Fundamental Design and Planning Principles for the Future Dundrum


We want to see:

  • A thriving Dundrum Main Street, that respects the character and streetscape of the Old Main Street, the local historical and cultural landmarks, and maintains a style and scale of building in tune with the character of the Village.


  • A proper balance between residential, commercial and public/civic spaces, both on the Main Street and in the overall development, restoring the original qualities of Dundrum Village.


  • As an integral part of Dundrum’s redevelopment, a substantial public focal point providing for cultural, community and civic uses, which will strengthen community life and ensure its sustainability.


  • A connected environment with easy movement between its different parts, offering open and green areas, clear walking and cycle routes, reduced traffic movements, and smooth links to public transport.


  • A Village where small and medium-sized local, independent business are encouraged and provided for, to ensure authenticity in the commercial landscape, and a thriving day and evening social and commercial community. 


  • A Dundrum Village that is inclusive, open and accessible to all, including older people, children and young people, people with disabilities and the widest range of residents and visitors.


  • A sustainable, future proofed Village showcasing the highest environmental and energy efficient standards in its design, construction and maintenance.

Working with the County Development Plan 2016-2022

The current Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan 2016-22 was published in 2016, following a lot of hard work and thinking by the Council’s officials and Councillors, and a broad public consultation process. It is a very significant document for Imagine Dundrum’s campaign, because plans drawn up by developers have to conform to its many specific requirements. If you wish to view the original document online see the Links page.

General principles:

Much of the Plan’s up-to-date thinking about ‘place-making’ is close to Imagine Dundrum’s ideas and ambitions – it talks about what makes places ‘work’ for those who live there, and recognises the need for both new development and redevelopment to create a satisfying environment which enhances quality of life.

Imagine Dundrum has drawn on the Urban Design Principles in the County Plan for the ‘fundamental principles’ at the heart of its Vision Statement. (cross-reference here back to 3.1)


(1) New SLOs

Two Specific Local Objectives (nos 149 and 150 in Chapter 9 of the Plan) are particularly important for Imagine Dundrum’s ambitions for our village. They state that any new development must:

            (a) take[s] cognisance of the character and streetscape of the Old Main Street’, and

            (b) provide for and retain a range of complementary non-retail uses, including… cultural, community and civic uses.

 (2) The existing Urban Design Framework for Dundrum

Included in the new County Plan is an outline of the Council’s existing (2003) Urban Framework Plan for Dundrum, which has not been superceded.(see the Plan Section Much of that Framework Plan is close to Imagine Dundrum’s own thinking:

The redeveloped old Shopping Centre site should include ‘internal town squares or open spaces’, as well as appropriate residential accommodation and cultural amenities.

A renewed Main Street will include: retention of historic buildings; filling in gaps in the streetscape; using building styles and materials which reflect its distinctive local character; increased ‘connectivity’ using walkways and footbridges; community amenities in Sweetmount Park; and a focal point and ‘gateway’ to Dundrum, in the area around the Luas bridge.

 (3) Community facilities

One of the Principles of Development (Ch 8), is that ‘the location and provision of community facilities’ are ‘a pre-requisite for …viable, enjoyable, sustainable and attractive local communities’. Old Dundrum needs these facilities every bit as much as any brand-new urban development.  

      Imagine Dundrum is convinced that a central element in the success of the new Dundrum Village will be the creation of a new space or centre with a range of civic, cultural and community functions, situated at a focal point and integrated into the overall commercial and residential development.

      This is a new and innovative concept in the Irish context, and has great potential for restoring and consolidating a local sense of community and belonging, which could otherwise be at risk as large-scale change proceeds.

      Creating such a space or centre will be a matter for intensive collaboration between the County Council and the developers, and Imagine Dundrum intends to press for this to happen, as well as to contribute to their thinking.

    Imagine Dundrum has produced a draft document : Vision Statement for a Civic, Community and Cultural Space in Dundrum, which can be obtained on request. Comments and contributions to its ideas will be welcome!

See also architectural drawing number 2 in the Gallery section of the website for a visualisation of this idea. This  drawing shows the ‘market square’ or plaza with the civic 

building as its focal point.  

We imagine Dundrum in the future as an authentic and recognisable place, reflecting its unique history and heritage, and as a place which is thriving, attractive and welcoming for all in the local community, those who work here, and our many visitors.

              A vision for a civic, community and cultural space in Dundrum Village

© 2017 Imagine Dundrum