It isn’t the design that will scupper your planning permission…

Now I’m not saying that the design isn’t important, it is but your architect should be able to work with you, the site and planning in order to achieve a design that everyone is happy is (obviously if you appoint a good architect ahem).

What will really scupper your dream home is all the stuff that the architect has no control over. The items listed below are fairly general to rural Ireland with an emphasis on Mayo Planning:

* Site suitability – I work with several consultants that specialise in the tests for septic tanks, effluent treatment units and percolation/polishing areas. These specialists will work with me and your site to achieve the best solution to ‘get it through planning’ whilst still achieving EPA guidelines.

* Water – You’re obviously going to need a potable water supply. Obviously the best solution is to connect to a mains supply but unless you’re in a city/town then this is a non-starter. You can connect to a group water scheme (if there is space) but bear in mind you might need to pay a hefty deposit prior to connection (€2000+ in some places). You can also drill a well but you’ll probably need to test the water as part of the planning application.

* Road Safety – Now this can be a really troublesome one; you’ll need clear visibility up and down the road. This visibility is set by a set-back distance from the access junction and being able to look without obstruction a minimum distance up and down the road, this distance is set by the speed of the road. Your architect as part of the planning permission will need to supply a site visibility diagram where the triangles of visibility (at a specific height) are shown. The Council obviously doesn’t want to give a planning permission that creates a road hazard; your architect however can analyse the best position to create a site access; work with solicitors (if required) to obtain visibility over neighbours’ lands.

What you can be assured of is that your architect should do his upmost to address each planning ‘challenge’ and work diligently to solve the problems one by one.

Comments as ever welcome…