11. Single Rural Dwelling Density Toolkit
Appendix 11. Single Rural Dwelling Density Toolkit
National guidelines and the County Development Plan policy has generally been formulated to manage rural housing to avoid a proliferation of one-off houses, extensive ribbon development, piecemeal and haphazard development.
The application of such criteria, while generally clear to the planner undertaking the assessment, can be problematic for the applicant to decipher. In order to provide some guidance on the matter, the Planning Authority will (in association with other relevant criteria) assess applications for one-off housing in the countryside having regard to the overall rural residential density in the area.
When the density or intensity of one-off houses becomes overly concentrated in any one particular area, the rural character of the area is gradually eroded, as bungalows replace vernacular dwellings, as modern buildings replace traditional local materials, as hedgerows are replaced with a wide range of boundary treatments (including non-native hedging, timber fencing – painted or treated in different colours,
metal/weldmesh fencing, brick/concrete block/rendered/pebble dashed walls), and access lanes and boreens are replaced with tarmac driveways. The intrinsic rural character is gradually transformed into a suburban, peri-rural character.
This critical question therefore becomes, “at what point does that the character change” i.e., “what is the tipping point”?
One of the evaluation criteria is the examination of Rural Residential Density (RRD) at the scale of a square kilometre surrounding the proposed site for a one-off house.