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Planning Permission

I recently sale agreed a lovely site in Stradbally County Waterford.  We are also selling two amazing sites in Cheekpoint with breathtaking waterfront views.  With all the enquiries I received, I thought it would be a good idea to invite an expert to our Waterford Property Watch segment to answer some frequently asked questions about residential planning permission.

So I got in touch with an expert for advice on planning permission

Ian Fewer is a partner with Fewer Harrington and Partners a global Architectural firm with their head office in Waterford City.  Ian has expansive knowledge and worldwide experience in a variety of sectors such as healthcare, education, master planning, mixed-use, residential, pharmaceutical, biomedical and retail. 

I asked Ian the following questions…

What does local need mean?

A Local Housing Need must be demonstrated by persons seeking to build a house in rural areas. They must meet a certain set of criteria listed by the Local Authorities to establish a housing need on the site.  Check out the following link for more information on local need planning in Waterford.

When do you not need to have a local need?

Sites that are zoned do not require a local housing need, also if there is any rural site with planning permission for a dwelling you do not require a local need.

What are the basics around one-off houses?

Ensure that you meet the criteria of the local housing need. This will be established before the project commences with the architect. 

Do you need planning permission to extend? Do you need planning permission if there is an existing house on a site but it’s derelict?

Planning permission will apply to dwellings regardless if they are derelict or not. There are many rules to building an extension that doesn’t require planning permission, and you must abide by all of them. So if there’s only one piece of advice to give, that is to get design professionals involved to ensure that your proposed extension or project can be considered exempted or a permitted development. For more information on planning permission in Ireland click here.

Who are the experts you need to hire to get planning permission? 

For new dwellings and extensions, you would require an architect, possibly and in most cases a structural or civil engineer.  If there is an Irish Water agreement to be lodged, we would also require a site surveyor to carry out a digital survey of the existing site. If the dwelling is a protected structure or is within an architectural conservation area you would require an architect to submit reports. A QS would not usually be involved at this stage, however, it is advisable as they would carry out an estimate of costs to give you an indication of what the proposal will cost before you lodge the planning application. 

What does outline planning permission mean? 

Outline planning permission is a type of planning permission. If this is granted the local authority agree in principle with what you are proposing but you will require to follow up with full planning permission before you build. 

What if you get a refusal when you apply for planning permission?  What can you do next?

If you get a refusal you have an option to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála. You will have to put together a report and drawings which were submitted and argue the reasons why this should not have been refused in the first instance. This can be a lengthy time period of up to 16 weeks.


We hope you found this blog helpful.   If you are looking for a really good architect in Waterford then check out www.fhp-architects.com for more information. You can catch the full Waterford Property Watch interview below.

Is mise le meas,

Regina Mangan.

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