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Design guidance

The Departments design guidance in relation to residential developments, which can be downloaded from this page.

The aim of this guidance is to help all of those involved in the design process (developers, homeowners, architects and agents and planners) to work together to improve the quality of our built environment. It is hoped that this document will encourage creative, innovative and locally distinctive designs that respond to the changing needs of our communities. The document is not intended to stifle creativity or to promote planning by numbers and off the peg designs, but rather to create a supportive context for good quality designs, be they traditional or modern. 

The document is not a Planning Policy Statement (as per Section 3 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1999) but is capable of being an ‘other material consideration’ (as per Section 10(4)(d) of the Act). Furthermore, where proposals adopt the approaches set out within this document, they are more likely to be considered to comply with the detailed Development Plan policies that relate to design.

This document was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 reflecting the use of the document by the Department and those involved in applications and expanded content in relation to climate change.

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