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SHD Overview

This page gives a summary of the strategic housing development process

Strategic Housing Development Planning Applications

Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016
Planning and Development (Strategic Housing Development) Regulations 2017

Planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units and 200 plus student bed spaces can now be made directly to An Bord Pleanála. New legislation which allows for this type of application was enacted on 19th December 2016 and the associated regulations come in to effect on 3rd July 2017.
This new type of application has been introduced as part of Rebuilding Ireland to speed up the planning application process and accelerate delivery of larger housing and student accommodation proposals.
The types of housing applications which can be made direct to An Bord Pleanála are referred to as Strategic Housing Development (SHD) and are defined as follows:

  1. the development of 100 or more houses on land zoned for residential use or for a mixture of residential and other uses,

  2. the development of student accommodation units which, when combined, contain 200 or more bed spaces, on land the zoning of which facilitates the provision of student accommodation or a mixture of student accommodation and other uses thereon,

  3. development that includes developments of the type referred to in paragraph (a) and of the type referred to in paragraph (b), or containing a mix of houses and student accommodation or

  4. the alteration of an existing planning permission granted under section 34 (other than under subsection (3A) where the proposed alteration relates to development specified in paragraph (a), (b), or (c).

The application process to An Bord Pleanála consists of two principal stages:

Stage 1: Pre-Application Consultation

Pre-Application Consultation is mandatory for prospective applicants prior to making an application for strategic housing development (SHD). Prospective applicants consult first with the relevant planning authority and then with An Bord Pleanála who will form and issue an Opinion as to whether documents submitted constitute a reasonable basis for an application or whether further consideration or amendment to the documents are required. 

Guidance and pre-application request forms have been published by An Bord Pleanála for prospective applicants and planning authorities.

Stage 2: Planning Application

Applicants will submit applications for SHD directly to An Bord Pleanála.  Applications are to be decided within a mandatory 16-week time period which also includes a public consultation period and submission of a report by the planning authority. 

Guidance documents and planning application form have been published by An Bord Pleanála for prospective applicants, planning authorities and members of the public who wish to participate in the process. 

Screening / Scoping for Environmental Impact Assessment / Appropriate Assessment

New procedures for screening and scoping for Environmental Impact Assessment / Appropriate Assessment were also introduced under the recently enacted legislation.
Guidance in respect of these procedures have been published by An Bord Pleanála for prospective applicants and planning authorities.