Planning Permission Ireland

​If you are building a house, the first step after purchasing the site would be to apply for Planning Permission. However, there are different types of Permission and you need to know what are the process and the requirements.

There are mainly three types of planning permission in Ireland that a self builder can apply for and they are:

Outline planning permission

Permission following grant of outline permission

Full planning permission

Before we go into details of the differences on the above permissions, there are a few things to remember and consider before an application is made.

  • a) Always consult a qualified architect or engineer before you apply for the permission.
  • b) Talk to your local planning department before you decide on any method or design for your build. It is very important that you ask the opinion of the local planning engineer as they can guide you towards what is allowed and what would not be even considered. By doing this you might save yourself a lot of time and paperwork for getting your permission.
  • c) When planning your site and designing your house, do consider what effect it might have on the area and the environment as this is one of the main areas where your local planning department would be looking at before a permission is granted. Try to integrate the structure into the existing landscape.
  • d) If there are no mains water or sewage do consider the options available to you. When looking at Waste Management do choose the system that would cause the least damage to the nature and local environment. It should also be acceptable with your local planning and have an Irish Agreement certificate.
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  • e) Ask the local planning department to show you the area development plan for the next few years. This would give you some ideas of what are planned in the area for the future.
  • What is the difference between the above permissions:

    Outline planning permission is sought when you are planning to build a house in the near future but you have not yet decided on the design or you might not be ready yet for your own personal reasons. You still have to inform the planning department of your intentions as far as the design and Waste Management . For example, is it going to be a single or two storey building. Is it going to be septic tank or a bio waste treatment system.

    Permission following the grant of outline planning permission is applied for when you are ready to go ahead with your design and you have all the required documentation needed.

    Full planning permission can be applied for when you have already decided on all your plans and designs and you wish to go ahead with the construction as soon as you are ready.

    A planning permission is usually valid for five years but this should be confirmed with your local planning department.

    What happens if your planning permission is refused:

    The appeal must be made within 4 weeks beginning on the date of the making of the decision by the planning authority.

    The appeal must be made in writing and posted or delivered to:

    The Secretary, An Bord Pleanala, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1.
    Tel: 01 8588100 or locall 1890 275 175
    Web site ,

    Further information about the appeal process can be obtained from An Bord Pleanala or your Local Planning Department or Planning refused making an appeal

    The seven year rule

    When you receive your planning permission, as one of the conditions you might see the following condition

    “ The proposed dwelling house for a period of seven years from the date of completion shall be for the sole use of the (applicant or applicant and subsequent owners).

    What this means is that if it only has applicant under the condition, should you wish to sell the property within seven years of the house being completed, you will need permission from the local planning department before you can go ahead with the sale. The reason for this has been explained as in the interests of sustainable development.

    However, if the wording includes applicants and subsequent owners there should not be a need to inform the local planning department.