One of the more popular questions we get asked by clients is “Do we need planning permission for an extension”. In this post we answer this question as well as listing other questions you may have that are related to applying for planning permission in Ireland.

What are the different types of planning permission applications in Ireland?

Broadly from a residential one-off house perspective, there are two. Within the development boundary of a town or city or in the countryside. In an urban area, qualification is not needed but there are many design criteria that need to be considered due to the built-up nature of the setting. In a rural area, you will likely need to prove that you have a genuine connection to the area and you will likely need to provide your own services in terms of water and wastewater.


Can I build without planning permission?

No, this would not be advised. In Ireland, you do not need planning permission when building an extension to the rear of the house which does not increase the original floor area of the house by more than 40 square meters and is not higher than the house.


What does the planning officer look for in the application?

This depends on the location of your site. In an urban area, it is generally designed related detail whereas in a rural area you need to prove your connection to the area and you need to have a ‘housing need’.


What can I do if I was refused planning permission?

You can appeal your refusal to An Bord Pleanala. For more details, please visit their website.


How long do I have to build after I am approved?

You have 7 years to build from the date you were approved with your planning permission.


On what grounds can planning permission be refused?

There are a number of reasons but to summarise once you have deviated significantly from good design practice and the local planning guidelines and restrictions.


How long does it take to get planning permission?

You will get a decision in about 8 weeks from lodging, if it is positive you need to wait another 4 weeks for a final grant of permission.


Where do I apply for planning permission?

To you local planning authority in you local City or County Council.


Can I consult the planning authority before I apply?

Yes, by means of a pre-planning application. We generally advise that this is best done through your architect or engineer.


I made a mistake on my planning application. How can I amend it?

This depends on the nature and severity of your mistake If it is an error of omission you can send further information t a planner by means of unsolicited further information though your engineer or architect, if it is a significant mistake you and withdraw your application and reapply.


Do I need to apply if I want to build a garage or extension?

This depends on the specifics of your garage or extension. There are allowances for the limited development, that is exempt from planning permission, for extensions and garages so best to consult with your local City or County Council for the local specific allowances.


I am purchasing a site without planning permission, Is this a good idea?

This really depends on your site, its intended use, and your appetite for risk. In this case, most people would but subject to planning permission whereby you would enter into an agreement with the vendor that you would be given an amount of time to get planning permission for the site and if you fail to do so you are not obliged to complete the purchase of the site.


Do you have a question? If you’re looking to build a new house in Cork or Limerick, contact us to arrange a home design & build consultation with our expert design team and architects.