How to Apply for Planning Permission to Build a House?

How to Apply for Planning Permission to Build a House?

Planning permission is the key to turning a piece of land into your dream house. It is a pretty essential process if you want to prevent any unlawful development. Many self-builders or renovators may have secured a well-positioned site, but obtaining planning permission to build on it can be challenging, especially if it is your first time.

Many developers or landowners want to increase their value of land by developing a structure on it. Most of them wish to get on with the build as quickly as possible. With planning permission taking at least two months from submission to decision, no one wants to go through the complicated yet time-consuming process more than once.

For a successful planning permission application, it is essential to understand what the process involves and what your local authority is most likely to approve. No one wants to face a delay in building a house just because their planning permission application got rejected.


How to apply for planning permission to build your house?

To help you submit a planning application successfully, below is the step by step guide of how to apply for planning permission:

  • Download and fill the planning permission application. Anyone can easily download it from the planning portal of Ireland
  • Place an advertisement of your building intentions in the local newspaper and submit it with the application within 12 to 14 days of posting the advertisement
  • Place a site notice adjacent to the building site
  • Submit the complete application form with all required documents and the correct fee


What does a planning application pack include?

All local planning departments in Ireland use the same application form known as 1APP. Anyone can easily find the appropriate application form for your area at Planning Portal and complete their application process online. The application must include the following documents:

  • Five copies of the application form
  • Design and access statement
  • Ownership certificate (signed)
  • Site plan
  • Copies of public notices
  • Location map
  • Other plans such as elevations of both existing and proposed sites
  • Correct fee


How much does the planning permission application cost?

The application fee for planning permission is not very high. The cost of the application fee also depends on what you are planning to build. Homebuilders can find an application fee calculator on their website to get a better idea of how much obtaining planning permission to build a house will cost them in the end.

However, preparing plans, designs, and conducting ecological surveys to submit a successful planning application may cost you a larger amount of money. Sometimes, People may need to make more than one planning application to reach an agreement with the council by making revisions in their plan accordingly.

Submitting planning applications more than once will ultimately increase the cost of obtaining planning permission. If your planning permission to build a house gets refused, it can prove very costly for you. However, securing planning permission can increase your land value three to five times more than its actual cost.


What causes delays and refusals in the planning permission process?

Knowing the most frequent causes of delays and refusals before applying for planning permission can be quite helpful. It gives you a chance to take essential steps to avoid them and increases your chances of obtaining the planning permission at the first attempt.

They can be grouped into three major categories: content and presentation of the planning permission, local politics, and conflicts with planning and policy officers’ opinions. Many planning applications faces delay because the local council do not validate and register them.

All the plans, application fees, and survey reports must be correctly presented to get the planning permission you needed.  The eight weeks period of the application process will not start until the local council members are satisfied completely.

Any conflicts with planning or policy officers can result in rejection or a request to make revisions in your development plan, which will consume more of your precious time and hard-earned money.

Even if you have the planning officer on your side, your planning permission may get rejected by a committee. Your neighbors will be consulted and invited to comment before the local council takes their final decision. If your neighbors do not object, you are most likely to get the planning permission you needed.

So it is better to be polite and discuss your development plan with your neighbors first to minimize the risks of you upsetting them. If there are no local objections, your chances to obtain planning permission to build your dreamhouse increases.


What to do before submitting your planning application?

The critical stage for avoiding any planning application problems is before you hit that send button on your application forms. Obtaining planning permission to build your house at a first attempt can be anything but easy. It is better to hire a professional architect or a designer to prepare your design drawings. A good design can hide all flaws in your development plan.

Working with a good designer will help you present the drawings in a manner that is acceptable to the local council. Even if you are highly satisfied with your development plan, it is better to make a pre-application inquiry with the council. You will be able to get their feedback on your sketched proposals before working on other site plans.


Can you make changes in the design after obtaining the planning permission?

Minor alterations can be made by applying for a non-material amendment. However, planning permission will be required again to make any significant changes in the building. It is better to discuss your design plans with your designer or architect first to avoid any inconvenience in the future.


What happens if planning permission to build your house is not granted?

If your planning application gets rejected by the local authorities, you can either amend and resubmit it again after dealing with the reasons for refusal. Most of the applications that are rejected are later granted. If you feel that the planning permission you submitted was according to the national planning policies and local council policies, you can appeal to the planning inspectorate.


Building a house without planning permission

Building a house without planning permission is not lawful, and local authorities have the power to get the work altered or demolished. The local authority can impose heavy fines on you for going against the rule and may put you behind bars for a couple of years.

There is a legal loophole in one sense. If no enforcement action is taken against you within seven years of completion of the house, the house will become immune from any enforcement action. This does not mean the development becomes lawful, it will not be able to be sold until the matter is resolved and essentially worthless. It won’t be taken down though.

It is better to follow the same procedure which other citizens of Ireland follow and apply for planning permission. If done right, it can be less time-consuming and more beneficial in the longer run.


Powerful tips to win over the planning permission to build your house?

Getting planning permission to build your house can be quite a challenging process. The main aim of the local council is to ensure that the newly constructed houses are in character with their surroundings in terms of design and pattern of development. Some powerful tips to win over the planning permission to build your home are:


  1. Read and reference your local authority’s policy:

The local authority may have published the planning policies for the given area on their website. You can check from there whether the land you want to build your house on is allowed to have any residential development or not. The planning policies should be carefully considered before an application is made. If you want a smooth planning permission process, make sure the design of your house complies with these policies.

  1. Establish a good relationship with the planning officer:

Once you have submitted your planning permission, stay in contact with the planning officer so you can discuss all your concerns with him. If any revisions are required in the plan, make them quickly as the council will also need to reconsult with the neighbors, engineers, or environmental officers.

  1. Consider hiring a professional:

The requirements to secure planning permission on the first attempt are pretty arduous. As a novice, you may not be able to submit a successful application without taking some help from professionals.



If you wish to build a house, you must obtain planning permission before you start construction work. Planning law is an undoubtedly vast and complicated subject. The local development policies vary significantly from area to area. To obtain planning permission on the first attempt, it is best to get in touch with UpSPACE as we have extensive knowledge on planning policies and delivering development projects for our clients. From providing finance to helping people obtain planning permission for the most complicated development projects, UpSPACE makes the entire development process stress-free for our clients.