Is planning permission needed to change my house?
If you plan to make alterations or additions to your home, such as building an extension, you may be required to obtain planning permission from your local authority.
Typically, planning permission is required in the following situations:
- When constructing an extension that exceeds 40 square meters, including any existing or new extensions.
- When changing land use, such as converting a garage into a commercial space. This is referred to as a “material change of use”.
Minor changes to your property generally do not require planning permission.
It’s essential to verify whether planning permission is required before commencing construction. Failure to obtain planning permission when required may result in a hefty fine or even imprisonment. If you have any questions, your local authority can provide guidance.
What is planning permission?
Requesting planning permission involves seeking approval from your local authority for your proposed construction work. The local authority has the power to either grant or reject the planning permission. The primary goal of the planning permission process is to prevent unsuitable buildings and development and authorize those that are appropriate.
Prior to applying for planning permission, it’s necessary to give public notice of your proposals, which involves the following steps:
- Placing a notice in a local newspaper (your local authority can provide a list of approved publications).
- Erecting a site notice that is clearly visible and legible.
The planning application form outlines the specific information that must be included in the notices. The planning application must be submitted to the local authority within two weeks of the publication of the notice in the local newspaper and the display of the site notice.
Note that the site notice must remain in place for at least five weeks from the date the planning application is received, except for a nine-day period over Christmas from December 24th to January 1st, which does not count towards the five-week duration.
After planning application submitted:
Individuals have the right to make written submissions or observations in support of or against your planning application. There is a fee of €20 to make a submission.
Normally, the local planning authority has eight weeks to make a decision on a planning application after receiving it. However, if the local authority requires additional information or if the decision is appealed, the process may take much longer.
Once a decision has been reached, you and anyone who made a submission will receive written notification of the decision.
If the application is granted in full:
If the local authority approves your planning application, you will receive a notice of intention to grant planning permission. If there are no appeals to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks of this decision, the local authority will grant you planning permission.
It’s worth noting that there may be certain conditions attached to the planning permission, such as the requirement to use certain materials or adhere to specific construction methods.
Additionally, it’s important to comply with all relevant building regulations and other legal requirements throughout the construction process. Failure to do so may result in legal action. with significant fines.
If your application gets refused:
In case your application gets rejected, the local authority will provide you with the reasons behind their decision. You will have a period of 4 weeks from the date of the decision to appeal to An Bord Pleanála.