/guest accommodation where it can be demonstrated that the redevelopment work is bona fide (replicates and/or is similar in scale and design to the existing building) and will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment.

a) Tourism Infrastructure Development

The Council recognises that golf courses and certain other tourism infrastructure facilities may require ancillary facilities (e.g. club houses, hotel, holiday or short term letting residential accommodation/development and other associated tourism related facilities) to ensure long term viability. Where the provision of such facilities complies with the other requirements of the County Development Plan as set out and the requirements of proper planning and sustainable development, the Council will consider the provision of same subject to the submission of the following:

  • Comprehensive justification of need for the facility;
  • Overall master plan of the facility;
  • Documentary evidence of compliance with the other requirements of the Development Plan.

b) Holiday Orientated Developments

Holiday villages shall have regard to the following:

  • The scale of the development should be of modest proportions and should relate to the size of the settlement;
  • The design of the scheme should be to a high standard and should include the preservation of boundary characteristics and significant site features as well as car parking provision, segregated waste storage area, public lighting;
  • In general, stand alone holiday orientated development schemes or new tourism facilities which cannot demonstrate connectivity to existing settlements shall not be permitted in the open countryside. In exceptional cases, where it can be demonstrated that facility is dependent on physical or locational constraints which are site specific, consideration may be given to such facilities;
  • All new developments must have regard to the Galway Design Guidelines for the Single Rural House.

DM Standard 45: Camping and Caravan Sites

Caravan, glamping and camping developments shall address the following;

  • A high standard integrated design and layout linking pitches to well-located communal areas and on site facilities and amenities;
  • Compliance with the Regulations for Caravan and Camping Parks (Bord Fáilte 2009);
  • A detailed hard and soft landscaping plan for the overall site;
  • Mitigation plans for noise and litter; and
  • Details of wastewater disposal for the site.

DM Standard 46: Self-Catering Developments

Self-Catering developments shall address the following

  • The layout of the development shall be of a high standard, incorporating well laid out communal open spaces, significant and appropriate landscaping maintaining existing site features such as hedgerow and trees, car parking provision, segregated waste storage and public lighting.
  • The design of units should be high quality and respect the character of the area in which they are located. Suburban type developments will not be favoured. Courtyard type developments will be particularly encouraged.

15.7.2 Landscape Sensitivity

DM Standard 47: Compliance with Landscape Sensitivity Designations

Subject to the provisions of the plan but in particular the settlement policies of Chapters 2, 3 & 4 and the consequent restriction on development in rural areas, the control of permissible development shall be in accordance with the policies as they relate to the four sensitivity classes of landscape in Section 8.13.2 of this plan. It will deem the following types of development generally to be acceptable in the various areas of sensitivity as follows:

Class 1 – Low Sensitivity

All developments which are of appropriate scale and design and are consistent with settlement policies.

Class 2 – High Sensitivity

Few developments, including those with substantiated cases for such a specific location and which are in compliance with settlement policies.

Class 3 – Special

Restricted to essential residential needs of local households, family farm business and locally resourced enterprises.

Class 4 – Iconic

Negligible alterations will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances.

Table 15.6: Landscape Sensitivity Designations

The Council shall provide for the consideration of strategic infrastructure in all Classes.

It is accepted that the Islands around our coastline are special and require protection while at the same time accommodating local needs. Currently the landscape sensitivity rating for the Aran Islands is Class 4 – Iconic. However, consideration will be given to accommodating local housing needs, where the development would be in conformity with the provisions of the plan.

DM Standard 48: Field Patterns, Stone Walls, Trees and Hedgerows

Field patterns and associated stone walls, trees and hedgerows are an important part of the visual and environmental quality of rural areas and their removal and replacement with block walls and fencing leads to urban features in a rural environment. It can also have an effect on wildlife and lead to the removal of valuable hedgerows upon which wildlife depends. New developments will accordingly be subject to the following requirements in this regard:

a) Existing Features

Retain and incorporate existing field patterns and associated stone walls, trees and hedgerows into new development layouts wherever feasible.

b) Intervention

In general, only the minimum interference with existing field patterns, stone walls, trees and hedges shall be permitted.

c) Planting

The Council will also encourage the planting of native trees and hedgerows along all boundaries.

d) Hedgerows

Include consideration of native hedgerow with post and rail fencing along roadside frontages where existing hedgerow is being removed. Employ the appropriate management methods for the maintenance of roadside habitats to minimise damage (in particular to hedges) and observe the hedge cutting closed season.

15.8 Marine and Coastal Management

DM Standard 49: Coastal Management and Protection

The following requirements shall be considered and applied where appropriate with respect to coastal management and protection:

a) Natural Processes

Where possible, developments shall ensure that the landward migration of coastal features, such as

dunes and marshes, shall be facilitated as these features form an integral part of the coastal system – both physically and ecologically - and provide protection against wave energy through dissipation.

b) Sea Level Change and Flooding

New developments shall generally comply with the following approach to coastal management for sea level change:

•             No new building or new development within 100m of ‘soft’ shoreline;

•             No further reclamation of estuary land;

•             No removal of sand dunes, beach sand or gravel;

•             All coastal defence measures to be assessed for environmental impact.

c) Coastal Edge

In addition to the above, a general minimum horizontal setback of 30m from the foreshore field boundary line, for new development, or along the 3m natural contour line, whichever is the greatest, is to be created. Any planning applications within this setback must demonstrate that any development would not be subject to potential rising sea levels as a result of climate change including global warming, and must address any issues with regard to rising sea levels, with regard to the siting of any development. New developments should not restrict opportunities for providing public access to the foreshore. The coastal edge and coastal habitats shall be protected from destruction and degradation to ensure their roles as ecological corridors, coastal flooding and storm surge buffers are retained and enhanced, and developers proposing developments in the vicinity of this area will be requested to carry out an ecological plan that incorporates the natural vegetation and topography of the area.

All plans and projects shall have regard to and be in accordance with the provisions of the National Marine Planning Framework.

DM Standard 50: Mariculture

The following details shall be required as part of a planning application where appropriate with respect to coastal management and protection;

• The capacity of the shoreline to absorb its onshore facilities;

• Access roads;

• Car parking;

• Scale of traffic and size of vehicle using facility;

• Turning space required;

• Impact of traffic on public road;

• Waste disposal i.e. reject produce;

• Slipways;

• Moorings;

• Lighting;

• Cranes;

• Amenities in the area; and

• Any visual aids necessary to measure the impact.

Development effecting the coast must comply with the Policy Objectives set out in Chapter 9 Marine and Coastal Management.

15.9 Natural Heritage, Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure

DM Standard 51: Environmental Assessments

The following measures shall be applied in respect of designated environmental sites:

a) Appropriate Assessment

Screening for Appropriate Assessment and/or Appropriate Assessment will be required with all applications where it is considered that the proposed development may impact (directly and indirectly), or in combination with other projects, on a Natura 2000 designated site i.e. a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or a Special Protection Area (SPA), to inform decision making. The appropriate assessment shall be carried out in accordance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (as amended), as relevant.

b) Ecological Assessment

An Ecological Assessment may be required for small scale projects in other areas e.g. (proposed) Natural Heritage Areas, Ramsar Sites, Nature Reserves, National Parks) that may be considered environmentally sensitive and may have direct/indirect impacts on the natural heritage value of the area. The need for an ecological assessment should be discussed with the Planning Section prior to the submission of an application. The assessment should include consideration of impacts in relation to biodiversity, ecological linkages, water quality and drainage.

c) Environmental Impact Statement/Assessment

Under the EIA Directive the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment is required. The thresholds for such an assessment are listed in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended). An EIS may also be required for development proposals below the statutory thresholds; EIA Guidance for Consent Authorities on Sub Threshold Development (2003) is available in this regard. The Planning Authority may require the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the provisions of Part 10 of Assessment the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended).

DM Standard 52: Green Infrastructure

Existing Green Infrastructure (including green corridors) and ecosystems services should be identified at the initial stages of the planning process for a proposed development and should guide the design of an appropriate site layout. These may comprise linear open spaces along paths, water courses, planting or other natural features, and provide opportunities for walking and cycling, informal recreation, and biodiversity and wildlife migration. The landscaping plan submitted with an application should clearly illustrate how existing green infrastructure, and opportunities to create more linkages outside the site, have informed and been incorporated into the development layout. Green corridors are not considered to form part of the public open space provision of a development. The Planning Authority will encourage the protection of all mature trees and hedgerows, which occur on development sites and roads. Where possible, all trees, hedgerow and landscape features to be retained shall be identified in planning applications.

15.10 Community Development and Social Infrastructure

The Council shall seek to ensure that community facilities are provided in tandem with housing developments as well as ensuring there is an adequate proximity to all essential services such as shops.

DM Standard 53: Schools

Applications for educational provision shall comply with the requirements of technical guidance documents published by the Department of Education and Skills (see and the Local Authority including ‘Provision of Schools and the Planning System: A code of Practice for Planning Authorities (DES,DEHLG, 2008).

In the design of education facilities consideration should be given to provision of multi-campus and multi-use element with a flexible approach demonstrated to allow for different users at different times of the day and throughout the calendar year.

This list is not exhaustive and the Council may consider other requirements contained in the chapter on a case by case basis with planning applications should the need arise.

Existing Educational Sites

Lands adjacent to existing schools should where possible be protected for possible future educational use to allow for expansion of these schools, if required, subject to site suitability and agreement of the various stakeholders.

DM Standard 54: Community Facilities

In assessing planning applications for example leisure facilities, sports grounds, playing fields, play areas, community halls, organisational meeting facilities, medical facilities, childcare facilities and other community orientated developments, regard will be taken of considerations such as:

  • Overall need in terms of existing infrastructural deficit and opportunity for community gain;
  • Practicalities of site location in terms of relating to uses, impact on local amenities, desirability and accessibility;
  • The potential multifunctional use of community facilities;
  • Conformity with the requirements of appropriate legislative guidelines e.g. childcare facilities;
  • The Planning Authority supports the retention of existing school sites for community use once the existing school has been relocated to an appropriate site. The existing site could be redeveloped as a multi-purpose community centre providing a range of facilities for the local community, including community meeting rooms, youth facilities, games rooms, senior citizens facilities, sports and cultural facilities. The facility should have safe access for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Safe public parking/bus stop should be provided in close proximity as appropriate.

DM Standard 55: Nursing Home/Care Facilities & Specialist Housing

In general, nursing home and care facilities should be integrated wherever possible into the established residential areas, where there is adequate wastewater capacity and where residents can expect reasonable access to local services.

In determining planning applications nursing home developments and for change of use of a residential dwelling or other buildings to nursing/elder care home, a range of factors will be considered including:

  • Alignment with appropriately serviced and zoned lands and/or connectivity to existing public infrastructure and amenities;
  • Compliance with the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland (2016)
  • The effect on the amenities of adjoining properties;
  • Adequate off street parking;
  • Suitable and sufficient provision of private open space;
  • Proximity to local services and facilities;
  • The size and scale of the facility proposed – the scale must be appropriate to the area;

DM Standard 56: Places of Worship

Planning applications shall contain details in relation to the seating capacity of the facility, hours of operation and a traffic assessment (including details of proposed parking provision).

New or enlarged places of worship shall be located in places where they do not (i) create unacceptable traffic congestion, (ii) create car parking difficulties, (iii) cause a nuisance or detract from the amenities of existing residents or businesses.

DM Standard 57: Health Centres/Services, Primary Health Centres, Medical Consultants and Veterinary Surgeries

Planning applications should include details of proposed professional medical activities, proposed number of practitioners and support staff, parking provision and intended hours of operation.

The location of New Health Centres/services, Primary Health Centres, Medical Consultants and Veterinary Surgeries is favoured in towns, villages and local centres, with good accessibility, however new facilities in other locations or a change of use from residential to health facilities will be considered where the privacy and amenity of adjacent occupiers is preserved and the proposal does not have a detrimental effect on local amenity by way of traffic congestion or noise. Full justification will be required for proposals outside of towns and villages. Adequate car parking/set down areas must be identified in such proposals.

DM Standard 58: Burial Grounds and Crematoriums

Proposals will be required to demonstrate a need for the development and that the proposal will not (i) create unacceptable traffic congestion, (ii) create car parking difficulties, (iii) cause a nuisance or detract from the amenities of existing residents or businesses.

All proposals pertaining to crematoriums and/or crematoria should demonstrate compliance with appropriate legislative guidelines and provide details in relation to landscaping, storage, waste and groundwater.

Hydrogeological surveys and monitoring of the groundwater may be required for cemeteries.

15.11 Architecture, Archaeology and Culture

DM Standard 59: Protected or Proposed Protected Structures

As a minimum requirement, the Planning Authority will require planning applications for works to protected structures or proposed protected structures to have regard to the following:

• Galway County Council’s Architectural Survey & Assessment Best Practice Guide;

• DAHG Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2011;

The inclusion of a structure in the Record of Protected Structures does not preclude appropriate use or development. However, no works which would affect the character of the structure, or any element of it, which contributes to its special architectural heritage interest may be carried out to a protected structure without planning permission.

The following requirements shall be applied with respect to protected or proposed protected structures, as appropriate:

a) Conservation Measures

Proposals for development, which include a protected structure, will be required to incorporate measures to protect, conserve and enhance the character and appearance of the structure.

b) Development Works

Proposals for development involving material alteration or additions to a protected structure require

planning permission and will be required to show that:

• It is compatible with and will not detract from the special character of the structure and its setting;

• It complements and reflects the design and character of surrounding buildings and area;

• Features of architectural or historic interest and the historic form and structural integrity of the structure are retained;

• Architectural features shall match those or be in keeping with the traditional detailing of the structure;

• Proposals for development that compromise the setting of protected structures or which will result in material alteration or demolition of structures will only be permitted where:

• The structure is not capable of repair.

• There is no compatible or viable alternative use for the structure.

c) Adjoining Development

Development on sites adjoining a protected structure will be required to demonstrate that:

• It will have no adverse impacts on the character or integrity of the protected structure or views to and from it;

• Owners and prospective owners of protected structures or proposed protected structures or structures located in Architectural Conservation Areas should consult with the Planning Authority in good time as to the appropriateness of proposed works or other developments, and seek competent advice on best practice for carrying out such works.

DM Standard 60: Architectural Heritage Assessment report

Where deemed necessary, the Planning Authority may require an Architectural Heritage Assessment report, prepared by a qualified and experienced conservation architect as described in Appendix B of the DEHLG Architectural Heritage Protection, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2004 reissued by DAHG, 2011) which shall accompany planning applications for works to protected structures. This report shall:

• Outline the significance of the building;

• Include a detailed survey of the building, including a photographic survey;

• Detail the proposed works it is intended to carry out; and

• Contain a full assessment on the materials and method proposed to carry out these works, their impact on the character of the structure and the reversibility of the proposed works.

The details required to be submitted will be dependent on the significance of the building and the nature of works proposed. All works to protected structures shall be carried out in accordance with best conservation practice.

DM Standard 61: Architectural Conservation Areas

Owners and prospective owners and occupiers of protected structures or proposed protected structures or structures located in Architectural Conservation Areas should consult with the Planning Authority in good time as to the appropriateness of proposed works or other developments, and seek competent advice on best practice for carrying out such works.

The following requirements shall apply with respect to Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs):

a) Development Works

Proposals for development in an ACA that involves a new building, reuse or change of use and extensions will be required to:

• Conserve and enhance the character and appearance of the ACA;

• Respect the scale, massing, proportions, design and materials of existing structures;

• Retain important exterior architectural features that contribute to the character and appearance of the ACA.

b) Demolition

The demolition of a building within an ACA will be restricted unless the Council is satisfied that the structure or building does not contribute positively to the character or appearance of the ACA, or building or structure is beyond viable repair of reuse.

c) Historic shopfronts

Historic shopfronts should be retained and refurbished, where feasible. Such features as existing arches, stringcourses, plaster detailing or existing fascias and brackets should be considered in the new design and new internal alterations or proposed advertising should generally not interfere with such details. Wholesale removal of rendering along a streetscape is generally not encouraged.

DM Standard 62: Archaeological Conservation and Preservation (Urban & Rural Areas)

The National Monuments Acts 1930-2004 provide for the protection of archaeological heritage, including the establishment of a Record of Monuments and Places (RMP), which is a national inventory of archaeological sites and monuments. Some archaeological sites and monuments may also be of significant architectural heritage value and afforded dual protection as a Recorded/National Monument under the National Monuments Acts and as a protected structure under the Planning and Development Acts.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s full database of archaeological monuments can be accessed at

In considering proposals for development, applicants are advised to consult the Archaeological Constraints Maps (available for viewing in the Planning Department) in order to ascertain whether their development is located in an area of archaeological potential. Developers are strongly advised to have pre-application discussions if their site is located in such an area. All planning applications for new development, redevelopment, any ground works, refurbishment and restoration, etc. within areas of archaeological potential or within close proximity to Recorded Monuments or within the historic towns of County Galway (Ardrahan, Athenry, Dunmore, Eyrecourt, Loughrea and Tuam) will take account of the archaeological heritage of the area and the need for archaeological mitigation. Any persons proposing to carry out works at or in relation to a recorded monument must give 2 months written notice to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht (DAHG).

Developers should give due consideration to the following:

  • Archaeology & Development: Guidelines for Good Practice for Developers;
  • Framework and Principles for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage, DAHG (1999).

15.12 Climate Change, Energy and Renewable Energy

15.12.1 Climate Change

DM Standard 63: Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Proposals for residential and commercial development to specify at planning application stage, proposals for a target percentage of electricity usage in new developments to be derived from renewable energy resources.

Require a performance based Building Energy Rating (BER) target for all new building developments greater than 10 dwellings or greater than 1,000m² floor area for non-residential and mixed developments.

Accordingly, it will be a requirement that all planning applications submitted to the Planning Authority shall include a statement from a competent and qualified person certifying that the proposed development conforms to the energy rating outlined above.

DM Standard 64: Sustainable Design and Climate Action

Layout and building design must conform to the highest possible standards of energy efficiency. Buildings should be designed to minimise resource consumption, reducing waste, water and energy use. Design shall optimise natural ventilation and minimise glare and excess solar gain, avoiding large areas of glazing and providing an appropriate balance between solid and void elements.

Roof top solar panels, geothermal energy and in certain instances, wall mounted solar panels, shall be incorporated at the design stage of developments where possible. Sustainably sourced materials and existing re-used/recycled materials shall also be used where possible. Measures which will allow occupants to adapt to the impacts of climate change are promoted within developments and include natural ventilation, summer shading, openable windows, the incorporation of living green roofs and walls, planting and trees, as well as the inclusion of sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) and permeable surfaces in adjoining spaces. Measures to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change shall be appropriate to the landscape and architectural character of an area.

DM Standard 65: Residential Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement.

Development proposals for medium to large scale residential in excess of 10 residential units should be accompanied by an Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement.

The statement should detail how any on-site demolition, construction and long-term management of the development will be catered for and how energy and climate change adaptation considerations have been inherently addressed in the design and planning of the scheme. Residential developments shall have regard to;

  • the requirements of the current Building Regulations Part L – Conservation of Fuel and Energy (2008 and 2011), and any other supplementary or superseding guidance documents.
  • the DECLG guidance document ‘Towards nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland - Planning for 2020 and Beyond’, which promotes the increase of near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB);
  • Criteria 5 and 9 of the DEHLG Urban Design – A Best Practice Guide (2009) which relate to efficiency and adaptability,

or any subsequent revisions to these Guidelines or Regulations thereafter.

Developers shall ensure that measures to up-grade the energy efficiency of Protected Structures and historic buildings are sensitive to traditional construction methods and materials and do not have a detrimental physical, aesthetic or visual impact on the structure. They should follow the principles and direction given in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s publication Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings.

The author of an Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement should be appropriately qualified or competent and shall provide details of their qualifications and experience along with the statement.

DM Standard 66: Large Retail - Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement.

Development proposals for all retail developments in excess of 1,000 m² of commercial floor space should be accompanied by an Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement.

The statement should detail how any on-site demolition, construction and long-term management of the development will be catered for and how energy and climate change adaptation considerations have been inherently addressed in the design and planning of the scheme.

Such developments shall have regard to;

  • the requirements of the current Building Regulations Part L – Conservation of Fuel and Energy (2008 and 2011), and any other supplementary or superseding Regulations or guidance documents.
  • the DECLG guidance document ‘Towards nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland - Planning for 2020 and Beyond’, which promotes the increase of near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB).

New development proposals shall show energy efficiency is achieved through siting, layout, design and incorporate best practice in energy technologies, conservation and smart technology.

The author of an Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Adaptation Design Statement should be appropriately qualified or competent and shall provide details of their qualifications and experience along with the statement.

DM Standard 67: Deposit/temporary storage units, clothes banks and commercial washing machines

All applications of this nature will be assessed on a case by case basis having regard to the following;

• Proximity to residential areas;

• The provision of an area of at least 10 metres by 4 metres;

• Truck access and clearance heights;

• A hard standing area and safe pedestrian walkway;

• A vehicle set down area only with no permanent parking provision;

• Suitable lighting and CCTV monitoring; and

• Noise mitigation, screening and/or landscaping as considered necessary by the council.

15.13.2 Surface Water Drainage and Flooding

DM Standard 68: Sustainable Drainage Systems’ (SuDS)

All new developments (including amendments / extensions to existing developments) will be required to incorporate ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems’ (SuDS) as part of the development/design proposals. SuDS are effective technologies, which aim to reduce flood risk, improve water quality and enhance biodiversity and amenity. The systems should aim to mimic the natural drainage of the application site to minimise the effect of a development on flooding and pollution of existing waterways.

SuDS include devices such as swales, permeable pavements, filter drains, storage ponds, constructed wetlands, soakways and green roofs. In some exceptional cases, and at the discretion of the Council, where it is demonstrated that SuDS devices are not feasible, approval may be given to install underground attenuation tanks or enlarged pipes in conjunction with other devices to achieve the required water quality. Such alternative measures will only be considered as a last resort. Proposals for surface water attenuation systems should include maintenance proposals and procedures.

Development proposals will be required to be accompanied by a comprehensive SuDS assessment that addresses run-off rate, run-off quality and its impact on the existing habitat and water quality. This approach using SuDS offers a total solution to rainwater management and is applicable in both urban and rural situations. Current best practice guidance on SuDS is available from the Guidance Documents produced by the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS).

DM Standard 69: Flooding

Flood Zones and Appropriate Uses

The table below indicates the types of land uses that are appropriate in each of the Flood Zones identified within the Plan area, in accordance with the 2009 Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities and Departmental Circular PL2/2014 (or any updated/superseding legislation or policy guidance). 

Where developments/land uses are proposed that are considered inappropriate to the Flood Zone, then a Development Management Justification Test and site-specific Flood Risk Assessment will be required in accordance with The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines 2009 (and as updated).

Flood Zones

Overall probability

Planning implications for land uses

Highly Vulnerable Development

Less Vulnerable Development

Water Compatible Development


Flood Zone A


Inappropriate – if proposed then Justification Test and detailed Flood Risk Assessment is required

Inappropriate – if proposed then Justification Test and detailed Flood Risk Assessment is required

Appropriate – screen for flood risk


Flood zone B


Inappropriate – if proposed then Justification Test and detailed Flood Risk Assessment is required

Inappropriate due to climate change – if proposed then Justification Test and detailed Flood Risk Assessment is required

Appropriate – screen for flood risk


Flood Zone C


Appropriate - detailed Flood Risk Assessment may be required

Appropriate - detailed Flood Risk Assessment may be required

Appropriate – screen for flood risk


Table 15.7: Flood Zones Planning Implications

Note (refer to Flood Risk Management Guidelines 2009 and 'SFRA for the Galway County Development Plan 2022-2028' for additional detail):

  • Highly Vulnerable Development - Houses, schools, hospitals, residential institutions, emergency services, essential infrastructure, etc.
  • Less Vulnerable Development - Economic uses (retail, leisure, warehousing, commercial, industrial, non-residential institutions, etc.), land and buildings used for agriculture or forestry, local transport infrastructure, etc.
  • Water Compatible Development - Docks, marinas, wharves, water-based recreation and tourism (excluding sleeping accommodation), amenity open space, sports and recreation, flood control infrastructure, etc.

Structural and Non-Structural Risk Management Measures in Flood Vulnerable Zones

Applications for development in flood vulnerable zones shall provide details of structural and non-structural risk management measures to include, but not be limited to specifications of the following:

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.

Internal Layout

Internal layout of internal space shall be designed and specified to reduce the impact of flooding [for example, 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.

Flood-Resistant Construction

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

Developments shall 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 shall also specify the need to protect against flood water entry through sanitary appliances as a result of backflow through the drainage system.

Flood-Resilient Construction

Developments in flood vulnerable zones that are at risk of occasional inundation shall 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 shall also be specified to be raised above floor level, and one-way valves shall be incorporated into drainage pipes.

Emergency Response Planning

In addition to considering physical design issues for developments in flood vulnerable zones, the developer shall specify that the planning of new development 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 developments 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 Information

Further and more detailed guidance and advice can be found at and in the Building Regulations.

15.13.3 Renewable Energy Proposals

DM Standard 70: Wind Energy

When assessing planning applications for wind energy developments the Council will have regard to;

  • the Wind Energy Development Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DoEHLG, (2006) and any amendments to the Guidelines which may be made; and
  • the Local Authority Renewable Energy Strategy;

In addition to the above, the following local considerations will be taken into account by the Council in relation to any planning application;

  • Impact on the visual amenities of the area;
  • Impact on the residential amenities of the area;
  • Scale and layout of the project, any cumulative effects due to other projects and the extent to which the impacts are visible across the local landscape;
  • Visual impact of the proposal with respect to protected views, scenic routes and sensitive landscapes (Class 2, 3 and 4);
  • Impact on nature conservation, ecology, soil, hydrology, groundwater, archaeology, built heritage and public rights of way;
  • Impact on ground conditions and geology;
  • Consideration of falling distance plus an additional flashover distance from wind turbines to overhead transmission lines;
  • Impact of development on the road network in the area; and
  • Impact on human health in relation to noise disturbance (including consistency with the Word Health Organisations 2018 Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region), shadow flicker and air quality.

This list is not exhaustive and the Council may consider other requirements contained in the chapter on a case by case basis with planning applications should the need arise.

DM Standard 71: Solar Energy

The Council will consider the following factors in assessing a planning application for a solar farm;

  • The reuse of previously developed land such as brownfield land, contaminated land or industrial land and non-productive agricultural land in preference to productive agricultural land;
  • The proximity of the proposal to the electricity infrastructure such as substations and indicative proposals to connect to existing or proposed grid connections;
  • The effect of glint and glare on landscapes, traffic and aircraft safety;
  • The extent to which there may be additional impacts if solar arrays follow the daily movement of the sun;
  • The need for, and impact of, security measures such as lights and fencing;
  • The visual impact of a proposal on heritage assets, designated sites and sensitive landscapes;
  • The potential impact on the ecological characteristics and features of the site and its sensitivity to the proposed changes arising from the construction, operation and decommissioning stages of a development. On a proposed site where a significant level of ecological impact is predicted an Ecological Management Plan may be used to mitigate against the predicted impact and/or a Natura Impact Statement if applicable;
  • The potential to mitigate landscape and visual impacts through appropriate siting, design and screening with native hedges;
  • The cumulative impact of the proposal with other ground mounted solar panels and wind turbines in the area;
  • An appraisal of the existing roads infrastructure and the potential impact of the proposed development, including traffic numbers and movements during the construction, operation and decommissioning phases of the proposal should be carried out. Evidence of appropriate sight lines at the entrance to the development from public roads shall also be provided;
  • Adequate drainage, surface water run-off and flooding mitigation. Where access tracks need to be provided, permeable tracks should be used, and localised SUDs, such as swales and infiltration trenches should be used to control any run off. Sites should be selected and configured to avoid the need to impact on existing drainage systems and watercourses. Culverting existing watercourses/drainage ditches should be avoided unless it is demonstrated that no reasonable alternatives exist and where necessary only temporarily for the construction period. The preparation of an outline Construction Environmental Management Plan setting out key environmental management controls for all phases of the development minimising impacts on existing drainage systems and watercourses may be required.



See submission attached
DMS 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 18, 20, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, & 44.
This submission essentially requests the Council to; Amend “Table 15.5: Car Parking Standards”to apply a car parking standard for Shops at the rate “1 car space per 20sqm net floorspace.”
Please see attached submission