The Polish couple is not advised of this. The article instead refers to chartered building surveyors and architects as the correct people to contact. This is simply incorrect and misleading. The correct people to contact are those with actual planning qualifications such as UCD's Masters Degree in Regional and Urban Planning and those with experience working as a council planner or as a private planner (who has made many rural housing planning applications) who can actually advise accurately and informatively on the chances of obtaining planning permission.
The Irish Planning Institute maintains a list of properly qualified planners who those, such as this Polish couple, can contact if they actually need to speak to the correct professional to give them the right advice. If you need to speak to a planner who can actually properly answer your planning question, please contact one of the planning consultancy firms on the Irish Planning Institute's list at this link: https://www.ipi.ie/consultants
Perhaps in the future the Irish Times could use a qualified planner to answer planning questions and/or ensure answers provided give the correct advice.
The article can be reviewed @ The Irish Times