Planning FAQ


  1. How do I apply for planning permission?
  2. Are there different types of planning permission?
  3. Can I employ an agent to apply for permission on my behalf?
  4. When Do I Need Planning Permission?
  5. What developments do not require planning permission?
  6. Can I get help filling out the form?
  7. What is the timescale for a decision?
  8. What happens if my application is invalid?
  9. What newspapers are approved?
  10. What should the documents submitted with my application show?
  11. What other requirements apart from planning permission are there?
  12. What is Further Information / Additional Information?
  13. What is Clarification of Further Information / Additional Information?
  14. Can conditions be attached to my permission?
  15. If the application is granted, when can I begin building?
  16. How will I know if my application has been granted?
  17. Can I make an objection?
  18. Can I withdraw a submission/observation?
  19. If I disagree with a decision made by the planning authority, what are my options?
  20. If my application is refused, what are my options?
  21. Is there any circumstance under which I can make an appeal as a third party if I have not made a submission within the five week period?
  22. What is a development contribution, and will I have to pay one?
  23. What is Planning Enforcement?
  24. What do I do if I want to make a complaint about a breach of planning permission?
  25. Is it kept confidential?
  26. What are the penalties for breeches of the planning laws?
  27. What is the procedure that is followed?
  28. How can I find out about Council’s planning policies?
  29. What is the current planning legislation?
  30. What application fees apply?
  31. What are the opening hours for the Planning Counter?
  32. What services are provided at the public counter?
  33. What methods of payment are available at the public counter?
  34. File Accessibility
  35. What are Commencement Notices?
  36. When do I submit a commencement Notice?
  37. What form should the commencement notice take?
  38. What happens if I do not submit a commencement notice?
  39. Do I have to submit a Site Suitability Assessment for On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems with my Planning Application?
  40. I’ve been refused planning permission for a particular reason; can I apply on the site again?
  41. If the site is down a laneway, which is not a public road, what must I do regarding the Site Notice?
  42. Where is the Planning and Development Act 2000 to be found?
  43. Where are the Planning and Development Regulations to be found?
  44. What is land use zoning?
  45. What is a Declaration under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000?
  46. How do I make an application for a Declaration of Exemption under Section 5?
  47. What is an Extension of Time?
  48. Who can make a planning application?
  49. What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
  50. I need a copy of a map of an area, can I get it here?
  51. I am the applicant and I need a copy of my plans. Is there a charge?
  52. What is Part 5?
  53. How do I make an application for a Part 5 exemption certificate?
  54. Before sending in your planning application ask yourself

1) How do I apply for planning permission?

Applications should be made on the official planning application form. You will also need other documents such as plans and there will usually be a fee for making the application. All information and the application form are available under the Planning Section of this website. A checklist guide to lodging planning applications is available to assist you in making your application.

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2) Are there different types of planning permission?

FULL PERMISSION: An application for full permission requires an applicant to submit detailed plans and full particulars of the development. A successful application in this case will enable the applicant to commence development provided he or she is otherwise entitled to do so. OUTLINE PERMISSION: outline permission if granted means that the planning authority agree to the proposed development in principle. If the applicant wishes to receive full permission they must apply for ‘permission consequent to the grant of outline permission’ PERMISSION CONSEQUENT TO OUTLINE PERMISSION: This type of application follows the grant of Outline permission. It provides for the submission of detailed plans and drawings of the proposed development.

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3) Can I employ an agent to apply for permission on my behalf?

Yes, very few people go through the planning process without availing of the services of an architect or agent. This may take the form of somebody acting as your agent and dealing with the application in its entirety. Alternatively you may have someone prepare the plans/drawings for you and you will submit the application yourself.

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4) When Do I Need Planning Permission?

Generally you need planning permission for any development of land or property unless the development is specifically exempted from this need. Development : The carrying out of works on, in, over or under land or the making of a material change in the use of any structures or other land.

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5) What developments do not require planning permission?

Exempted developments do not require planning permission. Categories of exempted development are set out in Planning Law. They usually refer to developments of a minor nature, such as small extensions to houses. Reference must be made to the legislation to ensure that the development falls within the exemption thresholds. If the particular development exceeds the thresholds listed, the development requires planning permission. You can get more details on this from our web site.

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6) Can I get help filling out the form?

Yes, help is available from a number of areas:

 

  • At the Planning public counter in Áras an Chontae.
  • By using the information available on this site under Planning Applictions.
  • By the use of an Agent – employed by you to submit the application .

 

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7) What is the timescale for a decision?

Generally 8 weeks from the date of lodgement of an application.

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8) What happens if my application is invalid?

If your application is invalid, that is, ·It lacks some of the required documentation ·Lacks the appropriate fee ·Is in any other way inadequate It is deemed to be invalid and will be returned to you and the fee refunded. The statutory eight-week period within which the Planning Authority must make its decision begins from the time you submit a valid application.

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9) What newspapers are approved?

The planning application must be advertised in one of the following newspapers approved by the planning authority for the purpose:
1.Irish Independent  2.Leinster Express  3.Irish Times and  4.The Laois Nationalist

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10) What should the documents submitted with my application show?

Site Location Map (6 copies) The Site Location Map must be marked or coloured so as to identify clearly the land or structure to which the application relates and the boundaries thereon. The Site Location Map must be on an Ordnance Survey map with the number of the Ordnance Survey map clearly indicated thereon, together with the north point. The scale of the map should be not less that 1:1000 in built-up areas and 1:1250 in all other areas.
Site/Layout Map (6 copies) The site boundary should be clearly marked in red and the plan should show buildings, boundaries, septic tanks and percolation areas, bored wells, services and other features in the vicinity of the land or structure to which the application relates. In this regard all features within 100m of the proposed development should be indicated. The position of the site notice should also be shown. The scale of the layout map should not be less than 1:500.
Plans & Drawings (6 copies) (except for Outline Permission ) Plans and Drawings should contain detailed structural drawings of floor plans, elevations and sections and such other particulars as are necessary to describe the works or structure to which the application relates. These must be drawn to a scale not less that 1:200.
Public/Site Notice A copy of the site notice must be submitted with each planning application. The site notice must be placed on site for five weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application. If it becomes illegible or is removed, it must be replaced immediately as failure to do so will invalidate the application. The site notice must be located at the site entrance to the private road and/or where the private road meets the public road and at all entrances to the site.
Newspaper Notice The original page of the newspaper in which notice of the application was published must be submitted with the application. The application must be lodged with the Planning Department within two weeks of the publication date of the newspaper. This paragraph must appear on newspaper notices under the planning and development regulations 2006. That the planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours and that a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application.

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11) What other requirements apart from planning permission are there?

You must comply with all legislative requirements depending on the type of development. For example, all new buildings, alterations to existing buildings or changes of use except for those specifically exempted must comply with the building control requirements. They must all be designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and Fire Safety Certificates and Commencement Notices where applicable must be obtained prior to commencement of development. More detailed information is available on our website or your agent will advise you of the requirements for your proposed development.

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12) What is Further Information / Additional Information?

The planning authority has the power to seek Further Information from the applicant in order to make a full assessment of an application. On receipt of the Further Information the planning authority has 4 weeks to make a decision (8 weeks if accompanied by an E.I.S.).

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13) What is Clarification of Further Information / Additional Information?

Having received the Further Information requested, the planning authority has the power to seek Clarification of the Further Information received if necessary. On receipt of the Clarification of Further Information the planning authority has 4 weeks to make a decision. (8 weeks if accompanied by an E.I.S.).

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14) Can conditions be attached to my permission?

Yes. The decision to grant permission can be made with or without conditions which will be attached to the decision.

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15) If the application is granted, when can I begin building?

There is an appeal period of four weeks from the date of issue of the decision. During this time an appeal may be made to An Bord Pleanala. If no appeal is lodged the Planning Authority will formally grant permission at the end of the four week period. A commencement notice should be completed and received by the Building Control Authority not less than 14 days and no more than 28 days before the commencement date of the development works. The notice must be accompanied by the relevant fee. It is only after this notice is validated that development work can commence.

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16) How will I know if my application has been granted?

You will be notified in writing of the Planning Authority’s decision to grant permission. This notification is not an entitlement to commence development. You must wait a period of four weeks in case of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

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17) Can I make an objection?

The Submission/Observation/Objection must be made in writing and signed.
It must state the name and address of the person making the submission and indicate an address for correspondence relating to the application.
It must be lodged with the planning authority within the first five weeks of receipt of the application along with a fee of €20.

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18) Can I withdraw a submission/observation?

There is no mechanism in the regulations for the withdrawal of a submission/observation/objection. You may, however, make a further addition to your submission/objection instructing the Planning Authority to disregard your original observations. Only documents submitted within the first five weeks can be accepted and both documents will remain on file.

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19) If I disagree with a decision made by the planning authority, what are my options?

In order to appeal the decision of the Planning Authority you must have objected to the proposed development within the first five weeks of the application being made. If you disagree with a decision made by the Planning Authority you can appeal the decision in writing to An Bord Pleanala with the payment of a prescribed fee which can be found on An Bord Pleanala’s web site www.pleanala.ie

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20) If my application is refused, what are my options?

If your application is refused you can appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanala within four weeks of the decision being made and with the payment of a prescribed fee.

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21) Is there any circumstance under which I can make an appeal as a third party if I have not made a submission within the five week period?

Under Article 37 (6) (a) of the Planning & Development Act 2000 a person who has interest in land adjoining the site may “apply to the board for leave to appeal”. This means they have the right to make their case to the Board that they should be allowed to appeal. Also, if significant further information is submitted which the Planning Authority requires to be advertised, submissions may be made during the period of two weeks from the publication of the advertisement. Persons making these submissions may also make an appeal

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22) What is a development contribution, and will I have to pay one?

The Planning and Development Acts allow that when granting planning permission a local authority may, as a condition of that planning permission, require the payment of a contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities. Such contributions may be related to works benefiting development in the ‘area of the planning authority’ rather than just facilitating the proposed development. Details of the current Development Contribution Scheme, operated by Laois County Council are available separately or can be viewed at our Web page Laois.ie/planning/planning publications/DevelopmentContributions Roads: This charge will contribute to improvements to local and regional roads. Water: The charge for water includes the upgrading of existing and the construction of new water treatment works and mains. Sewerage: The improvement and upgrading of existing facilities and the provision of new sewerage comes from this charge. Open Space/ Community: The charge made in relation to open space and community goes towards the provision and maintenance of open spaces, parks, and walkways. It also contributes to Urban and Village Renewal works and other community facilities including tourist related development.

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23) What is Planning Enforcement?

Laois County Council has powers under the Local Government Planning and Development Act to take enforcement action where development (either works or uses) is in breach of planning laws and is therefore, considered to be unauthorised.

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24) What do I do if I want to make a complaint about a breach of planning permission?

If you are aware of an unauthorised development taking place, you can fill out an unauthorised development complaint form which can be found at the public counter in the Planning section of the website under Unauthorised Development, it must be made in writing and addressed to the Planning Department.

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25) Is it kept confidential?

The name of the complainant and the letter of complaint are kept confidential both during the course of any enforcement proceedings and afterwards when the case is completed. However this information is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (1997) and, in exceptional circumstances, this information may be subpoenaed by a Court.

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26) What are the penalties for breeches of the planning laws?

The penalties for breeches of the planning law depend on the nature of the offence, but may result in a fine and/or a prison sentence.

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27) What is the procedure that is followed?

On receipt of a complaint the Development Inspector carries out an inspection and if necessary issues a Warning Letter. If the developer fails to comply with the Warning Letter within the time specified then an Enforcement Notice is issued. If the developer fails to comply with the Enforcement Notice at this stage the Planning Authority takes the case to court.

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28) How can I find out about Council’s planning policies?

The development policies and objectives for County Laois are contained in the County Development Plan and its related Local Area Plans. You can view the plans at the offices of Laois County Council or local libraries or here on our website under Development Plans.

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29) What is the current planning legislation?

The current planning legislation is contained in the Planning & Development Acts 2000 to 2010 and the Planning & Development Regulations 2001-2005 and is available online at www.irishstatutebook.ie

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30) What application fees apply?

You can find a list of our fees on the Planning section of this website.

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31) What are the opening hours for the Planning Counter?

9.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday

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32) What services are provided at the public counter?

At the public counter you can;

  • Submit a planning application or make an objection.
  • There are also computers available where you can view planning applications files.
    When visiting the counter it is useful to have the following information at hand:

    • Planning Register Number or
    • Name of the Applicant or
    • Identify the Site on the Planning Register Maps.
    • Current files are available to view free of charge.
  • Applications made before 2002 are in storage off site but can be ordered and delivered to us usually within one week.
  • There is a charge of €63.50 to view planning files which are obtained from the off-site storage
  • Make General Queries regarding Planning and Sustainable Development Issues
  • Purchase Copies of Documents from Planning Application Files
  • You may obtain copies of documents contained on a planning application file through the payment of a fee.
  • Purchase Development Plans,
  • View Planning Register
  • There are two computers available for public use at the public counter. 

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33) What methods of payment are available at the public counter?

You can pay by: Cheque, Credit Card, Laser Card at the Planning Counter. Cash is not accepted at the Planning Counter. Cash is however accepted at the Cash Office, located in the Motor Tax Office and is open from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm

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34) File Accessibility

Recent files: 2003 – present date planning files are available at our public counter.

Archived files: Files received before 2003 are in storage. Such archived files can be made available within one week. Please note that there is a €63.50 fee to view a planning file from the off-site storage.

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35) What are Commencement Notices?

Pursuant to The 1990 Building Control Act and The 1997 Building Control Regulations, Commencement Notices must be lodged, subject to certain exemptions, to the Building Control Authority (Laois County Council) by any person who intends to carry out any works or a change of use on their property.

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36) When do I submit a commencement Notice?

Notices should be submitted not less than 14 days and no more than 28 days before the commencement of such works. It is probably preferable to define works as the first physical act of construction.

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37) What form should the commencement notice take?.

Commencement Notice Forms may be obtained from the Planning Department, Laois County Council or can be downloaded from our website.

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38) What happens if I do not submit a commencement notice?

The primary responsibility for compliance rests with designers, builders and building owners. Building control authorities have power to inspect design documents and buildings, as well as powers of enforcement and prosecution where breaches of the regulations occur. There are heavy penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for breaches of the regulations. In addition, when it comes to selling your property, you may have difficulties if you cannot satisfy the purchaser’s solicitor that the requirements of the regulations have been met.

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39) Do I have to submit a Site Suitability Assessment for On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems with my Planning Application?

In all cases where an application involves a proposal to use a septic tank or other on-site treatment system, a Percolation Test is required and the results of same have to be submitted with the application. The Percolation Test are carried out by Laois Co Co personnel and the application forms are available in the Standard Planning Pack. Applicants are also required to submit details of the proposed septic tank or the Waste Water Treatment System whichever is appropriate. A planning application will be considered INVALID and returned to the applicant if the Percolation test results and the Septic tank or treatment system details are not submitted with the application.

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40) I’ve been refused planning permission for a particular reason; can I apply on the site again?

You can re-apply but if you do not address in some way the original reasons for refusal it is most likely that the same decision will be made again.

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41) If the site is down a laneway, which is not a public road, what must I do regarding the Site Notice?

The site notice must be located at the entrance to the private road where it meets the public road, and at the entrance to the site.

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42) Where is the Planning and Development Act 2000 to be found?

The Act may be purchased from the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Tel:01 6613111 or alternatively can be viewed at www.irishstatutebook.ie

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43) Where are the Planning and Development Regulations to be found?

These may be purchased from the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Tel:01 6613111 or alternatively can be viewed at www.irishstatutebook.ie

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44) What is land use zoning?

Land use zoning is the method by which the Planning Authority controls development by defining what land may be used for what purpose, i.e.: residential, retail, industrial, agricultural, recreational etc. A land use-zoning map should always be read in conjunction with a Land Use Zoning Matrix Table which states exactly what type of development is permitted in each zone.

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45) What is a Declaration under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000?

Under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, a person can seek a formal declaration from the planning authority to establish if there is a requirement for planning permission for a specific proposal. There is a cost of €80 for this service and along with the fee a site location map and a drawing showing the dimensions of the proposal should be submitted.

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46) How do I make an application for a Declaration of Exemption under Section 5?

You must complete the form and forward it along with a site location map, a fee of €80.00, and as much detail as possible outlining your proposal (drawings, photos etc,) A decision will generally issue in four weeks, and the applicant may appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala. The form is available at http://Laois.ie/CountyCouncil/PrintingForms/Planning/

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47) What is an Extension of Time?

Where the applicant consents to extend the period of time for making a decision, the planning authority has the power to extend the period to the date consented to by the applicant.

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48) Who can make a planning application?

In order to make a planning application you must have enough rights to the land to allow you to carry out the development. Alternatively, you could make the application with the written consent of the owner.

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49) What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?

Certain types of planning applications which are considered by the planning authority to have potentially significant effects on the environment, will require the submission of an EIS with the application. In some cases an EIS may be requested as Further Information. In cases where an EIS has been submitted the timescale for making a decision on foot of Further Information received is 8 weeks, rather than the usual 4 weeks.

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50) I need a copy of a map of an area, can I get it here?

This office does not have a licence to reproduce maps for sale. You should contact The Kilkenny Map Shop, Johns Street, Kilkenny at 056-7756516.

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51) I am the applicant and I need a copy of my plans. Is there a charge?

Copies of drawings submitted with planning applications are available at a charge. This charge depends on the size of the drawings you require. Planning staff at our public counter can help you with this. Most agents will provide you with an extra set of the drawings prepared for the planning application.

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52) What is Part 5?

Any planning application for the development of houses or apartments must satisfy the requirements of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 in relation to the provision of 20% Social/Affordable housing. Residential developments of four housing units or less, or on a site of an area of 0.2 hectares or less may be exempt from the requirement to supply 20% Social/Affordable housing.

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53) How do I make an application for a Part 5 exemption certificate?

You must complete the form and forward it along with 2 site location maps and a Statutory Declaration to the Planning Department. There is no fee. A decision will be made to grant or refuse an exemption cert in 4 weeks.

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54) Before sending in your planning application ask yourself:

  • Should I initially seek advice from the Planning Department on my proposal/application before submitting it?
  • Am I making the correct type of planning application – i.e. for permission or outline permission?
  • Have I completed all sections of the application form? ·Have I paid the correct fee?
  • Is my site notice adequate, positioned correctly on site and legible?
  • Is my newspaper notice adequate, in an accepted newspaper and within the time limit?
  • Have I included a supplementary Application Form? (Only applicable for a dwelling in a rural area)
  • Have I included all necessary information?
  • Have I (or my agent) signed the form?
  • Do I need to meet any other non-planning application requirements? (e.g. fire safety certificate, consent to connect to a public sewer, Exemption Cert under Section 97 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2010 with the requirement for social and affordable housing).