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A Beginner’s Guide to Planning Permission…

We’ve had numerous questions around the details of planning permission, from when it might be required to actual specifics around the process. So to help those who might have questions, we’ve put together this short beginners guide.

Is planning permission always required?

Often, planning permission might not be required, especially when it comes to extensions and renovations of existing dwellings. This is mainly associated with works to the rear of dwelling.

What are the design stages for the planning permission process?

The process involves the client and architect working closely to achieve a successful grant of planning permission and there is a design staged process. For most projects, the design work is divided into three stages:

1 – Initial Sketch Design, presenting 2 / 3 options

This involves some sketches of floor plans and maybe front elevations. Many ideas will be considered and examples provided to show how various elements will look when finished from real projects. A pre-planning if deemed necessary can be at this stage. It depends on the project.

2 – Amendments & completing agreed design

This stage involves implementing any agreed changes from the previous; it also involves adding the other elevations, extra detail and information to the drawings. Site layout are also included.

3 – Planning Submission Issue

The final stage is co-ordinating the scheme with elements from any of the consultants. Also, how we present the application is considered too, for example is rendered 3D images or colour elevations required. This is all to ensure the application has the best chance of success.

What are the main categories for planning permission?

  • Full Planning: this type of application requires submittal of detailed building drawings, site layout, maps, and if in a rural area, percolation test, landscaping layout. This is the most common type of application.

  • Outline Planning: is generally just submittal of maps and if granted means that the Planning Authority agrees in principle with the proposal.

  • Permission Consequent to Outline Permission: this is a follow on from the Outline Permission and now detailed building drawings and site layout need to be submitted.

  • Retention: this is used where there has been unauthorised development and now wish to rectify the situation. Planning fees are 3 times the usual fee for full planning.

  • Extension of Duration: the majority of planning permissions will last for 5 years. The development needs to be complete within this period of time. If it is not complete or has not started then one can apply for an extension of duration.

How long does it normally take?

Once the application is lodged and validated by the planning authority, it will take 8 weeks for a decision to be made. Once the initial grant of permission has been achieved, a further 4 weeks is required for the final grant of permission.

What is permitted without planning permission?

  • Original floor are of house cannot be increased by 40m² (if the house has been extended previously, 40m² cannot be exceeded between all the extensions)

  • For terrace or semi-detached houses, the floor area of any extension above ground level cannot exceed 12m²

  • Any extension above ground level is 2m from any boundary

  • Any extension does not exceed height of house

  • The extension does not reduce the private open space to less than 25m²

  • The area also rules about the height allowed

We at JS Design – Architectural Solutions carry out projects throughout Ireland and have an excellent record of securing planning permission. We strive to put creative, functional, well planned buildings together with emphasis on space, light and materials. We take great pride in producing easy to read/understand drawings in both 2D + 3D formats. All projects are afforded the same professionalism no matter if it is a small extension or a large new house. We will usually present 2 / 3 design proposals, to show what works, what doesn’t and to give options to you the client. Often during the planning process, other consultants (experts) might be required, such as percolation specialist, archaeologist, landscape designer. We have a good working relationship with a number of these consultants. We act as the project lead and will co-ordinate all the required information so as to formulate your planning submission.

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