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Planning

Question: When do I need planning permission?

Answer:

Generally, you need planning permission for any development of land or property unless the development is
specifically exempted from this need. The term development includes the carrying our of works (building,
demolition, alteration) on land or buildings and the making of a material (i.e. significant) change of use of land or
buildings.

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Planning

Last updated: 23/06/2006


Planning

Question: What is exempted development?

Answer: Exempted development is development for which planning permission is not required. Categories of exempted
development are set out in planning law. There are usually certain thresholds relating to, for example, size or height;
where these thresholds are exceeded, the exemptions no longer apply. The purpose of exemption is to avoid controls
on developments of a minor nature, such as small extensions to houses. Leaflets PL5, PL6 and PL7 give details of
the main exemptions.

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Planning

Last updated: 23/06/2006


Planning

Question: Are there different types of permission?

Answer: Yes. There are three types of planning permissions. An application may be made for:
* permission;
* outline permission;
* approval;
The most common type of application made is for permission, sometimes referred to as full permission. There are
circumstances when you may want to make an application for outline permission. For example, you may want to
see whether the planning authority agrees with your proposal in principle before you go to the trouble of making
detailed plans. If you obtain outline permission, you must obtain full permission before starting work. In most
cases, a subsequent application for permission must be made within 3 years of the date of grant of outline
permission. However outline permission cannot be sought for retention of a structure, works to a protected structure
or a proposed protected structure or developments which require an environmental impact assessment, integrated
pollution control licence or a waste licence.

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Planning

Last updated: 23/06/2006


Planning

Question: Where do I get planning permission?

Answer: From the planning authority for your area i.e. your local County Council, County Borough or Borough Corporation or Urban District Council.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How much will this cost?

Answer: A fee is payable with an application for planning permission. Fees for the different classes of development are listed with the application form, You must pay the correct fee with your application as the planning authority is prohibited
by law from deciding an application until this is paid. Voluntary organisations may qualify for an exemption from
the fee.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How Long will it take to get planning permission?

Answer:

This will be affected by the completeness of the application and by whether there is an appeal or not. Generally, a
valid application will be dealt with by a planning authority in 12 weeks from the date the application is made to the
final grant of a permission. However, the period can vary, particularly if the planning authority seeks further
information from the applicant (which it should do within the first 8 weeks). The planning authority then has 4
weeks from the day the further information is received to make a decision on the application. The following table
illustrates the time scale involved in most cases.

Planning Steps: Timeframes
Timescale Action
Start Notice published in paper and site notice erected
14 days later Latest date for lodging application
Between 2 weeks and 2 months
later
Planning authority issue notice of their decision on the application (alternatively
they may request further information)
1 month later If no appeal is made, the planning authority will issue grant of permission,
approval or outline permission, except where they have already indicated a
decision to refuse
An appeal may take longer than the application to decide but An Bord Pleanála has an objective to decide appeals
within 4 months.



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Aras an Contae

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Can I consult the planning authority in advance?

Answer: You do not have to consult the planning authority before making a planning application but it is often advisable to
do so where you are unsure of local planning policies, how to apply, etc. Depending on the type of development,
you may need to discuss connections to the public water supply, sewer etc. The larger the development proposal the
greater the need for prior consultation.This process called preplanning is highly recommended by Mayo County
Council. It offers the applicant the chance to meet with a planner prior to full planning and to submit a Preplanning Application, this in turn results in the planner offering advice to the applicant based on the preplanning criteria.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Where can I find out about local planning policies?

Answer: The development policies and objectives of the planning authority are in the local development plan. You can view
the plan at any time during office hours at the local authority offices and local libraries and online (visit the Planning Publications page). Copies and extracts from the
plan are available at a reasonable cost from the planning authority. For more information on the plan see leaflet PL8.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How do I make a planning application?

Answer: We recommend starting your first Planning Application by reading our and watching the brief Planning Videos online.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: I have Lodged a valid planning application. Now what ?

Answer: Your application will be acknowledged (within a few days) and be placed on the planning register in the planning
authority offices, for public inspection. It will also be included on the lists of planning applications displayed in
council offices, public libraries and circulated to certain interest groups. A council official will usually inspect the
development site; you may be asked to make an appointment to allow access.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: What if my application is incomplete?

Answer: If your application
* lacks some of the required documentation
* lacks the appropriate fee or
* is in any other way inadequate, (e.g. no proper public notice of your application)
(e.g. does not meet the statutory requirements for public notice of your application). The application will be invalid
and will be returned to you with the fee. The statutory 8 week period for deciding the application begins from time
you submit a valid application with the required information in full, pay the correct fee and give proper public notice
of the application.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Can other people comment on my application?

Answer: Yes. Any person can see a copy of your application and make written submissions or observations to the planning
authority on any planning aspect of it. These must be considered by the planning authority when determining your
application. There is a €20 fee for making such a submission or observation. For more information see the leaflet
Commenting on a Planning Application (PL3).

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How is the decision made?

Answer: In making the decision, the planning authority takes a number of matters into account, including:
the proper planning and development of the area (e.g. appropriate land use (zoning), road safety, development
density, size, location, adherence to established planning and development practices),
their own development plan, submissions and observations made by members of the public on the application.
Government policy, the provision of a Special Amenity Area Order;
any European site (e.g. Special Areas of Conservation Special Protection Areas);
submissions and observations made by members of the public on the application;
It may not take non-planning issues into account e.g. boundary or other disputes, questions more properly resolved
through legal means, etc.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How will I know permission has been granted or not?

Answer: The decision to grant permission, with or without conditions, will be notified to you, and to anyone who commented
on the application. What you get is a notice of intention to grant permission. During a period of one month
beginning on the date of making of this decision, you or anyone else may appeal it to An Bord Pleanála. Where
there is no appeal the planning authority will formally give you the grant of permission at the end of the appeal
period. You must not commence work until you receive this notification. If the decision is appealed, you will receive
from An Bord Pleanála either the grant of permission, with or without whatever conditions the Board considers
appropriate, or if the Board decides, refusal of permission.
Where the planning authority decide to refuse your application, their reasons will be included in the notification sent
to you. The same period for appeal (4 weeks) will apply here also.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Can conditions be attached to my permission?

Answer: Planning permission may be subject to certain conditions, which will be listed on the decision. These may require
changes to your proposal (e.g. new arrangements for the disposal of surface water, revised height/colour/material for
boundary walls, improved landscaping of the site). You may also be required to make a contribution to the local
authority for services (e.g. water, sewerage). These contributions differ from place to place and for different types of
development. You must comply with all of the conditions attached to the permission and finish work in accordance
with them. Even if you have more than one permission for a site, you cannot pick and choose the conditions which
suit you best.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: How Long does permission last?

Answer: The standard duration for planning permission (permission or outline permission) is five years from the date of the
grant of the permission by the planning authority or An Bord Pleanála. A longer period may be allowed if the
development is complex.
In certain circumstances the planning authority may extend the period of validity of a planning permission but only
where:
* substantial works have been carried out during the lifetime of the permission and
* the planning authority are satisfied that the development will be completed in reasonable time.
The lifetime of an approval is determined by the date of the grant of the outline permission, so you should apply for
the approval well in advance of the expiry of the outline permission to enable you complete the works within its
lifetime. Remember the decision of the planning authority on your application for approval may be appealed to An
Bord Pleanála so this factor should be taken into account.
If a planning permission expires and you apply for a new permission for the same development, the planning
authority may refuse permission or attach significantly different conditions. This can happen if planning policies or
the requirements for the proper planning and development of the area have changed in the interim.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Can I get copies of documents relating to a planning application?

Answer: Yes. While they are not legally obliged to do so, planning authorities have been asked to sell, on request, copies of
any part of a planning application file at a reasonable cost. The exceptions are plans or other drawings or
photographs. Any documents for sale will be available while they are open for public inspection.

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Planning

Last updated: 27/06/2006


Planning

Question: Who enforces planning decisions?

Answer: This is the responsibility of the planning authority which has wide enforcement powers to ensure development is
carried out in conformity with planning permission and to halt and rectify unauthorised development. Any legal
action must, however, be started within 5 years of the breach of the planning laws taking place. Care should be taken
to ensure that each condition of a permission is fully complied with in order to avoid incurring such action. and also
to avoid difficulties when the property is being sold at a later date.

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Planning

Last updated: 28/06/2006


Planning

Question: How can I stop unauthorised development?

Answer: If you think somebody is developing or using land without, or contrary to, a planning permission, you should contact
the planning authority who will investigate the matter. Any person has the right to apply in either the Circuit or High
Courts for an order restraining unauthorised development or use of land, or requiring compliance with a planning
permission. Court orders can, depending on the circumstances, be obtained at extremely short notice and the Courts
will ensure compliance with any order made.

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Planning

Last updated: 28/06/2006


Planning

Question: Are there penalties for breaches of planning law?

Answer: Yes. It is an offence to undertake any work needing permission without that permission. Planning authorities have
powers to stop unauthorised development and this can be a costly experience for the offender. You may be required
to rectify any unauthorised works and will have to pay whatever costs are involved. Fines and prison sentences may also be imposed by the Courts.

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Planning

Last updated: 28/06/2006


Planning

Question: Can I rectify a planning error?

Answer: Genuine mistakes can be made about the need for planning permission. If you undertake unauthorised development
you may apply for permission to retain it. However, this approach should not be relied upon in order to avoid
seeking planning permission before starting work as you may not necessarily be granted permission for retention or
you may be required to carry out costly modifications. The application fee is also 50% more than the fee for an
application made before development starts. Permission for retention does not automatically absolve you from
prosecution if enforcement action has already been taken against you. If you are buying property, check that the
building itself and any extensions or alterations to it have proper planning permission or are exempt from planning
permission, since you, as the new owner, may be liable to enforcement action.

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Planning

Last updated: 28/06/2006


Planning

Question: Do I need any other type of permission?

Answer: You will not be entitled solely by reason of a planning permission to carry out your proposed development. You
may need other approvals, depending on the type of development. For example, all new buildings, extensions,
alterations and certain changes of use of existing buildings must comply with building regulations, which set out
basic design and construction requirements. Development other than residential will probably require a fire safety
certificate under the regulations. See leaflet PL11: A Guide to the Building Regulations for more details. Further
information may be obtained from your local authority. You may also need permission if making a connection to a
public water main or sewer.
The law governing the planning system is set out in the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts, 1963
to 1993 and Local Government (Planning and Development) Regulations, 1994 and 1995. These may be purchased
from the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Telephone (01)
661 3111. Please note that the law may be updated from time to time

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Planning

Last updated: 28/06/2006

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