Planning Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How can I find out if a development has Planning Permission?

You can inspect the Planning Register in the Planning Department. This can be done in person by calling to the public counter in the County Hall. You can also perform a search using our online Planning Applications search and view utility by clicking here. 

What should I do if I think that there is a breach of the Planning Regulations? You should submit a Planning Enforcement Complaint Form to the Planning Enforcement Section.

Contact details are: Planning Enforcement Section, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin. 

E-mail:   [email protected]


What information do I need to provide when making a complaint?

You should provide the exact location of the site (a site location map if possible), details of the suspected breach, details (where known) of the property owner/occupier/developer, the date the development began, your own name & address and a daytime contact number.

Be assured that complainant’s details are treated with the greatest confidence and are not released to any third party and are not included in the Council’s Planning Register. 


How can I be of assistance during the investigation?

  • By supplying as much relevant and accurate information as possible
  • By keeping a log of dates, times and other relevant information in cases where an unauthorised use is intermittent
  • By agreeing to give evidence and/or to sign a sworn affidavit, if required  


What are the statutory time limits for taking Enforcement Action?

Under the Planning & Development Act 2000, as amended enforcement action must be taken within seven years of commencement for development that commenced on or after 11 March 2002.

Action must be taken within five years for development that began before that date.

Therefore the Council is now precluded from taking enforcement action in respect of development that occurred before 11 March 2002. 


If I breach the Planning Laws unintentionally, what should I do? 

If you think that you are in breach of the planning laws, you should contact the Council’s Planning Department to discuss rectifying the situation.

Even if the development is outside the time frame for taking enforcement action, it remains unauthorised and could have a negative impact on the value of the property.

In addition, further works that may normally be considered exempt (such as alteration, repair or renewal) may not be carried out to an unauthorised structure or a structure whose use is unauthorised.

It is in the interest of every property owner to ensure that any unauthorised development is regularised.