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Planning Permission

Often clients ask “do I need an architect to get planning permission?” as if architects are the most expensive part of a project. What you invest in an Architect you will get back two-fold with clever, quality design and efficient use of space that functions correctly. This applies to designing new houses or extensions. Most clients are of the mindset that bigger is better, and that extensions are like Lego pieces to be attached on. As Architects, we optimise the existing space and try to make it more efficient before we look at extending it. This is where an architect is really worth the weight in gold. We would advise you to seek professional advice from an architect to start your project on the right track. Once you have an ideal design you may require planning permission.

The overall plan for the area where you wish to build your home is called The Development Plan. This plan is drawn up by your local authority and sets out your local authority's objectives for the use of particular areas where you live (for example, residential areas, industrial areas, and agricultural areas). You should look at the development plan before you make an application for planning permission.

If you need to clear a site first, you will need planning permission if you are proposing to:

· Make or widen access onto a public road, or

· Demolish a structure that was last used as a residence, or

· Demolish a building on a terrace or a building that is attached to another building in separate ownership.

Planning permission is something not to be feared or ignored. As an Architect can achieve your dream home and in order to do this a project will require planning permission. There are 3 types of planning permission: permission, outline permission, and permission consequent on outline permission. The most common type is permission, sometimes called full permission. However, if you want to see if the planning authority agrees in principle to you building a house on a particular site or building a large extension, you might apply for outline permission, which will require you to produce only the plans and particulars that are necessary to enable the planning authority to make a decision in relation to the siting, layout or other proposals for development. If you get outline permission, you will have to submit detailed drawings and receive consequent permission before you start building work. Generally, outline permissions have a 3-year duration. Alternatively, with your Architect, you can arrange a pre-planning consultation to get some feedback on your project prior to lodging a full planning application.

If you are looking to build a house you will need planning permission. If you want to build any extension to the front or side of the existing house you will also require planning permission. Any extension to the rear of a house with a floor area greater than 40 square meters will also require permission, however single-story extensions to the rear of the existing house may be exempt from planning permission once it is within 40 square meters and or the rear garden is at least 25 square meters in size when this work is complete.

What is the difference between planning permission and Retention planning permission?

Planning permission is permission for a structure you intend to build.

Retention permission is permission for a structure already built without permission. This is very risky, but retention permission is there to try to regularise the matter with the Local Authority, the process and procedure are exactly the same for both planning permission and retention.

It is an offense to carry out any work that requires planning permission, without planning permission. The offense can carry very heavy fines and even imprisonment. However, if a genuine mistake has been made, it is possible to apply for Retention planning permission to retain the unauthorised development. This permission may be refused, in which case, the unauthorised development will have to be demolished.

Generally, the local planning authority must make an initial decision on a planning application within 8 weeks of receiving the application and a further 4 weeks for a final decision or Final Grant of permission. The process may take longer should the authority need further information, or if any appeals were lodged.

The procedures for planning permission (after you agree on a design) require that your Architect must give public notice of your proposals before making an application. This must be done by placing a notice in a locally circulating newspaper (your local authority will have a list) and putting up a site notice that can be clearly read. You will find details of the information that must be contained in the notices in the planning application form.

The application must be received by the local authority within 2 weeks of the notice appearing in the local newspaper and the erection of the site notice. The site notice must remain in place for at least 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application. (Please note, nine days over Christmas, from 24 December to 1 January, are not taken into account when calculating the 5-week period).

The application must have

6 copies of the Architectural drawings.

1 copy of the public site notice

1 copy of the newspaper advert highlighting the planning advert.

6 copies of the Ordnance Survey map outlining the site in red

1 application form

Planning Application fee. (may vary depending on the type of development.) for a simple extension, the fee is €34, for a house, it is €65, for commercial projects the fee is charged per square meter of the project.

Any further drawings or documentation and illustrations are needed to assist the application. For example, 3D renders, shadow analysis or specialist reports may be needed when lodging at the start however the Local Authority may request this as additional information at a further date. As every application is different, this may vary.

“If you wish to build a house, you must obtain planning permission from your local authority before you start construction. The law requires that you need planning permission for virtually every significant development. It is important to be aware from the start, therefore, that if you fail to obtain planning permission where it is required, you may run the risk of penalties which can carry very heavy fines and even imprisonment.”

You do not have to consult the planning authority before applying for planning permission, but it is usually very helpful to discuss anything you are unsure about. This, in turn, may save you a great deal of wasted time later on. This is known as a pre-planning consultation and can be very helpful to get initial feedback from planners but is not compulsory.

If you are planning a building project and require an Architect in Dublin that has the skill and knowledge to deliver you a quality design while guiding you through the planning permission process, contact JEArchitecture for a consultation.

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