Skip Navigation LinksPlanningFAQ2

1. What is Planning?

Planning is Government legislation controlled by Local Authorities to determine the suitability of proposed building projects.

Please Note:- A Variable Planning Fee is required for all applications.


2. Does all building work require Planning approval?

Not all do. Internal alterations, Loft conversions within the existing roof void and some single storey extensions including conservatories do not need permission.

Legislation was altered in October 2008 to which th efollowing guidelines apply:

a] Not to exceed 50% of the total cartilage of the property.

b] Height not to exceed highest part of existing roof.


c] Height of eaves not to exceed height of existing eaves.

Note:  Each Council can interpret this differently and can include a flat roofed extension to a bungalow.


d] Not fronting a highway, public footpath, river or promenade.


e] Single storey extensions to the rear must not extend more than 4.00 metres for a detached property or 3.00 metres in any other case and must not exceed 4.00
metres in height.


f] An extension must not be within 7.00 metres of the rear boundary.


g] An extension within 2.00 metres of the boundary must not have eaves more than 3.00 metres.


h] Any enlargement to the side elevation must not exceed 4.00 metres in height, be more than one storey or have a width greater than half the width of the existing dwelling.


i]    Any additions or alterations to a roof, balcony or verandas higher than 300mm.


Note:  Councils will not normally advise house owners whether a proposal requires permission or not and will require an formal Planning application
with Fee to determine a response.

An application for ‘Permitted Development’ can also be made but this also requires a Fee and is determined within 8 weeks.  A Permitted Development refusal requires a formal Planning application to be submitted plus an additional Fee and is determined in the normal 8 weeks period.

3. Do I need Planning approval for a driveway?

Yes. From 1st October 2008 all drives constructed with a hard non-porous surface such as tarmac or brick paviors require an application. Planning approval is also required for new vehicle entrances and alterations to existing entrances.

4. How long does a Planning application take?

From the submission to official acceptance of the application it is normally between 5 and 8 weeks.

5. How do I know how my Planning application is progressing?

Applications can be followed on the Council’s web-sites.
A Planning notice will appear near the property.
The Planning application will be advertised in the local newspaper.

6. Can my neighbours object?

Yes. Neighbours can raise objections to the project in writing. All Councils have an ‘open file’ where all objections can be viewed either on-line or in the file at the Council Offices. No objections can be raised anonymously and must be based on Planning reasons and not just because they feel you are a bad neighbour.

7. Should I tell my neighbours about my proposed building work?

It is not a requirement, but generally it is beneficial to treat your neighbours how you would like to be treated.

8. How long does Planning approval last?

Work must be commenced within 3 years from the date of approval before a re-submission is required.


9. Can I make alterations to the approved plans?

Minor alterations can be made to the approved plans during construction however a ‘Minor Amendment’ application is required to be submitted to the Council which requires an Application Fee.

Major alterations will require a re-submission of the Planning application and will be treated as a new application. The Council generally allow one ‘free go’ with no fee required as long as it is relevant to the original approval.

10.  Can I make Preliminary Enquires to the Council?

Sadly, it is now very rare that any information prior to a Planning Application being submitted can be gathered from a visit to the Council offices. 
Preliminary Enquires now require a formal application which requires a Fee to the Council and is normally dealt with in about 4 weeks. The payment of the Fee includes a meeting with a Planning Officer to discuss the application, if requested.
Although information following the Preliminary Enquiry is given in ‘good faith’ this does not ensure that the Planning Approval will be given.