Wednesday 29 November 2006

Applying for planning permission

Planning Permission


If you are going to build a house in Ireland, you will need planning permission. If you are going to build an extension or make other changes to your existing house, you may need planning permission. Some small extensions and conservatories do not need planning permission but you should make sure of this before you start building. Your local authority will be able to advise you about this and tell you how to apply as well as giving you general advice about your application. Your local authority will also be able to tell you whether your proposals are likely to comply with the development plan for your area.

There are three types of planning permission: permission, outline permission and permission consequent on outline permission. The most common type is permission, sometimes called full permission. However, if you want to see if the planning authority agrees in principle to you building a house on a particular site or building a large extension, you might apply for outline permission, which will require you to produce only the plans and particulars that are necessary to enable the planning authority to make a decision in relation to the siting, layout or other proposals for development. If you get outline permission, you will have to submit detailed drawings and receive consequent permission before you start building work. Generally, outline permissions have a 3-year duration.

It is an offence to carry out any work that requires planning permission, without planning permission, and the offence can carry very heavy fines and imprisonment. However, if a genuine mistake has been made, it is possible to apply for planning permission to retain an unauthorised development. This permission may be refused, in which case, the unauthorised development will have to be demolished.

Generally, the local planning authority must make a decision on a planning application within 8 weeks of receiving the application, but if the local authority needs more information, or the decision is appealed, it may take much longer.

Anyone can see a copy of your application and on payment of a fee of 20 euro, can make a written submission/observation on it. The decision on your planning permission will be notified to you and anyone who commented in writing on it.

If the local authority decides to give you planning permission, you will get a notice of intention to grant planning permission. If no one appeals the decision to An Bord Pleanála within 4 weeks of the date of this decision, you will get grant of permission from the local authority.


You must give a public notice of your proposals before making an application. This must be done by placing a notice in a locally circulating newspaper (your local authority will have a list) and putting up a site notice that can be clearly read. You will find details of information that must be contained in the notices in the planning application form.

The application must be received by the local authority within 2 weeks of the notice appearing in the local newspaper and the erection of the site notice. The site notice must remain in place for at least 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application.

You must not start building before you receive the grant of permission.

Normally, planning permission is subject to conditions, some of which may require changes to your proposals.

Planning permission normally lasts for five years. You may be required to make a financial contribution towards the construction of any road, water supply or sewerage that may be necessary.

If the local authority refuses your application, it will give you the reasons for this. You have 4 weeks from the date of this decision to appeal to An Bord Pleanála.


You have to pay a fee with your application. Different fees apply to different types of development. The current fee for an application to build a house is 65 euro. The fee for a house extension or the conversion of a garage, etc., for use as part of a house is 34 euro.

How to apply

You apply for planning permission by filling in a planning application form and submitting it together with required documents to your local authority.

Your local authority will be able to give you advice about how to apply, whether your proposals are likely to comply with the development plan, what other documents you will need, what the fee will be and any other requirements.

It is a good idea to talk to the local authority before you make an application. This may save you long delays later on.

If you are employing an architect, he/she will normally make the application on your behalf.

In general, you will need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • *A location map (6 copies).
  • *Site or layout plan (6 copies).
  • Other plans ,elevations and sections (6 copies).
  • *Copies of public notices (newspaper and site).
  • *A plan showing the position of a site notice or notices.
  • *Where appropriate, a certificate issued by the planning authority verifying that the development proposed is for no more than 4 houses or for housing development on land of 0.2 hectares or less. If such a certificate has been applied for but not issued, a copy of the application, which itself must meet specific requirements, will suffice.
  • *The appropriate fee.

If the application is for outline permission only, the documents marked * in the above list must be submitted. This is to enable the planning authority to make a decision in relation to the siting, layout or other proposals for development in the application.

Where to apply

To apply for planning permission, contact the Chief Officer of the Planning Department of your local authority.

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