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 Agrement certificate.
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
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 for a full permission.
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 planning system includes a comprehensive appeals process. Under this, all planning
decisions made by planning authorities may be subject to independent review by An
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.
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.