Are There Any Local Restrictions or Permits Required for Adding an Extension?

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Uncategorized

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Are you thinking of adding an extension to your home or property? Whether you want to create more space, increase the value, or improve the functionality of your property, adding an extension can be a great idea.

However, before you start planning and designing your extension, you need to be aware of the local restrictions and permits that may apply to your project.

In this blog, we will guide you through the essential permits and restrictions, helping you streamline your extension project. So, let’s get started!

What Are the Local Restrictions & Permits for Adding Extensions in Ireland?

Local restrictions and permits are the rules and regulations that govern the construction and alteration of buildings and structures in a specific area. They are designed to ensure that the buildings and structures are safe, suitable, and compatible with the surrounding environment and community.

Depending on the type, size, location, and design of your extension, you may need to obtain one or more of the following local restrictions and permits for adding an extension in Ireland:

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Planning permission

Planning permission is the approval from the local planning authority to carry out a development or change of use of land or buildings. Planning permission is required for most extensions, unless they fall under the category of exempted development. 

Exempted development is a type of development that does not require planning permission, subject to certain conditions and limitations. Some examples of exempted development for extensions are:

  • A single-storey extension at the rear of the house that does not exceed 40 square metres in floor area, 4 metres in height, or 12 metres in length.
  • A two-storey extension at the rear of the house that does not exceed 40 square metres in floor area, 7 metres in height, or 12 metres in length, and that is at least 2 metres away from the boundary of the property.
  • A porch at the front of the house that does not exceed 2 square metres in floor area or 3 metres in height.
  • A conservatory or sunroom at the rear or side of the house that does not exceed 40 square metres in floor area, 4 metres in height, or 12 metres in length, and that is separated from the house by a door.

To find out if your extension qualifies as an exempted development, you can consult the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, or contact your local planning authority. If your extension is not an exempted development, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local planning authority.

Building regulations

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Building regulations are the minimum standards for the design, construction, and performance of buildings and structures. Building regulations are intended to ensure that the buildings and structures are safe, healthy, comfortable, energy-efficient, and accessible for all users.

Building regulations apply to all extensions, regardless of whether they require planning permission or not. Some of the main aspects of building regulations that you need to consider when adding an extension are:

  • Structure: The extension must be structurally sound and stable, and not adversely affect the existing building or neighbouring properties.
  • Fire safety: It must provide adequate means of escape, fire detection, fire separation, and fire resistance. You may need to install fire doors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets in the extension and the existing building.
  • Ventilation: The extension must have sufficient natural and mechanical ventilation to prevent condensation, mould, and dampness. You may add windows, vents, fans, or extractors in the extension and the existing building.
  • Insulation: It must have adequate thermal insulation to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency. Use of high-performance materials and systems for the walls, roof, floor, windows, and doors is recommended.
  • Accessibility: It must be accessible and usable for people with disabilities and special needs. You may need to provide ramps, handrails, lifts, or other features to facilitate access and movement in the extension.

To ensure that your extension complies with the building regulations, you will need to follow the Technical Guidance Documents (TGDs) that provide guidance and examples on how to meet the requirements of the building regulations

Other restrictions and permits

Depending on the specific circumstances of your extension project, you may also need to obtain specific restrictions and permits from other authorities or bodies. Some examples of other restrictions and permits that may apply to your extension are:

  • Protected structures: If your property is a protected structure, or is located in an architectural conservation area, you’ll need local authority approval for any changes, including extensions. Check the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) or the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) to see if your home is listed.
  • Listed buildings: Changes to nationally important buildings, including extensions, require consent from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Verify if your property is listed by consulting the Register of Historic Monuments or the Register of National Monuments.
  • Party wall agreement: Planning to build close to or on your property line, affecting shared walls or structures with neighbours? You’ll need a party wall agreement, detailing both parties’ rights and obligations.
  • Building over agreement: Building over or near public utilities like sewers or water mains? Secure a building over-agreement from the utility provider, ensuring compliance with specific conditions.

Conclusion

Adding an extension to your home or property can be a rewarding and worthwhile project, but it also comes with some challenges and responsibilities. You need to be aware of the local restrictions and permits that may apply to your extension project, and obtain them before you start the construction. These permits are important for ensuring that your extension is legal, safe and satisfying.

If navigating the permit process seems difficult, New Century is here to help. With our expertise in property maintenance and extensions, we’ll guide you through every step, ensuring your project meets all regulatory standards. 

FAQs

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Small Home Extension in Ireland?

Generally, small extensions at the back of the house of up to 40 square metres may not require planning permission, provided they do not cover more than half the garden space.

What Are the Height Restrictions for Home Extensions?

Extensions should not exceed the height of the existing house. For single-story extensions, a maximum height of 4 metres is often applied, while extensions within 2 metres of a boundary may not exceed 3 metres in height.

Can I Extend My House Without Planning Permission in a Conservation Area?

In conservation areas, any extension or modification that alters the external appearance of the building typically requires planning permission, regardless of size.

What Happens If I Build an Extension Without the Required Permits?

Unauthorised constructions may lead to enforcement actions by the local council, potentially requiring you to alter or demolish the extension.

How Long Does It Take to Get Planning Permission in Ireland?

The planning permission process can take up to 8 weeks for a decision, with a possible additional 4 weeks if an appeal is lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

What Is a Party Wall Agreement, and When Is It Needed?

If your extension impacts a shared wall with a neighbour, a Party Wall Agreement is needed to outline each party’s rights and responsibilities, preventing disputes.