Congratulations to Mayo County Council on online planning system:

I’ve done it ! My first planning application submitted entirely online !

As the title says, well done to Mayo County Council showing Ireland the way in how to produce (in-house I might add) an elegant and problem-free method of submitting a planning application online. The only other Planning Authority in Ireland to have such a system is Dublin City Council, Mayo now has the most advanced online planning system of any county council in Ireland.

As this was my first time (no sniggers please), I think it’s important to point out what the benefits are are submitting drawings in this way:

1. There’s no need for printing out 6 copies of everything!
As well as the hassle, there’s the incredible expense of having to print out EVERYTHING six times, 6 sets of site location,layout,plans,elevations,sections,reports – the list of everything is endless – you could wallpaper an entire house just on one application.

2. There’s no need to race into the planning office to submit the planning application to a deadline:
I used to prefer to submit my planning applications by hand rather than trust the vagaries of the Irish postal system. You still need to be careful with deadlines but you are now able to make your planning application in the comfort of your home or office (you can even do it in your pyjamas).

3. The drawings you submit will be better:
To save client costs I would have generally opted for simple black/white copies of drawings; now you will see the drawings how they should be seen, vibrant in colour and shading – the skies the limit now for me in terms of how elegant the drawings can be made when you don’t have to consider crappy photocopiers.

4. Everything is handled offline until the last stage:
Once you’ve downloaded the form and prepared the drawings, you can get everything ready for submission offline; the only stage where you need to be online is at the end when you upload the completed application form (which has attachments for all the required drawings) and make payment (also online via credit card); this means that you can do nearly everything offline and even use an internet cafe for the final stage if you’re internet is slow/down (frequent occurence in Ireland).

At the moment the system can handle new houses and extensions (perfect for me) and the application in point was for a very contemporary extension to a traditional 1950’s hipped Irish cottage. You can see one of the attached files that was made as part of the planning application below:

Click HERE to see one of the files sumbitted for the online planning application…

Mark Stephens Architects are therefore committed to design excellence and using technology to get the best results for their clients and their adoption of the online planning system by Mayo County Council is an example of this.

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