Basic information on Planning Permission.

Planning permission is not always required if you want to extend or renovate an existing house. Under the Building Control Act of 2000 you can extend your property without planning permission once the extension (including previous extensions) is less than 40 sq metres.

To be exempt the extension must be at the back of the house. Attic extensions are normally exempt if the conversion fully stays within the existing envelope of the roof structure and no skylights are placed to the front or side of the roof.

An extension to the side of your house is not exempt from planning permission, however you can convert your existing garage to living accommodation without planning.

There are many restrictions on exempted development as both circumstances and extensions are different. Before commencing an extension or conversion you should consult your local planning office.

If you are considering renovating or extending your home, you should study the planning permission section on the website of your local authority. You’ll be able to see what decisions were made about planning applications in your area and why. This will give you a good indication as to what is likely to be refused. It will also give you ideas as to what is possible as you can view drawings from planning applications submitted by previous planning applicants. You should also ensure that the property including roof gutters are totally within you boundary to to prevent any future boundary or party wall disputes.

Exempted developments do not apply if your property is a Protected Structure and full planning permission is required.

What’s involved in applying for planning permission

When applying for planning permission a public notice of your planning application is required to be given by placing a notice in a locally circulating newspaper and by putting up a site notice.

The skills required in submitting a planning application including drawings is beyond the competence of most homeowners. If employing a professional, they can look after all stages of the planning application.
The site notice must remain in place for 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application. No building can commence until after you receive the final grant of permission and then only after a commence notice has been issued by the Local Authority. Planning permission is usually subject to conditions, these conditions will need to be fully complied with before building commences.
The Planning permission obtained normally lasts for five years, however the new Building Control Amendment Bill 2010 may extend this time period subject to an application the Local Authority.

If you are not happy with the conditions or you have been refused planning permission, you will have 4 weeks from the date of this decision to appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
Finally when applying for planning permission you will have to submit the following documents with your application to the Local Authority where the house is located:

  • 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