How to plan for developing your site in Cork for small infill developments.

There is huge potential locked up in under-developed sites in all over the city. With the huge pressure to get houses built, there is a great opportunity for those sites to yield much needed housing within the city limits. This maximises the existing infrastructure and is far more sustainable than building a more spread-out city by zoning green-field sites for housing on the periphery.

Things to consider when assessing the potential of a site for subdivision.

What type of development are you hoping to achieve?

If your site is appropriate for apartments, then there are a specific set of factors to consider for that type of development which I will deal with separately in another post.

If you are looking at houses, then these are the first two things I would consider.

Road access for off-street car parking

You need to look at the type of road that you are hoping to exit onto. Most sites will want space to park a car off street. Although in the city, the planners do not insist on minimum car-parking where there is public transport, commercial reality makes this a necessity. It may be impossible to get permission drive into a front garden and reverse onto the street for individual houses, depending on the type of road and the design speed for that road. If possible, consider a shared off-street common car parking area for more than one house, with enough space to turn around and drive out again.

This development provides such a common off-street parking arrangement.

Private open space standards

This is something that is prescribed in the Development Plan and is related to the size and type of dwelling you are proposing. Currently these are the standards required in the Cork City Development Plan table 16.7

This private open space needs to be to the rear or side of the development to be acceptable, not to the front.

Plot Ratio

Plot Ratio is in Section 16 of the Development plan, but is secondly to the considerations of appropriate density such as context (surrounding buildings), form in relation to the site position, i.e. corner sites might support higher density in urban areas etc. See 16.59 Infill Housing.

Public Open Space

This is not a critical factor for small infill developments – The Private Open space is the one to focus on.

If you can satisfy these site requirements, then you may be in a position to achieve permission for your development. The next step is to look at what kind of dwelling are you going to design. This will be dealt with in the next blog.


I would love to hear your comments on the cost plan and if you have any questions post them in the comments below and I will get back to you. Thank you for reading my blog on this issue and do share it using the buttons opposite!

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