Large-scale Residential Developments (LRD)

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

'Large-scale Residential Development' or LRD applications made to a 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 development proposed within an LRD application is restricted to a maximum of 30% of the total floor area. 

Legislative Basis for LRD

The Large-scale Residential Development (LRD) process was introduced on 17th December 2021 to replace the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process.  This restores the two-stage planning process, with decision making for LRD applications returning to the local planning authority in the first instance, with the subsequent right of appeal to An Board Pleanála. 

The Circular below outlines the process which applies to LRD applications.

Circular PL 13-2021 Large-scale Residential Development Act and Regulations 2021

LRD: 4 Stage Process

The LRD application process generally consists of 4 stages - 

  • Stage 1: Pre-application Section 247 consultation
  • Stage 2: LRD Meeting with the Planning Authority
  • Stage 3: Forming and issuing of the LRD Opinion
  • Stage 4: Submission of LRD Application 

Stage 1: Pre-application Section 247 Consultation

The 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 the 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 of 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. 

Requests for an LRD pre-application consultation should be made using the LRD Pre-application Consultation Application Form


Stage 2: LRD Meeting with the Planning Authority

After the Section 247 consultation, a prospective LRD applicant may request and 'LRD meeting' with that local authority. The Planning Authority is required to facilitate an LRD meeting with the applicant within 4 weeks of the receipt date of the LRD meeting request. The LRD meeting request must be made using the LRD Pre-application Consultation Application Form and accompanied by the appropriate fee of €1,500.

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 (as amended).

Stage 3: Forming and Issuing of 'LRD Opinion'

The planning authority is required to form and issue an 'LRD opinion' within 4 weeks from the date of the LRD meeting. 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 local authority 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 submitted with an LRD planning application. The 'LRD opinion' issued by the local authority is only valid for 6 months. 


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)
  • The 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. However, 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 Planning Application Form


For further information, please email

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