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The Planning Process
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The Planning Acts and Planning Regulations provide for a planning application system which regulates development in Ireland.
The legislation governing the planning process can be sourced via our link page.
The Planning Application process is overseen by The Local Authorities, (County & City Councils), An Bord Pleanala, and The Department of The Environment and Local Government.
Unless your proposed development qualifies as "exempt development" under the legislation then you'll require Planning Permission to proceed with the development.

Prior to submitting a planning application to the local authority a design, to a set standard, has to be produced which will usually be accompanied by supplementary information.
This would normally include:
Ordnance Survey Maps of the site in question
Layout Plans of the site.
Building Plans & Specifications
Landscape Plan
Contiguous Elevation
and can include a lot more depending on the development in question.

These drawings would be submitted along with copies of public notices, the application form, and any other documentation required for particular applications.

Once the application is submitted a period of 5 weeks begins where your application file is available to the public to view and make submissions/observations on the proposed development.

Once this 5 week period has elapsed, the Local Authority Planner will assess the file during a further 3 week period, and any submissions/observations that have been made, along with the proposed development's suitability in relation to public health, road safety, and the proposed developments compliance with the objectives of the County/City Development Plan, and any Local Area Plan if applicable. After the total 8 week period has passed the Local Authority will write back to the Applicant or their agent with one of three things:

1. A decision to grant permission for the development, usually with some conditions
2. A decision to refuse to grant permission for the development with reasons for the refusal
3. A letter seeking further information in relation to the application.

In the event of a grant of permission then the applicant must wait a month in case of  any appeals against the decision being lodged with An Bord Pleanala and then if no appeals are lodged the Local Authority will write out to the applicant or agent with the Final Grant of Permission.

In the event of a refusal to grant permission, then depending on the reasons for the refusal it might be an option for the applicant to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala, or maybe to re-examine the design or location of the site, etc.

In the event of a request for further information in relation to the development, then once the further information has been submitted, a further 4 week period in which the Local Authority planner can assess the application and further information together begins.

The decision in relation to the application  then issues once the 4 week period has expired.

Once you recieve your final grant of permission you should examine the conditions attached carefully. There will normally be items to be dealt with prior to commencing work on site.

As always, if in doubt, ask us, or the planning office before you commence work.

Remember, as and from 1st March 2014 anyone commencing work on a building/development must submit a commencement notice along with a number of supporting documents. We can go through this in more detail in relation to your particular project.

This guide is intended as a Practical Guide. It is not a definitive legal interpretation of Planning Law. The Law governing the planning system is set out in the Planning & Development Acts, 2000-2011 and Planning & Development Regulations, 2001 to 2012 and  may be viewed via the link to the Irish Statute Book website on our links page. Please note that the law may be updated from time to time.




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