How to secure planning permission before building a house in Ireland? Know more about the situations where planning permission is needed for extension

It’s mandatory to secure a planning permission to build a house in Ireland. There are certain special permissions to be secured for building extensions to your current house. You need certain permissions even if you plan to rent your house for a certain period of time. You have to get in touch with your local governance offices can guide you through the procedures and can help you to deal with these permissions. The local governance offices checks whether your construction plan compliments with the development plan of that area and decides on approving the permissions.

There are mainly 3 types of permissions

  • Permission
  • Outline Permission
  • Permission consequent on outline permission

For general basic constructions, permission is used. It is also known as full permission. The planning authority should grant you the permissions to build a house in some areas and even to build an extension to your house. Your application should include your plan and needed details. The authorities will go through your application and checks whether your construction plan suits the area you selected and decides on issuing the permission. If the authorities issues the permission, you should apply for the consequent permission. You should attach the detailed plan along with the application before you start the construction. Generally the validity of an outline permission is 3 years.

Construction without a securing a planning permission is an offense which may result in a fine or even a jail sentence. In some cases, if you don’t know about the planning permission needed for your plot, you can apply for permission after construction too. But if the construction doesn’t meet the rules abided to the plot, the authorities can demolish your property.

In general cases, the authorities should take a decision on planning permission within 8 weeks from the date of application submission. But if anyone files an appeal against your application or the authorities asks for more details, they can take more time. Everyone has the right to see your application and if anyone who spends €20 fees, anyone can view your application and it’s status.

The local governance body will let you know about the decision on planning permission by notice and if no one files an appeal against your application to the An Bord Pleanala, you will get the permission within 4 weeks.

If you build extension to your existing house

Building an extension needs certain permissions at some cases and there are cases where permission for extension is not that necessary.

You don’t need planning permission

  • If you plan to build an extension at the rear portion of the house which doesn’t adds to the original floor area by more than 40sqm and is not higher than the house. The extension should not be less than 25sqm. Even if you extended your house once before, the total floor area of extension plus your current extension should not exceed 40sqm.
  • If the total floor area of your extension behind the house doesn’t exceed 40sqm, you don’t have to secure a planning permission. This extension should not exceed the height of the house. The open spaces behind the house after extension should not go below 25sqm.
  • If you plan to build the extension at the back side or to occupy a garage for household uses, you don’t have to secure a planning permission. But the floor area of the garage should be less than 40sqm. If the height of the garage does not exceed 4 metres with tiles or slated pitch roof or it does not exceed 3 metres with other roofs, planning permission is not needed. The area of all extensions should not exceed 25sqm. If it exceeds, planning permission is strictly needed. Area of open spaces should not go below 25sqm. These garages should be built next to the house and it should not be used to accomodate people. It should only be used as an animal farm or for other commercial purposes.
  • If the front porch is made almost 2 meters away from the main road and footpaths and which is below 2 sqm, planning permission is not needed. The maximum height allowed is 4 meters for tile and slated roof and 3 meters for other roofs.
  • If the walls are made of bricks, stone or block and wooden fences which are not for security reasons can be placed as long as they do not exceed 1.2 meters in height or 2 meters at the rear area or sides. Gates which are below 2 meter height could be placed. Permission is needed for erecting spiked fences and building or enlarging a road to the main road.
  • For building a central heating system chimney, boiler house, oil storage tank up to 3500 litres, car parking spaces and garden paths.
  • If the TV antenna on the roof is less than 6 meters from the roof.
  • If a satellite dish is placed at the rear or sides of the house and only one dish is allowed per house.

Planning permissions are strictly needed if you plan to build a creche, a garage turned workshop, a property with 4 guest rooms etc. It is known as material change of use.

Before submitting the application

A public notice should be given before you apply for permission to the local governance body. The notice at should be published in a well known local daily. A legible notice should ne pasted on the plot you chose to build. The application must be submitted within 2 weeks from pasting the notice. The notice should be there for atleast 5 weeks from the date of application submission. December 24 to January 1 will not be counted among the five weeks as these comes und Christmas holiday.

The authorities may ask you to change certain aspects in your plan to approve your application. The money for building roads, waste disposals, and water services should be spent by you. Normally a planning permission is valid up to 5 years and if your application is rejected, the reasons will be communicated to you by them. After four weeks you can file an appeal at the An Bord Pleanala.


Fees may vary according to changes in construction plans. The current fees for home construction application is 65 euros. €34 is needed for extension plans.

How to apply

The application form must be filled and needed certificates should be attached and submit it to the local governance body. The list of needed documents including your identity proofs, address proofs etc should be submitted along with the application. If you are stuck at any stage in the process, the local authorities will help you solve and understand the problem. At the initial stages, the local authorities provide you with a checklist, needed information and the application. Thus you make the first step in securing the permission for your dream home.

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