Large-scale Residential Developments (LRD)

Large-scale Residential Developments (LRD)

What is a Large-scale Residential Development (LRD)?

 ‘Large-scale Residential Development’ or LRD applications are applications made to local authority for

    • the development of 100 or more houses,
    • the development of student accommodation that includes 200 or more bed spaces,
    • both the development of 100 or more houses and of student accommodation, or
    • both the development of student accommodation that includes 200 or more bed spaces and of houses.

LRD applications are restricted to residential zoned lands and do not apply to lands designated as Strategic Development Zones. Any other uses proposed within the development are required to be compliant with the Land Use zoning objectives designated by the Development Plan. Non-residential developments proposed within an LRD application is restricted to 30% of the total floor area.

Legislative Basis for LRD

The Government, in line with their commitment to end and replace the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process, established a new application process (LRD). Under this new arrangement, LRD applications are made directly to the local authority. The Planning and Development (Amendment) (Large-scale Residential Development) Act 2021 came into effect as of 17th December 2021, which is the commencement date for dealing with LRD applications. New Regulations and Fee Structures also came into effect on 17th December 2021

LRD: 4 Stage Process procedure

The LRD or Large Scale Development application process generally consist of 4 stages- 

Stage 1: Pre- application Section 247 consultation

Pre-application section 247 consultation with the planning authority is an important requirement of the LRD process. The purpose of the pre-application consultation is to afford any prospective applicants an opportunity to seek advice from the local authority on any planning matters that may have a bearing on the decision of the application.

Planning Authorities are required to schedule a meeting with the applicant within 4 weeks from receipt of the pre-application consultation request. A pre-application consultation can only be arranged with a person with sufficient legal interest in the land concerned and only with respect to a specific development proposal.

Application form for requesting Section 247 meeting with planning authority 

Requests for pre planning consultation for LRD’s should be made to:

Stage 2: LRD meeting with the Planning Authority

After a prospective LRD applicant has completed a section 247 meeting, they may request an ‘LRD meeting’ with that local authority. Following the receipt of LRD consultation request, the Planning Authority is required to facilitate a consultation meeting with the applicant within 4 weeks of the date receipt of such a request. All LRD proposals are required to undertake an ‘LRD meeting’ with the relevant planning authority for the purpose of receiving an ‘LRD opinion’ recommending whether “the proposal constitutes a reasonable basis for submitting an LRD planning application” under Section 32(D) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000-2021.

Link to the pre-application form (18)

Fees for pre-application consultation - €1500


Stage 3: Forming and Issuing of ‘LRD Opinion’

Following the LRD meeting with a prospective applicant the planning authority is required to form an ‘LRD opinion’ within 4 weeks from the date of consultation. This involves considering the documents submitted for the purposes of the ‘LRD meeting’ as to whether the proposal constitutes a reasonable basis to make an LRD planning application. Where the Council forms the opinion that further consideration and amendment is required, it shall provide advice as to what issues need to be addressed by the prospective applicant in the documents to be submitted with an application. The ‘LRD opinion’ issued by the Local Authority is only valid up to 6 months. Our weekly planning list includes information on any LRD pre-application consultations currently being processed by Galway City Council

 Stage 4: LRD Application

A prospective LRD applicant is required to fulfil the following requirements prior to making an LRD application:

    • Has engaged with the local authority under Section 247 and received an LRD opinion (dated within 6 months)
    • Application has addressed any issues identified or deficits in information set out within the ‘LRD opinion’
    • The applicant is required to make a copy of the LRD application available for public viewing on a dedicated website

LRD Applications are subject to Section 34 timelines, with decisions due 8 weeks from application lodgement unless additional information has been requested. Under this new arrangement, Local Authorities are able to request additional information with respect to an LRD planning application. But this can only be requested once during the application process.

Neither the taking place of an LRD meeting nor the provision of an LRD opinion shall prejudice the performance by the planning authority of its functions under the relevant Act or any regulations under such Act or any other enactment and cannot be relied upon in the formal planning process or in legal proceedings.

LRD application form (19)

Fees for submitting LRD application

Class of Development

Amount OF Fee

Amount of Fee for Retention Permission

Basic fee structure for each Housing Unit.


Note: In respect of an application comprising student accommodation, or shared accommodation the above structure range and fee per unit should be applied on the pro rata basis of the fee for 1 housing unit = the fee for 2 bed spaces of student accommodation or shared accommodation.


€130 per housing unit


€390 per housing unit


Fee structure for other uses on the land, the zoning of which facilitates such use: per square metre of gross floor space to a maximum of 30% of floor space of the entire development.


€7.20 per square metre to a maximum of €32,400

€15.00 per square metre to a maximum of €65,000

Submission of EIS

Submission of NIS





The maximum fee payable to a Planning Authority by an applicant in respect of an application for permission for a large-scale residential development shall be €80,000.

Making an observation/submission

Once an LRD planning application has been submitted, members of the public, prescribed bodies and elected local authority members will be able to make observations on the proposed development. Anybody other than the applicant can make a submission/ observation on a planning application.

If you want to make an observation on an existing application, you must do this within 5 weeks from the date when the application was registered.  Weekly list including any current LRD applications being processed by Galway City Council.

All submissions/observations made with respect to an application will be published on our website. For further information on submitting observations .

Fee for making an observation is €20.

Appeal to An Bord Pleanála

If you are the applicant of an LRD, you can make a First Party appeal to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks of receiving a decision from Planning Authority.

If you have made an observation/submission to the planning authority on a proposed LRD, you can make a Third-Party appeal to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks of receiving a decision from Planning Authority.