Planning Permission Part 2 - Applying for planning permission
Have you read:
Part 1 - Planning Permission in Ireland Explained (In Layman's terms)
Before you start -
You can get free quotes from Architects for your application here.
If you have already read our first post in this series ‘Planning Permission in Ireland Explained’ you will already have a good idea of whether or not your proposed project actually needs planning permission (if not, we suggest going back to read it). Now it’s time to roll the sleeves up and get busy!
We should point out from the off that applying for planning permission by yourself can be tricky. For a newbie there is a steep learning curve and a big time investment. Most home owners will opt to use the services of an Architect as they will manage the whole planning application process on your behalf. It can often be the best solution but, that said, doing it yourself can save you a considerable amount of money and provide you with extensive insight into the area. Only you can weight up the benefits of each and decide the best option for your project. Either way, legally you can only submit a planning permission if you have a legal interest in the property (i.e. are its owner or something similar)
Get a quote from an architect for your application here
(Note: we are basing this article on full or outline planning permission. If you are applying for retention planning permission we will deal with that particular kettle of fish later on!)
1. Pre-Planning Permission - Things to consider
Even if you have read our amazing (ehm..) first part of this series and believe your project needs planning permission, it’s still worth contacting your local planning department to get their advice.
Most planning officers are approachable and generous with their time and you can schedule a pre-planning meeting with them. It is well worth asking them in this meeting about any potential barriers or speed bumps they can see with your plan and to get advice on addressing them. Getting it right early saves you time and money later on and their expertise is free. If they believe that you do need to apply for planning permission they will make the necessary forms available to you.
Full planning permission applications = lots of documents and form filling. So have a good pen ready. Forms include everything from the planning application itself, supporting documents and plans, checklists, site notices and newspaper notices (more on that later.). There will be an administration fees for the application which vary from the size and type of project you are undertaking.
Full Planning Application versus Outline Planning
Ultimately you will need to submit a full planning permission and have it approved prior to completing a project. However, in some cases submitting an Outline planning submission initially can be a good starting place if you are unsure as to whether your project will be approved. It saves you money and time when compared to a full planning permission application. For an outline permission you don’t need to submit your exact plans.
Once you get outline permission you have agreement in principle for the proposed development from your authority which lasts for 3 years. Within that time you will need to submit an application for "Permission following grant of outline permission" (Permission Consequent) prior to building which includes your drawings and plans.
2. Submitting your Planning Permission application
Whether you do this yourself or do it with an Architect, there is a defined process to be followed in submitting your planning application. Check your local planning authority for specific requirements for your planning type. Here are the outline steps for submitting a planning permission application
- Take out a planning permission notice in your local paper and display a notice on the site. You need to give fair warning to interested members of the public for 2 weeks in advance of submitting your application. The list of suitable publications and templates for your notice are available from your local planning authority.
- Submit your planning application along with all the relevant forms and documents. For the majority of applications these documents include:
- Completed Planning Application form
- Copy of Site notice (as erected at site)
- Copy of newspaper notice
- Application fee
- 6 copies of a Site Location map
- 6 copies of site layout plan
- 6 copies of Plans (drawings of floor plans, elevations and sections) and such other particulars as are necessary to describe the works to which the application relates.
- Site Suitability Assessment
Bear in mind that these documents can be viewed by planners, councillors and interested neighbours. Basically anyone with a stated interest in the development.
It may also be worth including other information that you have that to speed up the application such as photos of the site & its surroundings, aerial photos and similar developments in the neighbourhood. None of them are required, but they might help!
Before we finish this section – a quick note on the maps and designs. There are stipulated formats and requirements for each of these and in reality they will be beyond most unqualified property owners. It is worth consulting with an architect, builder or other suitably qualified property professional to get these completed professionally even if you are managing the rest of the process yourself.
3. The Planning Permission Process - After you have Submitted Your Application
Now sit back and relax! Well, not really..
Unfortunately few actually relax at this point and there is every chance that further documentation or clarification is needed from the planning authority.
Here’s the timeline of how the planning permission approval process works from this point:
- Week 0 – You publish/erect your public notice of planning application
- Week 2 – You submit your application as per step 2 above
- Week 3 – The planning authority validate your application within 1 – 5 days and notify you of same
- Week 3-8 Planning authority publish your application and accept submissions / observations on your application
- Week 8 – Planning authority decision!
In theory the planning application process is open and transparent. You should be able to request access to any reports that are created as part of the process. Where an application is sensitive the council may publish the application itself in various ways to invite submissions for neighbours or interested parties – but it doesn’t ofen happen for the average home extension!
Like any project there are variances to the above but we have tried to covers off everything in a general sense. Feel fee to add comments or queries and we’ll do our best to address them if we can!
So that the planning application process ticked off. Next stop – tune in for handing objections!