Building Regulation vs Planning Permission
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Building Regulation vs Planning Permission

Learn the differences between Building Regulation and Planning Permission in Ireland, how they impact your property, and why compliance is crucial. Find out about exemptions, application requirements, and the importance of professional guidance for successful home renovation projects.

In Ireland, domestic building works up to 40 sqm is considered exempt from planning permission. (Read our Planning Permission in Ireland Explained to find out more.)

However, before you start demolishing walls, always remember that any structural modification or extension will require building compliance and certification by Planning and Building Regulation codes.


Building Regulation versus Planning Permission Briefly Explained

  • Building Regulation is the code to ensure that building construction standards are adhered to whenever building work is undertaken, either to alter or add to the original design of a building.
  • Planning Permission is the legislation that relates to the external appearance of a building, its impact on its surrounding environment, and changes to its intended use.


By adhering to Planning and Building Regulation codes when extending, converting an attic or other structural changes, you’ll be less likely to run into any issues when it comes to selling or remortgaging your property. In the worst-case scenario, failure to comply with regulations could mean you are liable for any building work to be removed or corrected.

Breaching Building Regulation codes can happen to even the most thorough and careful builder, which is why engaging the services of an architect, building surveyor or structural engineer can ensure a project’s compliance as well as certification upon completion.

Furthermore, when you hire an RIAI-registered Architect you will also get the help and advice you need in relation to planning permission as well as design, supervision and inspection of the build and final certification as per Planning and Building Regulations codes.




Exempted Development Application

If you are seeking to extend or modify your home exempt from planning permission, you can submit to your local authority a request for an exempted declaration. In general, the application will require:

  1. Location Map (scale 1:1000 in urban area) with the site, clearly outlined in red – generally obtained from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi)
  2. Full details of the existing structure and description of the proposed development
  3. Scale drawings and elevations

Following application submission and a fee of €80, a local authority planner will then assess the application and decide within four weeks.

To connect with RIAI registered Architects or to find builders and other qualified trade professionals for your home renovation project post a job today.

For more on this topic read Applying for Planning Permission.


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