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Preparing a new Dublin City Development Plan – #GetInvolved

You may or may not be aware, but Dublin City Council is currently seeking your views on how the future of development of Dublin is to be planned for and managed.

Why is the City Council doing this?

Every six years Councillors are required to review, update and approve a Development Plan for the city. The current Development Plan expires in November 2022 meaning that between now and then, Councillors have to examine the existing plan, consider what changes need to be made, debate alternative proposals before signing off on a new Development Plan that will remain in place until 2028.

But I hear you ask, what is the Development Plan and is it important?

The Development Plan is a public document that is used to guide development and sets out the vision for how Dublin should develop and evolve through the lifetime of the plan.

Yes, it is important because it sets out the overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the city. It contains detailed policies and objectives regarding future development. It includes a series of zoning maps which form the basis for deciding the appropriate location for different types of development and which underpin the decision-making process for planning applications.

In short – the Development Plan is the planning rulebook upon which all planning applications to Dublin City Council are judged against.

Are there any specific requirements that must be included in the Development Plan?

The Development Plan must consist of a written document called the ‘Written Statement’ and a Plan of Plans containing development objectives for a specific area. In addition, the Development Plan must detail how land in the city is to be used and will specify objectives and policies to guide development. An essential component of the Development Plan is the identification of land supply to accommodate development growth. The Core Strategy leads on from this and it includes a concept map showing what areas growth is to be sought as well detailing key housing delivery targets, employment potential, community and social infrastructure required to accommodate that growth, such as schools, hospitals, transport, shops, etc. The Development Plan must also be consistent with national and regional planning and development policy and specifically address the following requirements;

  • The zoning of land for particular uses, core strategy and housing strategy.
  • Sustainable settlement and regeneration areas, development and renewal.
  • Infrastructure facilitation and provision and transport strategies.
  • Social Community Cultural considerations.
  • Conservation and protection of the environment.
  • Preservation of landscape character and recreational amenities.
  • Protection of structures and preservation of character of Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs).
  • Address climate change adaptation and reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

How long does it take to prepare the Development Plan?

The statutory timeframe is 99 weeks. From the day the review of the existing Development Plan is published, the City Council has exactly 99 weeks to formally approve the new Development Plan. This is set down in law in the Planning & Development Acts.

So what stage are we at now?

On December 15th last, the City Council published the Strategic Issues Paper which is the formal starting point in the Development Plan process. This Issues Paper is designed to get the public, interested parties, statutory organisations, everyone really to think about what needs to change about the existing planning framework for the city and where it needs improving. Put another way, we’re at blue sky thinking time!

What are the key issues that facing Dublin for the next ten years and what the challenges that arise as we seek to tackle them in the Development Plan?

  1. Delivering quality housing but in a way that secures sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.
  2. Tackling Climate Action head on in order to protect Dubliners from pollution, flooding and other climate risks.
  3. Rebuilding our City Economy after the beating it has taken at the hands of Covid-19.
  4. Supporting our City Villages and retail sectors and encourage people back into the City Centre.
  5. Developing better green infrastructure and providing more recreational spaces while protecting our historic quarters, rivers, canals and parks.
  6. Shaping our City in a way that requires it grow upwards or outwards or both?
  7. Promoting sustainable public transport and considering how best we utilise our limited road-space.
  8. Protecting our Build Heritage thereby developing further conservation areas.

What are the key questions to be considered during the pre-Draft stage of the Development Plan?


How can the City Council promote compact growth and increase housing delivery?

How can the City Council plan for diverse housing needs, such as older people, minorities and those with different needs?

Where should specialist housing forms like Build to Rent be provided?

How can the City Council get the type and size mix of housing right?

How can the City Council achieve compact growth that sustains communities?

How should the City Council provide greater affordable and public housing?


How can the City Council mitigate the effects of climate change?

What development standards and policies can be used to address climate change?

How can the City Council provide for a greater amount of open space and playing pitches?

How is it the Council can provide flood protection, cleaner energy, etc ?

How can the City Council support investment in water treatment, bridges, surface water and drainage infrastructure?

How can the City Council meet the future need for different public open space activities?


How should the City Council support economic growth and employment within the Development Plan?

What are the key sectors of the economy requiring targeted support and how is this to be achieved?

How can the City Council plan to address economic deprivation within certain parts of the City?

How can the City Council support retail and the nighttime economy?

How can the City Council ensure that new spaces for innovation, enterprise within mixed neighbourhoods?

How has the pandemic changed the economic demands of the city?

How can the City Council provide for new office development in right locations?

How can the City Council secure investment in new infrastructure to unlock key regeneration sites and working with other State Agencies to achieve this?


What makes good place?

What is needed for better areas of strategic redevelopment?

Where should future regeneration growth areas be?

How should the question of height and density be addressed in the Development Plan?

What defines shaping new places or re-shaping existing areas?

What should the future look of the City Centre be?

What makes a quality public realm and how does that relate to place-making?


How should the City Council link land use zoning with transportation needs of the city?

Should the City Council examine the need to introduce a congestion charge?

How should the City Council increase the numbers walking and cycling as sustainable transport options?

How has the pandemic effected the need for sustainable mobility?

How can you find out more about the Development Plan and the issues to be considered?

The Strategic Issues Paper is available online at

Further information about the 99 week process of reviewing and preparing the Development Plan is also available online at

How can you have your say on the Development Plan?

You can provide your feedback or share your views with me and the City Council online or by post.

To make a submission ONLINE, please go to

To make a submission by post, please send your submission to: Development Plan Team, Planning & Property Development Department, Dublin City Council, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.

The deadline for you to have your say on the pre-Draft stage of the Development Plan is 4.30pm on Monday, February 22nd 2021.

If you would like further information about the Development Plan, the process or the issues involved, do not hesitate to get in touch with me at

raymcadam View All

Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City

Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee

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