Frequently Asked Questions - Planning

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Note: These notes are for guidance only. The relevant Planning Regulations should always be consulted where doubt exists. 

 

Can I build an extension to my home without having to seek planning permission?

Broadly speaking, the construction of an extension or conservatory does not require planning permission when it is to the rear of the house; however, any query from the public of this nature should be dealt with subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001.

The following should be seen only as general guidelines;

  • Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses:  If the house has not been previously extended, the floor area of the proposed extension cannot exceed 40 sq metres.  This exemption also allows for extensions above ground-floor level (if the house is semi-detached or terraced, the area of the above ground extension cannot exceed 12 sq. m).  This means, for a typical semi-detached house, one could have a ground floor extension of 28sq. m & 2nd floor extension of 12sq m without applying for planning permission.  Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.
  • Detached Houses:  As with terraced and Semi-detached above, the overall area of extension must be less than 40 sq. metres. This exemption also allows for extensions above ground floor level, the are above ground floor are cannot exceed 20 sq. m. One could therefore have a ground floor extension of 20 sq. m., and a 2nd floor of 20 sq. m.  Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary..
  • Both Cases:  If the proposed extension is in addition to an existing extension (post 01-10-1964), overall areas of all extensions must not be more than 40 sq. m. - including extensions which needed permission, e.g. to side of house.

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Can I cover my entire back garden with an extension of 40sqm?

No. The extension shall not reduce the "Private Open Space" of the back garden to less than 25 sq. m.  Hard surface areas to the rear of a house are exempted development, providing they are used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house and not used for the parking of cars.
N.B. Existing or proposed garden shed/s are not reckoned as private open space.

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What height can I build my extension without permission?

  • The highest point to which the wall of an exempt extension can be built is eaves level;
  • If the proposed extension has a flat roof, it must not exceed the eves or parapet level;
  • If the proposed extension has a pitched roof, it must not exceed the ridge of the existing pitched roof.

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Can I build a window to the side of my extension?

Yes, providing the following guidelines are applied;

  • Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses: Windows at ground floor level shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary they face. Windows at above ground floor level shall not be less than 11m from the boundary they face.  The above applies to terraced s/d dwellings.
  • Detached Houses: Where the dwelling is detached and the floor area of above ground floor extension is greater than 12sqm windows shall not be less than 11m from the boundary they face.

(Windows - Pages 155 - 156, Nos. 6. (a.b.c.)

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If I build an attic conversion do I need permission?

Normally no.  However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is needed.  If velux windows proposed to the rear, it is exempt.  If velux windows proposed to the side/front elevation it is not exempt.

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Is the area of an attic conversion reckonable in assessing the 40sqm exemption limit for domestic extensions?

No.

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Can I convert my garage to living accommodation without permission?

Yes.  Subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning & Development Regulations 2001 N.B. Garage must be attached to the dwelling.

(Page 156 - 157).

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Can I build a balcony / roof garden on my extension without permission?

No - specifically excluded from exemption by Part 1, Schedule 2, Column 2, Condition 7.

(Page 156).

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Can I build a garden shed on my property without permission?

Yes, provided that:

  • It is not forward of the front wall of the house;
  • Not greater than 25sqm (or no. of sheds aggregated);
  • 25sqm of garden space is left. N.B. extensions attached to house are not reckoned as private open space;
  • Shed finish is in keeping with the house;
  • Shed height: max 4m pitched roof; 3m flat roof;
  • It is not lived in or used for keeping of animals (pigs, ponies, horses, pigeons).

    (Page 156 - 157, Class 3)

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Can I build a porch without permission?

Yes, provided that:

  • Not less than 2 metres from roadway;
  • Not more than 2sqmHeight: 3m max for a Flat Roof, 4m max Pitched Roof.

    (Page 158, Class 7)

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Can I build an extension to the side of my house without permission?

No. Not exempted development. However an existing garage to the side may be converted (see Section 6 above).

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Can I build an extension to the front of my house without permission?

No. Not exempted development (except the porch - for exemptions see Page 158, Class 7 and Section 9).

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Can I install a chimney, boiler house or oil tank for central heating without permission?

Yes.  The capacity of oil tanks shall not exceed 3,500 litres (Page 156,Class 2). Note: from 28.02.07 exemption widened to flue, fuel storage tank or structure. 3.5k capacity still applies.

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Can I erect a T.V. antenna on my roof without permission?

Yes.  The height of the antenna shall be no more than 6m above the roof.

(Page 157, Class 4.).

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Can I erect a Satellite Dish without permission?

Yes. Provided that:

  • Only 1 per house.
  • Max. Diameter 1 metre.
  • Not to be erected on, or forward to the front wall of the house.
  • Not to be erected on the front roof slope or higher than the highest part of the roof.

    (Page 157, Class 4, 1 - 4).

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Can I build walls around my house without planning permission?

Yes. Subject to:

  • Not more than 2m high to the rear.
  • Not more than 1.2 metres to the front or forward of the front of the house.

    (Page 157, Class 5).

NB: Metal palisade or other security fencing is not exempt.

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Can I erect a gate within my property without permission?

Yes, subject to a 2m maximum height.

(Page 157, Class 5, Page 159 Class 9)

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Can I provide car parking in my garden without permission?

Yes. To the front or side for not more than 2 cars.
 
(Page 157, Class 6, Part B (ii)

NB. The widening of vehicular entrances is not exempt.

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Can I convert 2 or more dwellings to use as a single dwelling without permission?

Yes.  But only if the structure was previously used as a single dwelling. e.g. a house which was used as a single dwelling when built, later converted to flats can convert back to single dwelling use under this exemption.

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Does a For Sale sign on a dwelling need permission?

No, subject to:max area of 0.6sqm in case of a house / letting max area 1.2sqm in case of any other structure / land.
Not more than 1 sign.  Remove not later than 7 days after sale / letting.

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Can I build a pond, path, decking or landscaping works without permission?

Yes.  Provided that the ground level not be altered by more than 1 metre above or below the level of adjoining ground.  Alteration of ground level to front of house is not permitted other than for landscaping.

(Page 158 Class 6)

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Can I build a tennis court without permission?

Strictly speaking, yes, to the rear.  However, the provision of lighting and fencing over 2m would not be exempted.  The 1 metre raising/lowering of ground levels also applies.

(Page 158, Class 6 & Page 159 Class 11)

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Can I paint my house without permission?

Yes, except for a mural and providing the house is not a Protected Structure.

(Page 159, Class 12)

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Can I keep a caravan / campervan or boat in my garden without permission?

Yes, subject to:

  • Not more than 1 caravan / campervan or boat;
  • No commercial / advertising use;
  • Not used as a dwelling while stored;
  • Storage not greater than 9 months in any year.

    (Page 158, Class 8)

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Can I erect a Wind Turbine, Solar Panel, Heat Pump within the curtilage of my house?

Yes. From 28.02.2007 these are exempted under new Class 2 to exempted regulations, subject to limitations. 

The Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2007 give effect to exempted development provisions in respect of renewable energies for dwellings and refer to the installation or erection of a solar panel on or within the curtilage of a house, or on any buildings within the curtilage of a house is exempt subject to compliance with the following conditions and limitations:

Solar Panels:

The total aperature area of any such panel taken together with any such panels previously placed on or within the curtilage of a house shall not exceed 12 sq m or 50% of the total roof area, which ever is the lesser;

  1. The distance between the plane of the wall or a pitched roof and the panel shall not exceed 15 cm;
  2. The distance between the plan of a flat roof and the panel shall not exceed 50cm;
  3. The solar panels shall be a minimum of 50cm from any edge of the wall or roof on which it is to be mounted;
  4. The height of a free standing solar array shall not exceed 2 metres at its highest point, above ground level;
  5. A free standing solar array shall not be placed on or forward of the front wall of the ahouse;
  6. The erection of any free standing solar array shall not reduce the area of private open space to the rear or side of the house to less than 25 sq m.

Wind Turbines:

The construction, erection or placing within the curtilage of a house of a wind turbine is exempt subject to the following Regulations (Class 2)

1. The turbine shall not be erected on or within the curtilage of a house of a wind attached to the house or any building or other structure within its curtilage.

2. The total height of the turbine shall not exceed 13 metres.

3. The rotor diameter shall not exceed 6 metres.

4. The minimum clearance between the lower tip of the rotor and ground level shall not be less than 3 metres.

5. The supporting tower shall be a distance of not less than the total structure height (including the blade of the turbine at the highest point of its arc) plus one metre from any party boundary.

6. Noise levels must not exceed 43db(A) during normal operation, or in excess of 5db(A) above the background noise,

whichever is greater, as measured from the nearest neighbouring inhabited dwelling.

7. No more than one turbine shall be erected within the curtilage of a house.

8. No such structure shall be constructed, erected or placed forward of the front wall of a house.

9. All turbine components shall have a matt, non-reflective finish and the blade shall be made of material that does not deflect telecommunication signals.

10. No sign, advertisement or object, not required for the functioning or safety of the turbine shall be attached to or exhibited on the wind turbine.

 

FYI - The Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (SI 256 of 2008) give effect to exempted development provisions in respect of renewable energies for industrial buildings, business premises and agricultural holdings.     

Please refer to Regulations for further information. 

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If my property is a Protected Structure, do these exemptions apply?

No.  Most works to a Protected Structure are not exempted.  A declaration of what is / is not exempted is needed to clarify issues.

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Do bus shelters need permission?

Yes, not exempted development.

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Can I erect a roadside shrine without permission?

Yes, subject to maximum area of 2sqm, max height is 2m above the centre of the road opposite, and it is not lit.

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Is permission needed for a crèche childcare facility?

Yes, unless the number of children, including carers is not more than 6, and caring is in carers own house.

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Change of use

(Page 160, Class 14).

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Occasional Use

Occasional use for recreational, social purposes of any school, hall, club, art gallery, museum, library, reading room, gym or structures normally used for public worship.

(Page 160 Class 15)

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Is permission needed for a telephone kiosk?

No, provided not situated with 10m of the curtilage of any dwelling house save with the consent in writing of the owner/occupier.

(Page 167, Class 31 (c))

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Do Statutory Undertakers need permission for routine works in the provision / maintenance / overall of their facilities (e.g. Local Authorities, ESB, Telecoms, Iarnrod Eireann, Bord Gais, etc)?

Generally, No. Refer to exempted development regulations for limitations.

(Page 163 - ).

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Does the Council need permission to do its own work?

No, not in the normal way, but, is subject to the consultation procedures contained in Part VIII of the 2001 Planning Regulations as amended.

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How long does an applicant have to lodge additional information?

6 months.  From 31.03.03 an additional 3 months can be granted where agreed.

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Under the Planning regulations how long do the public have to lodge objections to additional information?

In accordance with Article 35 of the Planning and Development Regulations, persons who made a submission or observation on a planning application will only be notified of the receipt of Further Information or Clarification of Further Information, where that FI or CFI is considered significant and requires new public notices.  Objectors have 2 weeks ( 5 weeks in case of applications accompanied by an EIS) from the date of receipt by the Planning Authority of the revised notices, to make further submissions/observations.  No further fee is required.  Other persons wishing to make a submission/observation will be required to pay the prescribed fee.

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Can I demolish a habitable home without permission? 

No, you can demolish part of a habitable home to provide a domestic extension.

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What is a Declaration and Referral on Development & Exempted Development (i.e. what is a Declaration of Exemption)?

If a query arises as to whether a proposal requires Planning Permission or whether it is exempted development, a submission may be made, in writing with proposals or maps - the more information the better accompanied by a fee (€80.00).  The planner will consider submissions & we reply within 4 weeks as to whether it does require planning permission or not.  The applicant can refer the decision to An Bord Pleanala accompanied by a fee (€150.00).

(Section 5, Planning & Development Act, pg 28)

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Can photocopies of maps be given out to the public?

Photocopies of maps on planning applications registered before 11-Mar-2002 cannot be issued. Any photocopies of maps on files registered after 11-Mar-2002 must be individually date stamped and a declaration under Section 74 (4) of the Copyright and related Rights Act, 2000 must be signed by the purchaser of the maps and placed on the planning file..

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