Frequently Asked Questions for Commencement Notices

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What is a Commencement Notice?

A commencement notice is a notification to a Building Control Authority that a person intends to carry out either works or a material change of use to which the Building Regulations apply.

When is a commencement notice is required?

  • All works which require planning permission

  • The erection of a building

  • The material alteration or extension to a building

  • A material change of use

  • Works that are in connection with a material alteration to a building.

When is a commencement notice is not required?

A commencement notice is not required for works or a change of use which are exempted development under the Planning Acts and for which a Fire Safety is not required.

When can I start my works?

The commencement notice must be submitted to Dublin City Council, Building Control Authority, Block 4, Floor 2, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 in no less than 14 days and no more than 28 days prior to works commencing on site. This time frame starts from the date upon which the notification is received and stamped by the Building Control Authority. No building works can commence on site prior to the date that is given on the form. 

How much does a Commencement Notice cost?

The fee for a commencement notice is calculated as follows:

  • €30 per house (e.g. extension to dwelling, construction of new dwelling etc).

  • €30 per building (e.g. as with per house, but in the case of non domestic units).

  • €30 per Fire Safety Certificate (e.g. If there is more than one FSC on a building the fee will be calculated depending on how many Fire Safety Certificates are in place.

  • The maximum fee for a Commencement Notice is €3,800.

Is a Disability Access Certificate required when submitting a commencement notice?

No, However, a Disability access certificate is required for non domestic works which require a fire safety certificate. It is strongly advised that you obtain a Disability Access Certificate prior to work commencing on site and this will avoid any expensive remedial works which may delay the occupation and/or opening of the building to have you Disability Access Certificate application lodged or granted when submitting your commencement notice.

How does the Building Control Authority respond to your commencement notice?

Upon submission of a valid commencement notice to the Building Control Authority you will receive an acknowledgement, giving you the details of the development for which the commencement notice was submitted (e.g. extension to dwelling) and also the Commencement Notice reference number (e.g. CN1234/12) along with the date it was received and the details of payment for same.

If a commencement notice is INVALIDATED by the Building Control Authority, you will receive notice of same by return post setting out the details which had been deemed insufficient and a refund of your fee will be issued to you. Once a commencement notice is invalidated the entire commencement notice process must begin again. A new form must be submitted with a new fee and a new start date. The most common reasons for invalidation are as follows:

Insufficient notice/notice received after works have commenced

Giving less than14 days notice on the application form itself or starting works on site prior to lodgement of the commencement notice.

Missing details on form

All names, addresses and telephone numbers are required on the commencement forms. Where email addresses are available for persons on the form, these email addresses should be provided also.

No Fire Safety Certificate

 Where one applies (Non Domestic developments) a Fire Safety Certificate must be granted prior to submission of a Commencement Notice. If a Fire Safety Certificate is not granted for these works the commencement notice will be invalidated. (see 7 Day Notice application)

What happens if I don’t submit a Commencement Notice?

It is a legal requirement under the Building Control Act of 1990 to submit a commencement notice prior to works commencing on site. A commencement notice CANNOT be accepted for works which have already commenced or have been completed. There is no provision for retrospective commencement notices. Failure to submit a valid commencement notice can result in fines or imprisonment. Failing to submit a valid commencement notice may cause problems if/when you come to sell your property as the Certificate of Compliance (completed by your architect/engineer) will be incomplete.

For more information

Building Control Division,
Floor 2,
Block 4
East, Civic Offices,
Wood Quay,
Dublin 8
Tel.: (01) 222 2145
Fax: (01) 222 2669