Sweeney Architects

Applying for planning permission-where to start?

For many people, seeking planning permission for a new house, an extension or otherwise can be a daunting thought. However, in reality it is a much more straight forward process than people think.

In the first place, the council provided detailed guidelines within the county development plan as to where residential, commercial and industrial developments will be permitted.

In addition, most planners are willing to meet people in advance of a planning application for a pre-planning meeting where a frank and open discussion can take place on the proposed development and whether it will be possible to get planning permission in a particular location with a particular design.

The purpose of having this pre-planning discussion is to provide guidance only, it will not give a conclusive decision as to the grant of permission one way or another.

There are a number of restrictions on planning and if you know the rules there is no need to waste time or money trying to get planning permission on a site that does not meet the council’s criteria or that is in an area where developments are restricted.

With the huge amounts of empty houses throughout Ireland the restrictions on one off housing have been tightened even further. Generally, there is a preference for clustering of houses and avoiding rural areas or places of scenic beauty.

In theory anyone can submit a planning application but it is advisable to use or at least consult a registered architect.

In order to submit a planning application the following items will be required, a digital survey of the property, planning fee (usually 65 Euros), detailed drawings of the proposed development, for a new build a site suitability or percolation report will be required to ascertain what sort of sewage treatment is required, the proposed structure overlayed on Ordinance Survey maps, a site notice which will be inspected by a council official and must be displayed during the period of the planning application.

Six copies of all of the above must be submitted as part of your planning application.

An advertisement must be placed in a newspaper and the planning application must be received within fourteen days of the date of the publication of the newspaper notice. A planning application is refused the applicant has the right to appeal to An Bord Pleanala. This must be completed within four weeks beginning on the date of the making of the decision by the planning authority.

A successful planning permission is usually valid for five years. Failure to obtain planning permission where it is required can result in serious penalties like significant fines or even imprisonment. Your architect or local authority will be able to advise you about this.