Population and Settlement Hierarchy

Dúnta20 Iúil, 2020, 9:00am - 14 M.F., 2020, 5:00pm
Waterford City is recognised in the National Planning Framework as a national and regional driver of growth. The NPF sets out that Waterford City and suburbs population will grow by 50%. This growth will occur within the existing ‘built-up’ footprint of the city, through brownfield, infill and regeneration sites. Outside of Waterford City and Suburbs, 30% of all new homes will be targeted in settlements and will occur within their existing ‘built-up’ footprints1.

This requires a development strategy to build Waterford city’s population and employment base substantially in a way that would enable it to act as an economic engine, driving the county and regional enterprise growth in combination with surrounding urban centres.

Dungarvan is identified as a Key Town in the Regional Spatial Economic Strategy. It will play a critical and strategic role in underpinning the strategy and ensure the consolidation and spread of growth beyond the Waterford city to the sub regional level and will also provide synergies with East Cork.

A network of other towns such as Tramore and smaller towns and villages including Dunmore East, Portlaw and Lismore among others will collectively support the social and economic development of Waterford. The primary aim of these smaller settlements is to create sustainable and vibrant communities which will act as district and local service centres to their hinterlands proportionate to their scale, function and their access to public services and facilities. It is envisaged that these centres will provide for rural housing, an improved quality of life by promoting accessibility, connectivity and high quality public realm while protecting their natural and built environments.

Where and how we plan to meet this population increase in terms of housing must be set out in the Development Plan’s Core and Housing Strategies. Recent trends suggest an imbalance in the type of housing i.e. social, middle and high end, in different locations leading to undue segregation which is evident between neighbourhoods in Waterford City and Dungarvan, between Tramore and Waterford City and between housing in the open countryside and rural settlements. To this end there needs to be a balance to ensure that appropriate and affordable housing is available in the right locations, with good infrastructure, services and amenities, if we are to improve the quality of life for people living in Waterford. We also need to ensure that we provide the right mix and type of housing to meet the requirements of various household formations. The changing demographics of the city and county are also an important element to consider and ensure that the right services are in place to deal with the increase requirements in health care etc.

Settlement Category

Designated Settlement

Regional City

Waterford City

Key Town


Secondary Service Centre


District Service Centres

Ardmore, Ballyduff Lower (East), Cappoquin, Cheekpoint, Crooke, Dunhill, Dunmore East, Kill, Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden, Lismore, Portlaw, Stradbally, Tallow

Local Service Centres

Aglish, Ballyduff Upper (West), Ballymacarbry, Bunmahon/Knockmahon, Clashmore, Clonmel Environs, Clonea- Power, Maoil na Choirne, Villierstown

Settlement Nodes

Annestown, Baile na nGall (An Rinn), Ballinroad,  Ballylaneen,  Bawnfune, Fenor, Heilbhic, Knockanore, Lemybrien, Passage East, Piltown, Rathgormuck, Sean Phobal, Touraneena 

Table 1: Current Waterford Settlement Hierarchy 

Key Information


Waterford City and County Population is 116,000 (CSO, 2016)

The average household size in Waterford is 2.6 people (CSO, 2016)



137,000 - 144,000 population growth for Waterford City and County by 2031

Housing supply to increase by approximately 18,000 accommodation units by 2040

23% of the population will be over 65 years of age by 2040

Table 2: Waterford City & Tramore Percentage Housing Tenure (Source CSO 2016)

Key Questions

  1. Are there infill/regeneration sites in your localitythat the development plan could identify for housing development?
  2. What policies and objectives can the development plan include to make our towns and villages more attractive, vibrant and welcoming to all?
  3. Housing accommodation is required for all sectors of society, in particular older people, students, member of the Traveller Community, minority groups, single occupancy units, apartments, family units. Where should such housing be located?
  4. What should the form and scale, design and layout of housing in our rural towns look like?
  5. How can the development plan promote the reuse of vacant premises within our city, towns and villages?
  6. How can the development plan enhance vitalityand viability of our smaller communities and places?
  7. How can the development plan policies balance the need for the provision of housing in the open countryside while maintaining the social and economic function of the settlements and overall environmental quality?
  8. It is important for the broader community that a balance is achieved in the mix of house type and tenure both within settlements and neighbourhoods and between settlements. How can this be achieved through the development plan?
  • 1- 1 National Policy Objective 3 (c)