Is your Irish Planning Permission running out?

Up until very recently, the time period for your planning permission was 5 years but due to the economic melt-down you can now extend this period by a maximum of a further 5 years citing ‘economic reasons’

Sounds good doesn’t it ? Fill in a simple form and you get an extra 5 years added to your planning permission.

Here’s the form in fact for you to fill in (the Mayo County Council version)

Too good to be true? Unfortunately yes.

Below is a photograph of a house near Westport where the planning history on the site went back to the 70’s. I came in after the outline planning permission was granted to undertake the ‘Planning Permission subsequent to outline’ in After an initial refusal (the proposed scheme was deemed not to be ‘single storey’ which was one of the outline planning conditions), the house as you see it (a double pitched, traditional design with a mezzanine over the kitchen/living area) was granted with an expiry date in May 2012.

Murrisk House

House near Westport, County Mayo

Fast forward 5 years, planning is expiring and nothing has been built.

Fill the form in, pay the €62 and wait for the time extension.

Uh-Uh – refused due to road safety, local needs…..and lose €62 into the bargain.

The bottom line is that the planning authority is working to the current planning guidelines of the specific site in question; this means everything and anything can be raked up – from Septic tanks (very popular topic at the moment), road safety, local needs, maybe even the design!

Luckily, we started building at the beginning of this year and we’ve built up to wall plate as required by the Council. It was a bit of a rush getting everything ready, contracts signed etc… but the contractor (Howard Healy & Sons, Swinford) did his job admirably and we’re planning compliant with a month to spare, phew.


1. If you’re Irish Planning Permission is running out, don’t leave it until the last minute to extend as there may be unforeseen problems you’ll need to address.

2. Unless your planning permission was lovely and straightforward (highly unlikely) then be prepared to battle with newer, more stringent planning requirements.

3. If you need to get building within a planning deadline, it’s surprising how fast a shell can go up, find the money from somewhere and get started.

4. If you need an architect to help build to a specific deadline, prepare construction and tender information, form the contract between you and your builder and inspect/certify the project through the construction period – then please CONTACT me.

Murrisk House - Main living area

Photo in living/dining/kitchen area towards mezzanine

This post has subsequently been updated by THIS

This ‘up to wall plate’ planning compliance is a ‘Planning Old Wive’s tale’

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