Planning Myth #1 – Planning drawings give you permission to build…

This is the first in a series ‘Debunking Planning Myths’ so let’s get the ball rolling and start with an easy one:

Planning drawings give you permission to build:

There seems to be a big misconception with the building public that Planning is the permission that says how you should build your project as well as where; and that the planning drawings contain ALL the constructional information for your contractor (which is you if you’re self-building).

In each of these blog posts we’ll debunk the myth and to do that we need to seek the truth and go back to the original source material which in this case are the Planning Acts. The following requirements for your main planning drawings (excluding site layouts & locations) are from S.I. No. 600/2001 — Planning and Development Regulations, 2001

…(b) other plans, elevations and sections shall be drawn to a scale of not less than 1:200 (which shall be indicated thereon), or such other scale as may be agreed with the planning authority prior to the submission of the application in any particular case,

(f) plans and drawings of floor plans, elevations and sections shall indicate in figures the principal dimensions (including overall height) of any proposed structure and the site, and site or layout plans shall indicate the distances of any such structure from the boundaries of the site

Now there’s not a lot of construction information that can be shown at a scale of 1:200 and item (f) is only looking for ‘principal dimensions’

How has this misunderstanding arisen? Well there’s a lot of people out there preparing planning applications that are unfamiliar with the exact planning requirements; they are simply drawing what other people have done in the past. Plus, there’s a legacy of the ‘architect’ not being employed subsequent to the planning stage where in previous years the builder would simply build from the planning drawings. Therefore it was necessary for the ‘architect’ to include as much information as possible (and to limit questions at a later stage) on how the project is to be built. And as the faithful readers will know there’s a lot more information that now needs to be included to ensure compliance with ALL aspects of the Building Regulations.

As a response to this confusion, Planning Authorities now include as part of their Planning Approval words along the lines of that this permission does not give permission to build as compliance with the Building Regulations will also be required.

Roll on the Building Control amendments that are forecast for Ireland shortly…

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