Section A: Pre Construction
BCAR Building Control Amendment Regulations
Before sending in your planning application
You should ask yourself the following questions prior to submitting a planning application:
Should I initially seek advice from the Planning Department on my proposal/application before submitting it?
Am I making the correct type of planning application – i.e. for permission or outline permission?
Have I completed all sections of the application form?
Have I paid the correct fee?
Is my site notice adequate, positioned correctly on site and legible?
Is my newspaper notice adequate, in an accepted newspaper and within the time limit?
Have I included a supplementary Application Form? (Only applicable for a dwelling in a rural area)
Have I included all necessary information?
Have I (or my agent) signed the form?
Do I need to meet any other non-planning application requirements? (e.g. fire safety certificate, consent to connect to a public sewer, Exemption Cert under Section 97 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended with the requirement for social and affordable housing).
How do I apply for planning permission?
Applications should be made on the official planning application form. Copies of the form are available from the Planning Department and at your local authority’s website. You will also need other documents such as plans and there will usually be a fee for making the application.
A checklist guide to lodging planning applications is available from your local authority to assist you in making your application.
Are there different types of planning permission?
Full Permission: An application for full permission requires an applicant to submit detailed plans and full particulars of the development. A successful application in this case will enable the applicant to commence development provided he or she is otherwise entitled to do so.
Outline Permission: outline permission if granted means that the planning authority agreed to the proposed development in principle. If the applicant wishes to receive full permission they must apply for 'permission consequent to the grant of outline permission'
Permission Consequent to Outline Permission: This type of application follows the grant of outline permission. It provides for the submission of detailed plans and drawings of the proposed development.
Retention Permission: is a full planning application to retain an existing structure, or partially constructed structure most commonly whereby the structure was previously constructed without the required planning permission.
Can I employ an agent to apply for permission on my behalf?
Yes, very few people go through the planning process without availing of the services of an architect or agent. This may take the form of somebody acting as your agent and dealing with the application in its entirety. Alternatively you may have someone prepare the plans/drawings for you and you will submit the application yourself.
When do I need planning permission?
Generally you need planning permission for any development of land or property unless the development is specifically exempted from this need.
**Development: The carrying out of works on, in, over or under land or the making of a material change in the use of any structures or other land.
What developments do not require planning permission?
Exempted developments do not require planning permission. Categories of exempted development are set out in Planning Law. They usually refer to developments of a minor nature, such as small extensions to houses. Reference must be made to the legislation to ensure that the development falls within the exemption thresholds. If the particular development exceeds the thresholds listed, the development requires planning permission. You can get more details on this from your local authority website.
Can I get help filling out the form?
Yes, help is available from a number of places:
At the public counter within the local authorities planning department.
By using the ‘Guide to making a Planning Application’ available at the public counter within the local authorities planning department, or available on your local authority’s website.
By the use of an Agent - employed by you to submit the application
What is the timescale for a decision?
Generally a minimum of 8 weeks from the date of lodgement of an application.
What happens if my application is invalid?
Your planning application may be deemed invalid if:
It lacks some of the required documentation.
It is not accompanied by the appropriate application fee.
Is in any other way inadequate i.e. drawings not to the correct scale, required information not provided etc.
If your application is deemed to be invalid it will be returned to you with a notification of invalidation and the application fee will be refunded to you. Depending on the local authority it may be necessary to apply for the refund to be issued. The statutory eight-week period within which the Planning Authority must make its decision begins from the time you submit a valid application.
What newspapers are approved?
The planning application must be advertised in one of the following newspapers approved by the planning authority for the purpose:
Irish Independent - Country Wide
Irish Examiner - Country Wide
The Irish Times - Country Wide
The Star - Country Wide
It should be noted that there are also numerous local publications that have also been approved for advertising planning applications. Please refer to your local authority's planning office or website for approved newspapers specific to your area.
What should the documents submitted with my application show?
Site Location Map (6 copies) - The Site Location Map must be marked or coloured so as to identify clearly the land or structure to which the application relates and the boundaries thereon. The Site Location Map must be on an Ordnance Survey map with the number of the Ordnance Survey map clearly indicated thereon, together with the north point. The scale of the map should be not less that 1:1000 in built-up areas and 1:2500 in all other areas
Site/Layout Map (6 copies) - The site boundary should be clearly marked in red and the plan should show buildings, boundaries, septic tanks and percolation areas, bored wells, services and other features in the vicinity of the land or structure to which the application relates. In this regard all features within 100m of the proposed development should be indicated. The position of the site notice should also be shown. The scale of the layout map should not be less than 1:500.
Plans, Elevations & Sections (6 copies) (except for Outline Permission) - Plans and Drawings should contain detailed structural drawings of floor plans, elevations and sections and such other particulars as are necessary to describe the works or structure to which the application relates. These must be drawn to a scale not less that 1:200.
Public/Site Notice - A copy of the site notice must be submitted with each planning application. The site notice must be placed on site for five weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application. If it becomes illegible or is removed, it must be replaced immediately as failure to do so will invalidate the application. The site notice must be located at the site entrance to the private road and/or where the private road meets the public road and at all entrances to the site.
Newspaper Notice - The original page or a copy of the page to include the date of the newspaper in which notice of the application was published must be submitted with the application. The application must be lodged with the Planning Department within two weeks of the publication date of the newspaper. This paragraph must appear on newspaper notices under the Planning and Development regulations 2006 as amended: That the planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours and that a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application.
What other requirements apart from planning permission are there?
You must comply with all legislative requirements depending on the type of development. For example, all new buildings, alterations to existing buildings or changes of use except for those specifically exempted must comply with the building control requirements. They must all be designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and Fire Safety Certificates and Commencement Notices where applicable must be obtained prior to commencement of development. More detailed information is available on our website or your agent will advise you of the requirements for your proposed development.
What is Further Information / Additional Information?
The planning authority has the power to seek further information from the applicant in order to make a full assessment of an application. On receipt of the further fnformation the planning authority has 4 weeks to make a decision (8 weeks if accompanied by an E.I.S.).
What is Clarification of Further Information / Additional Information?
Having received the further information requested, the planning authority has the power to seek clarification of the further information received if necessary. On receipt of the clarification of further information the planning authority has 4 weeks to make a decision. (8 weeks if accompanied by an E.I.S.).
Can conditions be attached to my permission?
Yes. The decision to grant permission can be made with or without conditions which will be attached to the decision.
If the application is granted, when can I begin building?
There is an appeal period of four weeks from the date of issue of the decision. During this time an appeal may be made to An Bord Pleanala. If no appeal is lodged the Planning Authority will formally grant permission at the end of the four week period.
Once the final grant has been issued you will need to lodge a commencement notice online on the Building Control Management System https://www.localgov.ie/en/bcms
The commencement notice must be submitted between 14 - 28 days prior to the commencement of works on site i.e. once the final grant has been received there will be a minimum of 14 days before work can begin.
How will I know if my application has been granted?
You will be notified in writing of the Planning Authority's decision to grant permission. This notification is not an entitlement to commence development. You must wait a further four weeks for the issue of the final grant of permission, in case an appeal is submitted to An Bord Pleanala.
How can I make an objection?
Additional guidance on how to make an objection can be obtain from the public counter of your local authority or their website.
The Submission/Observation/Objection must be made in writing and signed.
It must state the name and address of the person making the submission and indicate an address for correspondence relating to the application.
It must be lodged with the planning authority within the first five weeks of receipt of the application along with a fee of 20 Euro.
Can I withdraw a submission/observation?
There is no mechanism in the regulations for the withdrawal of a submission/observation/objection. You may, however, make a further addition to your submission/objection instructing the Planning Authority to disregard your original observations. Only documents submitted within the first five weeks can be accepted and both documents will remain on file.
If I disagree with a decision made by the planning authority, what are my options?
In order to appeal the decision of the Planning Authority you must have objected to the proposed development within the first five weeks of the application being made. If you disagree with a decision made by the Planning Authority you can appeal the decision in writing to An Bord Pleanala with the payment of a prescribed fee which can be found on An Bord Pleanala’s web site www.pleanala.ie
If my application is refused, what are my options?
If your application is refused you can appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanala with the payment of a prescribed fee. An appeal must be submitted within four weeks beginning on the date the planning authority makes its decision. Further guidance can be obtained from An Bord Pleanala’s web site www.pleanala.ie
Is there any circumstance under which I can make an appeal as a third party if I have not made a submission within the five week period?
Under Article 37 (6) (a) of the Planning & Development Act 2000 a person who has interest in land adjoining the site may “apply to the board for leave to appeal”. This means they have the right to make their case to the Board that they should be allowed to appeal. Also, if significant further information is submitted which the Planning Authority requires to be advertised, submissions may be made during the period of two weeks from the publication of the advertisement. Persons making these submissions may also make an appeal
What is a development contribution, and will I have to pay one?
The Planning and Development Acts allow that when granting planning permission a local authority may, as a condition of that planning permission, require the payment of a contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities. Such contributions may be related to works benefiting development in the ‘area of the planning authority’ rather than just facilitating the proposed development. Details of the current Development Contribution Scheme, operated by each council are available separately or can be viewed at your local authority’s website.
Roads: This charge will contribute to improvements to local and regional roads.
Water: The charge for water includes the upgrading of existing and the construction of new water treatment works and mains.
Sewerage: The improvement and upgrading of existing facilities and the provision of new sewerage comes from this charge.
Open Space/ Community: The charge made in relation to open space and community goes towards the provision and maintenance of open spaces, parks, and walkways. It also contributes to Urban and Village Renewal works and other community facilities including tourist related development.
What is Planning Enforcement?
Your local authority has powers under the Local Government Planning and Development Act to take enforcement action where development (either works or uses) is in breach of planning laws and is therefore, considered to be unauthorised.
What do I do if I want to make a complaint about a breach of planning permission?
If you are aware of an unauthorised development taking place, you can fill out an unauthorised development complaint form which can be found at the public counter or at your local authority’s website. Complaints must be made in writing and addressed to the Planning Department.
If I make a complaint about a breach of planning permission is it kept confidential?
The name of the complainant and the letter of complaint are kept confidential both during the course of any enforcement proceedings and afterwards when the case is completed. However this information is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (1997) and, in exceptional circumstances, this information may be subpoenaed by a Court.
What are the penalties for breaches of the planning laws?
The penalties for breaches of the planning law depend on the nature of the offence, but may result in a fine and/or a prison sentence.
What is the procedure that is followed when a complaint is received?
On receipt of a complaint the Development Inspector carries out an inspection and if necessary issues a Warning Letter. If the developer fails to comply with the Warning Letter within the time specified then an Enforcement Notice is issued. If the developer fails to comply with the Enforcement Notice at this stage the Planning Authority takes the case to court.
How can I find out about a Council’s planning policies?
The development policies and objectives for County Kildare are contained in the County Development Plan and its related Local Area Plans. You can view the plans at the offices of Kildare County Council or local libraries or on our website.
What is the current planning legislation?
The current planning legislation is contained in the Planning & Development Acts 2000-2017 and the Planning & Development Regulations 2001-2018 and is available online at www.irishstatutebook.ie
What application fees apply?
You can find a list of the application fees for the submission of a planning application, based on the type of development on your local authority’s website or at the public planning counter
What services/help can I get at the Planning Office?
The following services/help are available at the public counter of your local authority's planning department:
Submit a planning application or make an objection.
View Planning Application Files
When visiting the counter it is useful to have the following information at hand: Planning Register Number Or Name of the Applicant Or be able to identify the site on the Planning Register Maps.
Current files are available to view free of charge.
Applications made before 2014 are in storage off site but can be ordered and delivered to us usually within one week.
Applications made before 1992 may be available on microfiche.
There is a charge associated with viewing planning files that are in storage off site, contact your local authority to determine the associated charges.
Make General Queries regarding Planning and Sustainable Development Issues
Purchase Copies of Documents from Planning Application Files
You may obtain copies of documents contained on a planning application file through the payment of a fee.
Purchase Development Plans and Local Area Plans
View Planning Register
There are generally computers available for public use at the public counter.
GIS is a computer system that allows you to view a map of the county containing details of the planning register from 2004 onwards through the following;
- Planning Register Number
- Zoom in on the site in question
NB: With respect to historic searches, results are subject to the technology which was available at that time
The opening hours are generally 9.00am to 4pm Monday to Friday
What happens if I do not submit a commencement notice?
The primary responsibility for compliance rests with designers, builders and building owners. Building control authorities have power to inspect design documents and buildings, as well as powers of enforcement and prosecution where breaches of the regulations occur. There are heavy penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for breaches of the regulations. In addition, when it comes to selling your property, you may have difficulties if you cannot satisfy the purchaser's solicitor that the requirements of the regulations have been met.
Do I have to submit a Site Suitability Assessment for On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems with my Planning Application?
Under Article 22 (2)(c) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2006, where it is proposed to dispose of wastewater other than to a public sewer, i.e. to a septic tank or other on-site treatment system, the applicant must submit information on the type of on-site wastewater treatment system proposed and evidence as to the suitability of the site for the system proposed as part of the planning application. The application will be deemed invalid in cases where the Site Characterisation Form and/or Site Suitability Report have not been submitted.
I’ve been refused planning permission for a particular reason; can I apply on the site again?
You can re-apply but if you do not address in some way the original reasons for refusal it is most likely that the same decision will be made again.
If the site is down a laneway, which is not a public road, what must I do regarding the Site Notice?
The site notice must be located at the entrance to the private road where it meets the public road, and at the entrance to the site.
Where are the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2017/Regulations to be found?
The Acts may be purchased from the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Tel:01 6613111 or alternatively can be viewed at www.irishstatutebook.ie
What is land use zoning?
Land use zoning is the method by which the Planning Authority controls development by defining what land may be used for what purpose, i.e.: residential, retail, industrial, agricultural, recreational etc. A land use-zoning map should always be read in conjunction with a Land Use Zoning Matrix Table which states exactly what type of development is permitted in each zone.
What is a Declaration under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2017?
Under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, a person can seek a formal declaration from the planning authority to establish if there is a requirement for planning permission for a specific proposal.
How do I make an application for a Declaration of Exemption under Section 5?
You must complete the form and forward it along with a site location map, a fee of €80.00, and as much detail as possible outlining your proposal (drawings, photos etc,) A decision will generally issue in four weeks, and the applicant may appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala. The form is available at your local authority’s website.
What is an Extension of Time?
Where the applicant consents to extend the period of time for making a decision, the planning authority has the power to extend the period to the date consented to by the applicant.
Who can make a planning application?
In order to make a planning application you must have enough rights to the land to allow you to carry out the development. Alternatively, you could make the application with the written consent of the owner.
What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
Certain types of planning applications which are considered by the planning authority to have potentially significant effects on the environment, will require the submission of an EIS with the application. In some cases an EIS may be requested as Further Information. In cases where an EIS has been submitted the timescale for making a decision on foot of Further Information received is 8 weeks, rather than the usual 4 weeks.
I am the applicant and I need a copy of my plans. Is there a charge?
Drawings submitted with planning applications made before 2002 are protected by copyright and can only be reproduced for inspection purposes (written confirmation that the drawings are required for inspection at another time or place is required). Copies of drawings submitted with planning applications made since then are available at a charge. This charge depends on the size of the drawings you require. Planning staff at your public counter can help you with this. Most agents will provide you with an extra set of the drawings prepared for the planning application.
What is Part 5?
Any planning application for the development of houses or apartments must satisfy the requirements of Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2017.
How do I make an application for a Part 5 exemption certificate?
You must complete the form and forward it along with 2 site location maps and a Statutory Declaration to the Planning Department. There is no fee. A decision will be made to grant or refuse an exemption cert in 4 weeks.