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Action Area Guidelines

Guidelines on the preparation of Action Area Plans.

Action Area Plans are required to be prepared for various areas throughout the county prior to the submission of planning applications for development on those lands. The general purpose of Action Area Plans is to ensure that development is undertaken in a sustainable and integrated manner. An Action Area Plan should set down the framework for the sustainable, phased and managed development of a particular area.

The action areas are designated in the various Local Area Plans and Town Plans, which also set out the particular objectives for each action area.

When preparing an Action Area Plan, it is important that the following issues are addressed:

  • Objectives contained in the Local Area Plan for the action area
  • Phasing of the development
  • Zonings contained within the action area
  • Ownership of lands within the action area
  • Main access points to the lands
  • Any particular/unusual fundamental item/feature relevant to the action area

Action Area Plans should not contain too much detail. They are not a planning application and should therefore only address the general items that would inform the preparation of future planning applications within the area to achieve integrated sustainable development.

The written agreement of all landowners to the submitted action area plan is normally required. However, where such agreement cannot be reached between all landowners, the planning authority may, in the interest of proper planning and sustainable development, decide to progress the Action Area Plan. Where this occurs, the planning authority will advise the relevant landowners of their intention to progress the approval of the action area plan and invite them to make submissions on the submitted action area directly to the planning authority.

Content of Action Area Plans

Four copies of an Action Area Plan should be submitted to the planning authority.

When submitting an Action Area Plan, a written statement and a series of drawings should be submitted.

The written statement should include the following:

  • The objectives for the Action Area identified in the Local Area Plan/Town Plan and how these objectives are to be achieved.
  • Details of how the overall development is to be phased. In particular, phasing proposals should set out:
    • the likely timescale for the development of the action area
    • how the development of the action area is to be progressed spatially
    • how the development of the action area will be linked to the provision of both physical infrastructure (eg roads and water supply) and social infrastructure (eg schools and open space), both within and outside the action area
  • Details of all the landowners and written evidence of their agreement to the submitted Action Area Plan. If all landowners are not in agreement, this should be highlighted.
  • The level of consultation that has taken place with the relevant sections of the local authority eg roads or sanitary services, and details of any particular issues that have arisen from such consultation, including how such issues are/will be addressed. Where an action area contains community and/or active open space zonings, the Community & Enterprise Section should be consulted.
  • The level of consultation with other bodies/organisation, eg the Wildlife Service. Where an action area contains an educational zoning, the Department of Education should be consulted.
  • General brief on the key urban design issues to guide future development proposals.
  • General services and drainage approach, including the main water supply and foul sewer connection points, any historical flooding information etc.

The series of drawings should detail the following items:

  • An Action Area Detail Map to a scale no greater than 1: 2500 showing existing contours, existing physical features (trees, hedgerows, buildings, roads, services etc)
  • All potential access points from the local road network
  • The zoning of of each part of the action area, including the size of each particular zoning
  • The phasing of development
  • Details of land ownerships
  • Any proposed road improvement objectives
  • Catchment drainage assessment, including flow directions for watercourses and discharge points for surface water run-off