Minister Murphy publishes Draft Guidelines on
Urban Development and Building Heights for public consultation

Mr Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today (9th August) published draft Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities for public consultation.

These draft Guidelines set out new and updated national planning policy on building heights in relation to urban areas, elaborating on the strategic policy framework set out in Project Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework, and are part of a suite of integrated measures and policy shifts to break the current patterns and development trends for our cities and towns and create more compact and integrated communities.

These Guidelines, when formally adopted later this Autumn, will:

  • Elaborate on key policies outlined in the National Planning Framework, in particular National Policy Objective 13, which identifies building height as an important measure for urban areas to deliver and achieve compact growth;
  • Outline wider and strategic policy considerations and a performance criteria that planning authorities should apply alongside their statutory development plans in assessing proposals for taller buildings; and
  • Support the accommodation of anticipated population growth and their development needs, whether for housing, employment or other purposes, by building up and consolidating the development of our existing urban areas.

In welcoming these new draft guidelines, the Minister highlighted the need for the guidance “to put into practice key strategic objectives contained in the National Planning Framework about securing better and more compact forms of future development, for the benefit of our economy, our environment and most of all, our citizens.  These guidelines are intended to set a new and more responsive policy and regulatory framework for planning the growth and development of our cities and towns upwards, rather than outwards”.

The Minister added: “Publication of these draft Guidelines is very timely, following on from the whole-of-Government approach in seeking to harness the strategic objectives of the National Planning Framework and the long-term capital investment framework under the 10-year National Development Plan to shift away from the unsustainable “business as usual” development patterns and create a more adaptive and forward-looking vision and to prioritise and coordinate State investment to implement that Framework.”

A copy of the draft Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities and associated environmental reports can be downloaded from the Department’s website at or may be inspected at the Department’s headquarters at the Custom House, Dublin 1, between 9am and 5pm, from 9th August 2018, up to and including 24th September 2018.

A written submission or observation on the draft programme or associated environmental reports can be made by email, preferably in ‘word’ format, to Alternatively, responses can be posted to: Building Height Guidelines 2018 Consultation, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1, D01 W6X0.

It should be noted that in the interests of transparency, all written submissions received will be made publicly available on the Department’s website.

Once finalised later in the Autumn, these Guidelines will be issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and will be available on the Department’s website at: