Planning Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: These notes are for guidance only. The relevant Planning Regulations should always be consulted where doubt exists.  The law governing the planning system is set out in the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended). The principal regulations underpinning the Planning and Development Acts are the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 600 of 2001).  A number of Regulations amending the 2001 Regulations have been made, which, taken together, are collectively cited as the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 to 2019.

Broadly speaking, the construction of an extension or conservatory does not require planning permission when it is to the rear of the house; however, any query from the public of this nature should be dealt with subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 (as amended).


The following should be seen only as general guidelines;

Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses:  If the house has not been previously extended, the floor area of the proposed extension cannot exceed 40 sq. metres (sq. m).  This exemption also allows for extensions above ground-floor level (if the house is semi-detached or terraced, the area of the above ground extension cannot exceed 12 sq. m).  This means, for a typical semi-detached house, one could have a ground floor extension of 28 sq. m & a 2nd floor extension of 12 sq. m without applying for planning permission.  Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.


Detached Houses:  As with terraced and semi-detached houses above, the overall area of extension must be less than 40 sq. metres. This exemption also allows for extensions above ground floor level, the area above ground floor cannot exceed 20 sq. m. One could therefore have a ground floor extension of 20 sq. m., and a 2nd floor of 20 sq. m.  Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.


Both Cases:  If the proposed extension is in addition to an existing extension (i.e. built after 1st October 1964), the overall areas of all extensions must not be more than 40 sq. m. - including extensions which needed permission, e.g. to side of house.

No. The extension shall not reduce the ‘Private Open Space’ of the back garden to less than 25 sq. m.  Hard surface areas to the rear of a house are exempted development, providing they are used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house and not used for the parking of cars.


Note: Existing or proposed garden shed/s are not reckoned as private open space.

The highest point to which the wall of an exempt extension can be built is eaves level;

If the proposed extension has a flat roof, it must not exceed the eaves or parapet level;

If the proposed extension has a pitched roof, it must not exceed the ridge of the existing pitched roof.

Yes, providing the following guidelines are applied;


Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses: Windows at ground floor level shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary they face. Windows at above ground floor level shall not be less than 11m from the boundary they face.  The above applies to terraced and semi-detached dwellings.


Detached Houses: Where the dwelling is detached and the floor area of above ground floor extension is greater than 12 sq. m windows shall not be less than 11m from the boundary they face.

Normally no.  However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is needed.  If velux windows are proposed to the rear, it is generally exempt.  If velux windows are proposed to the side/front elevation, permission is required.


Yes.  Subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning & Development Regulations 2001.

Note: Garage must be attached to the dwelling.

No - specifically excluded from exemption by Part 1, Schedule 2, of the Planning & Development Regulations.

Yes, provided that:

·       It is not forward of the front wall of the house;

·       Not greater than 25 sq. m (or no. of sheds aggregated);

·       25 sq. m of garden space is left. Note: extensions attached to house are not reckoned as private open space; and existing or proposed garden shed/s are not reckoned as private open space.

·       Shed finish conforms with those of the house;

·       Shed height: max 4m pitched roof; max 3m any other roof;

·       It is not lived in or used for keeping of animals (pigs, ponies, horses, pigeons).


Note: A ‘Garden Room’ used for the purposes of home office (for personal use only), home gym, playroom, etc are defined as ‘garden sheds’ for the purposes of the above exemptions.

Yes, provided that:

·       Not more than 2 sq. m in floor area.

·       Height: 4m max with pitched roof, not more than 3m max with another roof.

·       Any such structure shall be situated not less than 2 metres from any road.

No. Not exempted development (other than a porch structure).

No. Not exempted development.

However, an existing garage attached to the side of a dwelling may be converted subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning & Development Regulations 2001.

Yes.  The capacity of oil tanks shall not exceed 3,500 litres (refer to Planning & Development Regulations, Part 1, 2nd Sch for detail).

Yes.  The height of the antenna shall be no more than 6m above the roof.

Yes. Provided that:

·       Only 1 per house and the maximum diameter is 1 metre.

·       Not to be erected on, or forward to the front wall of the house.

·       Not to be erected on the front roof slope or higher than the highest part of the roof.

Yes. Subject to:

·       Not more than 2m high to the rear.

·       Not more than 1.2 m to the front or forward of the front of the house.

·       Note: Metal palisade or other security fencing is not exempt.

Yes, subject to a 2m maximum height (refer to Planning & Development Regulations, Part 1, 2nd Sch for detail).

Yes. To the front or side for not more than 2 cars.

Note: The widening of vehicular entrances is not exempt.

Yes.  But only if the structure was previously used as a single dwelling. e.g. a house which was used as a single dwelling when built, later converted to flats can convert back to single dwelling use under this exemption.

No, subject to: maximum area of 0.6 sq. m in case of a house / letting sign with a maximum area of 1.2 sq. m in case of any other structure / land.

Not more than 1 sign. To be removed not later than 7 days after sale / letting.

Yes.  Provided that the ground level will not be altered by more than 1 metre above or below the level of adjoining ground.  Alteration of ground level to the front of house is not permitted other than for landscaping.

Strictly speaking, yes, to the rear of the property.  However, the provision of lighting and fencing over 2m would not be exempted.  The 1 metre raising / lowering of ground levels also applies.

Yes, except for a mural and providing the house is not a Protected Structure or within an ACA, further details may be required in these instances.

Yes, subject to:

·       Not more than 1 caravan / campervan or boat;

·       No commercial / advertising use;

·       Not used as a dwelling while stored;

·       Storage not greater than 9 months in any year.

Some exemptions are available for these developments – please consult the Planning & Development Regulations (as amended)


The Planning and Development Regulations (as amended) give effect to exempted development provisions in respect of renewable energies for dwellings and refer to the installation or erection of a solar panel on or within the curtilage of a house, or on any buildings within the curtilage of a house is exempt subject to compliance with the following conditions and limitations:


Solar Panels:

“For latest advice regarding solar panels please see the following link relating to updates on same under S.I. No. 493/2022 - Planning And Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2022” - sq. m.


Wind Turbines:

The construction, erection or placing within the curtilage of a house of a wind turbine is exempt subject to the following:

·       The turbine shall not be erected on or within the curtilage of a house of a wind attached to the house or any building or other structure within its curtilage.

·       The total height of the turbine shall not exceed 13 metres.

·       The rotor diameter shall not exceed 6 metres.

·       The minimum clearance between the lower tip of the rotor and ground level shall not be less than 3 metres.

·       The supporting tower shall be a distance of not less than the total structure height (including the blade of the turbine at the highest point of its arc) plus one metre from any party boundary.

·       Noise levels must not exceed 43db(A) during normal operation, or in excess of 5db(A) above the background noise, whichever is greater, as measured from the nearest neighbouring inhabited dwelling.

·       No more than one turbine shall be erected within the curtilage of a house.

·       No such structure shall be constructed, erected or placed forward of the front wall of a house.

·       All turbine components shall have a matt, non-reflective finish and the blade shall be made of material that does not deflect telecommunication signals.

·       No sign, advertisement or object, not required for the functioning or safety of the turbine shall be attached to or exhibited on the wind turbine.


The Planning and Development Regulations (as amended) give effect to exempted development provisions in respect of renewable energies for industrial buildings, business premises and agricultural holdings. Please refer to Regulations for further information in this regard.


*Please note that some developments may be non-exempt, or exemptions may not apply if the development is a Protected Structure or in an Architectural Conservation Area*

No.  Most works to a Protected Structure are not exempted.  A Section 5 or a Section 57 Declaration of what is / is not exempted may be needed to clarify issues. Please contact the Conservation Officer for information and advice before you carry out any work to your property.

Yes, not exempted development.

Yes, subject to maximum area of 2 sq. m, with a maximum height of 2 metres above the centre of the road opposite, and there is no illumination.

Yes, unless the number of children, including carers is not more than 6, and caring is provided in carer’s own house.

No. You can however demolish part of a habitable home to provide a domestic extension.

Please refer to Class 14 of the Planning & Development Regulations, Part 1, 2nd Schedule, for changes of use which do not require planning permission.

Occasional use for recreational, social purposes of any school, hall, club, art gallery, museum, library, reading room, gym or structures normally used for public worship is exempted. Please refer to Class 15 of the Planning & Development Regulations, Part 1, 2nd Schedule for further detail).

No, provided it is not situated with 10m of the curtilage of any dwelling house save with the consent in writing of the owner/occupier.

Generally, No. Please refer to exempted development regulations for limitations.

No, not in the normal way, but it is subject to the consultation procedures contained in Part VIII of the Planning and Development Regulations (2001) as amended.

Making a Planning Application

A pre-application (or pre-planning) consultation can be requested with the planner for your area prior to making an application. The pre-planning consultation form must be completed and returned to the Planning Office together with the relevant location map.


Further detail on pre-application meetings is available on Fingal County Council’s website at:

There are three types of permission, namely, Outline Permission, Permission following Grant of Outline Permission and Permission.

Outline Permission is suitable when a person wants to find out if permission will be granted for a particular development but is not in a position to submit the exact plans. The grant of Outline Permission states that the Planning Authority is in agreement in principle with the proposed development, subject to the submission of an application for "Permission following grant of Outline Permission"(Permission Consequent).


Permission following grant of Outline Permission (Permission Consequent): This type of application follows the grant of an Outline Permission and must be submitted within 3 years of the grant of Outline Permission. It provides for the submission of detailed plans and drawings of the proposed development.


Permission: This type of planning application provides for the submission of detailed plans and full particulars of the proposed development. A successful application in this case will enable the applicant to commence development if he or she is otherwise entitled to do so.


All development of land or property requires Planning Permission unless it is Exempt Development.


Development means the carrying out of any works on, in, over or under land or the making of any material change in the use of any structures or other land.


Development includes:-


·       Building, Demolition, Alteration of Buildings or on Land

·       Material (i.e. Significant) Change of Use of Buildings or Land

·       New buildings and extensions to/refurbishment of existing buildings

An application may only be made by a person who has sufficient legal interest in the land to enable that person to carry out the development or who has the written consent of the owner. You should give full particulars of your legal interest in the site/structure on the planning application form.

The time-frame for deciding on a planning application is 8 weeks. Before this period expires, the Council must grant permission, refuse permission, request further information or, with your agreement, extend the time period.


The Council cannot determine your application within the first 5 weeks. This is to allow third parties an opportunity to make submissions on your application.


If on request, further information is forwarded to the Council and does not require any clarification, the Council has 4 weeks to make a decision on your application. If you do not reply to further information within 6 months of being requested, your application will be declared withdrawn.


The nine days from 24 December to 1 January inclusive are excluded from the stated time periods.

The newspapers listed in the link below are approved newspapers in respect of all planning applications in the Fingal County functional area.

Approved Newspapers for Planning Applications 


It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the selected newspaper is circulated within the area to which the application relates.

A Planning Application Checklist and information regarding the making of a valid planning application are available on Fingal County Council’s website: 

6 months, an additional 3-month period can be permitted, where agreed with the Planning Authority.

Photocopies of maps on planning applications registered before 11th March 2002 cannot be issued. Any photocopies of maps on files registered after 11th March 2002 must be individually date stamped and a declaration under Section 74 (4) of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 must be signed by the purchaser of the maps and placed on the planning file.


Planning applications lodged to Fingal County Council are uploaded to our website.

Part B of the planning application form contains the applicant’s personal details and is not made available for public inspection. All other planning application documentation is made available for public inspection at the Council’s offices and on the Council’s website under Section 38 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.  This information is processed and is made available to An Bord Pleánala in the case of an appeal under Section 127 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.


Please be mindful of the public nature of all information submitted.

Planning and Water/Drainage Issues

Yes, all planning applications should be accompanied by a drainage design for both foul and surface water. The level of detail required depends on the proposal itself, but must at the very least include pipe sizes, gradients, levels, up to and including the proposed connection into the public network. Adequate details of the proposed SuDS measure should also be included.


Applicants are advised to consult applicants to consult Green Blue Infrastructure Guidance Document prior to submitting an application.

In a nutshell Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems aim to minimize the quantity of runoff, optimize the quality thereof, to recharge groundwater, and to limit the rate of runoff in order to protect natural waterbodies. The council’s policy is to promote natural, green, above ground measures through the implementation of permeable paving, swales, infiltration trenches, detention/retention basins, ponds, green roofs, etc as opposed to impermeable surfacing, underground pipework and tanks. For larger developments a SuDS selection rationale should be submitted together with the panning application. Underground tanks will only be permitted as a final option.


Applicants are advised to consult applicants to consult Green Blue Infrastructure Guidance Document prior to submitting an application.

All new development must incorporate SuDS – even extensions to existing houses. Naturally there are instances where the proposed development might result in an extremely small increase in runoff area, and/or physical constraints associated with the site, but a pragmatic best approach should always be aimed for. The CIRIA SuDS Manual (C753) contains great information and examples of possible SuDS measures.

Soakaways must be designed for the 1:30 year, 60 minute duration rainfall event. The design must comply with the BRE Digest 365 guidelines, and be based on site specific soil infiltration values and rainfall data. A minimum setback distance of 5m to a structure and 3m to a boundary is required.

If you e-mail a site location drawing and address to [email protected] a services drawing will be issued to you in return. These drawings should be considered as indicative of existing services only and all details should be verified prior to final design.

A minimum site area of 2000m2 is required to accommodate an On Site Waste Water Treatment System. The system has to be designed by a suitably qualified and competent professional and comply with the EPA Code of Practice for Waste Water Treatment and Disposal Systems. The installation/construction must also be adequately supervised. The Code stipulates certain minimum separation distances which must be adhered to.

Separate independent private drains should be installed for surface water and foul drainage, up to the point just before discharge into the combined sewer.

Flood risk can originate from a range of sources, including fluvial, pluvial, coastal, etc. Flood extent maps were produced under a number of flood studies, most notably the FEMFRAMS (Fingal East Meath Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study). This and other flood study information were collated to produce the SFRA (Strategic Flood Risk Assessment) which forms part of the current County Development Plan. The OPW also has a very handy website relating to flooding at

If your development is in any way at risk of flooding, or introducing/exacerbating a flood risk to other lands/properties, you need to submit a commensurate flood risk assessment in accordance with the planning guidelines published by the OPW.

Yes, if you intend to connect to the public wastewater and water networks, a Pre Connection enquiry form needs to be submitted to Irish water in advance of submitting your application. The Letter of response from Irish water must be included within your application to the Planning Authority.

Outdoor Markets

Yes. Applications are valid for 12 months from the date received. After 12 months they are removed from the list. 

While applications are stored in order of the date received, spaces are not necessarily given to the next vendor on the list. When a vacancy arises in the market, the relevant market manager will go through every application on the waiting list and select the best product offering for the vacancy.

The market managers are guided by our selection criteria: -

Food criteria:

 Promotion of organic goods 

Promotion of sustainably grown goods  

Promotion of local growers 

Promotion of an ethnically diverse offering 

Non-Food criteria

Promotion of handmade crafts

Promotion of locally source crafts

Promotion of local artists

Promotion of environmentally friendly products

 Promotion of ethnically diverse goods

While this criteria is a guide for the market managers, new products that may not fit into the criteria may also be selected if it is felt the product offered will appeal to customers and will complement the existing products on sale from other vendors.

Yes. Seasonal applications are for 3 months and applicants can only trade once in 12 month period.  Seasonal applications are only for  produce or products that have a seasonal growing or/and seasonal selling periods, such as fresh fruits and berries in the summer months and Christmas themed products in the winter.

If you are a seasonal vendor please specify which season you are applying for.

We encourage healthy competition in our markets so we cannot guarantee you will be the only vendor selling a specific product; however, we endeavour not to have too many vendors selling any one product so every vendor will have a share of the custom. 

No. We do not provide any equipment. The market managers can advise you on the suitability of any umbrellas/gazebos for use in the market once you have been offered a space.

Vacant Sites

Section 5 of The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 (as amended 2018) states that a site is a vacant site if the land exceeds 0.05 hectares, and;

▪ In the case of a site consisting of residential land where there is a need for housing in the area, the site is suitable for the provision of housing, the site or the majority of the site is vacant or idle, or

 the site is being used for a purpose that does not consist solely or primarily of the provision of housing or is not being developed for housing, provided that the site was purchased after being zoned residential land in the relevant development plan for the area (Note: residentially zoned land that was purchased prior to its designation as residential land and which continues to be used for farming purposes, shall be exempt from the Vacant Site Levy).

▪ In the case of regeneration land where: the majority of the site is vacant or idle and is having a negative impact on existing amenities or on the character of the area, or reduces the amenity provided by existing public infrastructure and facilities.

An identified vacant site can be entered on the vacant sites register when the planning authority is of the opinion that it has been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding its entry on the register. A vacant site does not include any structure that is a person’s home.

Residential land is land for which the land use zoning objective in the development plan or local area plan is solely or primarily for residential purposes. This includes any structures on such land.

Regeneration land is land that has been identified in the development plan or local area plan as in need of regeneration and with the objective of development and renewal. This includes any structures on such land.

The vacant site levy is a site activation and incentivisation measure for the purpose of promoting and implementing the concept of sustainable urban development, and to ensure that vacant or underutilised land in urban areas is brought into beneficial use.

The levy applies to a vacant site entered on the vacant sites register and for which a market value has been ascertained by the planning authority.

The levy is payable in arrears each year by the owner of a vacant site that is entered on the register on 1st January of the preceding year. The levy shall be payable on a demand being made by the planning authority and shall be calculated at 7% of the market value of the site.

What this means in practical terms is that any owner of a vacant site on the register who does not develop their land will pay the 7% levy. The levy is payable on demand within 2 months. If not paid the levy shall be recoverable as a simple contract debt through the Courts. Any levy that is due will remain a charge on the land until paid.

A property owner can make a submission to the Planning Authority within 28 days after the date of the notice of a proposed entry of a site on the vacant sites register.

Where having considered a submission, the Planning Authority is still of the view that the site should be entered on the vacant sites register, a written notice must be issued to the owner when the site is entered on the vacant sites register. A site owner can appeal the planning authority’s decision to enter a site on the vacant sites register to An Bord Pleanala within 28 days after the date of the notice of such an entry having been made. The entry of a site on the vacant sites register cannot take effect until the appeal is determined by An Bord Pleanala. If An Bord Pleanala upholds an appeal the entry on the vacant sites register must be cancelled.

As soon as a site is entered on the vacant sites register the Planning Authority must ascertain its market value and notify the site owner of same. The owner can appeal the market valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days after the date of the notice.

A site owner who receives a demand for payment of the vacant sites levy from the Planning Authority may appeal against the demand to An Bord Pleanala on the grounds that the site is no longer vacant or the calculation of the levy is incorrect. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the date of the demand for payment of the levy. If An Bord Pleanala upholds the appeal, the entry of the site on the vacant site register shall be removed and the demand cancelled, or the Planning Authority will be advised to correct the levy calculation and an amended demand shall issue.

The owner of a vacant site can notify the Planning Authority at any time if their site is no longer vacant or idle. In the event the Planning Authority is satisfied the site is no longer a vacant site, the entry on the register can be cancelled. However, any outstanding levy for the site will remain payable.

Fingal County Council’s Vacant Site Register can be viewed at

Making an Observation on a Planning Application

When you apply for planning permission, your application particulars will be published on a weekly list which is available on request by email to any person, body or organisation.


Your application includes all submissions and objections, the decision and any reports. These are made available for public inspection and on Council’s website for a period of 7 years.


A member of the public may purchase from the Council a full copy of your application including plans, maps and drawings, submissions and objections, the decision and any reports.

An applicant for planning permission must publish notice of the application in a locally circulating newspaper (the planning authority has a list of approved newspapers which it accepts for the making of a public notice) and by erecting a site notice in a conspicuous position. An application must be received by the planning authority within 2 weeks of the newspaper notice. A site notice must be put up on or before the date you make the application and be kept in position, in a legible condition, for at least five weeks after its submission. If you think an application has been made, you can contact the planning authority about recent applications.

Any person has the right to make a submission or observation on a planning application, under Article 29 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended Submissions/observations must be made within 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt of the planning application. The five week period commences on the day that a planning application is received, such that the last day for receipt for an objection to an application received on Tuesday 1st November is Monday 5th December. If the last day of this five week period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday, submissions/observations can be accepted on the next working day.


Please note that anyone other than the applicant can make an objection/observation on a planning application.


All submissions must include a prescribed fee of €20 and payment can be made by cash, cheque, draft, postal order or credit/debit card. Any submission or observation made to the Planning Authority is made available for public inspection both in the hard copy file and on the Council’s website.

You are entitled to view, free of charge, all documents submitted with a planning application at the planning authority's office during office hours from the date of receipt of the application until the decision is made on it. Internal reports on the application, prepared by or on behalf of the planning authority, can be viewed after the planning authority decision has been made, during the period for appeal. Copies of any Environment Impact Statement and of extracts from such a statement can be purchased for a reasonable fee. Planning decisions are available for public inspection for up to 7 years after a decision has been made on the application. Older files may be inspected on payment of a fee of €10. The planning register and map is the record of all planning applications, decisions, appeals, enforcement action etc. The register is open to public inspection, free of charge, at the planning authority offices during office hours.

Objections which are generally not planning related and which normally cannot be taken into account include: disputes about property rights or location of boundaries, restriction of views from a property, where residential amenities are not affected (e.g. adequate light, overshadowing) - no one has a right to a particular view, trees, shrubs etc. overhanging a property.


If you have a complaint about any of the above, you should normally seek a remedy under civil rather than planning law. You may need to consult a solicitor about your rights in this context. Vexatious or frivolous comments will also be disregarded.

The planning authority may only consider the proper planning and development of their area and the preservation and improvement of amenities, having regard to the provisions of their development plan. Therefore, the authority may only consider objections based on planning considerations and not those based on personal dislikes or grievances, non-planning issues associated with nuisance claims or legal disputes, etc. The "proper planning and sustainable development" of an area will generally relate to:

appropriate land use (zoning), adherence to established planning and development practices, preservation, improvement and extension of amenities, traffic safety, Development density, size, location etc.

The development plan for the area will give an indication of relevant planning issues.

Yes. In deciding an application, the planning authority must take written comments on planning matters into consideration. Such comments must be received within the first five weeks of the application and the fee of €20 paid.

No, because the planning process is an open and transparent one. Telephone numbers and email addresses will be redacted under GDPR but otherwise all observations/submissions are made available for public inspection at Fingal’s Council offices and on the our website under Section 38 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.  This information is processed and is made available to An Bord Pleánala in the case of an appeal under Section 127 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.


Please be mindful of the public nature of all information submitted.

In accordance with Article 35 of the Planning and Development Regulations, persons who made a submission or observation on a planning application will only be notified of the receipt of Further Information or Clarification of Further Information, where that FI or CFI is considered significant and requires new public notices.  Objectors have 2 weeks ( 5 weeks in case of applications accompanied by an EIS) from the date of receipt by the Planning Authority of the revised notices, to make further submissions/observations. No further fee is required.  Other persons wishing to make a submission/observation will be required to pay the prescribed fee.


Note: In certain cases, the Planning Authority may consider the further information or revised plans submitted may contain significant additional data, including information in relation to effects on the environment.

Yes. Anyone who has made written comments on a planning application within the first five weeks of an application and paid a fee of €20 must be informed by the planning authority of their decision within 3 days of making it. This will usually be done by post; but where a large number of comments have been received, the planning authority may issue notification by way of a public notice in a locally circulating newspaper within 7 days. A public notice is mandatory in the case of applications accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

There is no mechanism in the regulations for the withdrawal of an objection. You may however, make a further addition to your submission instructing the Planning Authority to disregard your original observation. This must be done as soon as possible, as we can only accept any form of submission on a planning application within the first five weeks. Both letters then remain on the file.

Planning applications can be viewed on-line via the ePlan online inquiry system.

Making an Appeal to An Bord Pleanala

When Fingal County Council accepts your application for planning permission it will review the application and any submissions or observations made on it and make a decision. When the local authority makes a decision, any participant in the application can appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

This appeal must be made within 4 weeks of the date of this decision.

You can only appeal a decision to An Bord Pleanála if you:

  • Applied to the planning authority for the proposed development (i.e. the applicant). This is called a first-party appeal.
  • Made a written submission or observation to the planning authority about the proposed development at an earlier stage and you have a copy of the acknowledgment document you received from the locall authority. This is called a third-party appeal.

For example, you can appeal:

  • All or part of the planning authority's decision about your planning application
  • Against a decision to give someone else planning permission. In this case you must have made a written submission or observation to the planning authority on the relevant application.

There are 3 exceptions that allow certain organisations and people to appeal someone else’s planning decision in certain circumstances, even if they have not made submissions or observations at the planning authority stage. These include:

  • Specific organisations listed in the Planning and Development Regulations that should have been notified about a planning application as required by law, but were not informed of the application
  • Organisations that promote environmental protection, if an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) was not submitted with a planning application when it had to have one
  • Anyone who has an interest in the land which borders the site where planning permission has been granted. In this situation you apply to the Board for leave to appeal the decision. You must meet strict conditions to be granted leave to appeal by the Board. These conditions are that you did not make a submission on an application; and the permission conditions attached to a grant on that application now impact land which you have an interest in, and the land is beside the proposed development site.

If the Board grants you ‘leave to appeal’, you must make your appeal within two weeks of receiving notification of this.

More details on making an appeal to An Bord Pleanala or seeking leave to appeal an application is available on

Commencement Notices

Yes. Final Grant is required before a commencement notice can be submitted.

You must submit a Commencement notice between 14 - 28 days before starting works, informing the Building Authority of your intended start date. If this is not completed you are in breach of your Planning Conditions.

No. Paper copies are no longer accepted. All forms must now be submitted electronically via the Building Control Management System (BCMS) website.

The fee is €30 per unit.

Yes. When submitting a commencement notice for a Commercial Development or Apartments a Fire Safety Certificate must also be submitted.

The fee is €30 per block of apartments. You do not require a separate commencement notice for each apartment, e.g 100 apts in one block = €30

Archaeology, Heritage, Conservation, and Protected Structures

Archaeology is the study of past societies and cultures through physical remains (sites, artefacts and ecological material). Archaeology is therefore the study of people who lived, fought, worshipped and died before us and has a powerful contribution to make to the quality of life of today’s citizens in terms of social inclusion, environmental protection and sustainable development.

Monuments are man-made structures or natural features that have been altered. The archaeological monuments of Fingal, which currently encompasses 1015 known sites, include built structures from churches and castles to Martello Towers and windmills; mounds, sub-surfaces sites, ditches, graveyards and burials, mill races and shipwrecks. 

The term ‘national monument’ as defined in Section 2 of the National Monuments Act (1930) means a monument ‘the preservation of which is a matter of national importance by reason of the historical, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest attaching thereto…’. For national monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a Local Authority or which are subject to a preservation order or temporary preservation order, the prior written consent of the Minister is required for any works at or in proximity to the monument.

Sites and monuments are a valuable non-renewable cultural resource, which enrich our landscapes and townscapes, underpin tourism, contribute to society’s well-being and are essential to our understanding of the past.

The archaeological resource is protected by European Conventions, the National Monuments Acts 1930-2014, the implementation of the Planning Act 2000 (as amended) and the objectives of Fingal Development Plan (2017-2023). Fingal County Council may attach conditions related to archaeology to individual planning permissions as appropriate.   

The Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) is a statutory list of archaeological monuments provided for in the National Monuments Acts. The survey comprises of a set of Ordnance Survey Maps on which monuments are marked. The RMP is available for consultation at the planning counter of the Local Authority, in Libraries, in the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and in the National Museum.

The Archaeological Survey of Ireland compiles an inventory of archaeological monuments known as the Sites & Monuments Record (SMR) which can be accessed digitally on . You can zoom in on your area and any known archaeological sites will be shown with a note on their exact location, their classification and a short description, all of which can be downloaded onto a pdf. You can also consult the RMP for Fingal-Appendix 3 of the Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023. If you are unsure send your query along with a clearly marked site location map to the Fingal Heritage Office.

If you intend to carry out works on or close to a recorded monument, or within a Zone of Notification, you must give 2 months prior notice in writing to the Minister for Housing, Local Government & Heritage, even if planning permission is not needed for the works. You do this by filling out a Ministerial Notification Form , provided by the National Monuments Service. You can also contact the Heritage Office directly or through the Planning Department with your query or to request a meeting.

Individual planning conditions vary, but most often they require an initial assessment of the archaeological potential of the site prior to the commencement of construction work. The assessment enables the Fingal Heritage Officer (in conjunction with the National Monuments Service) to determine an appropriate mitigation strategy thus lessening the impact of the development on the archaeology.

The developer bears the full costs relating to archaeological assessment and any necessary mitigation work, including excavation.

Suitably qualified archaeologists acting under licence to the Minister for the Housing, Local Government & Heritage carry out all archaeological work.

The National Monuments Service maintains a list of licence eligible archaeologists. The Institute of Archaeologist of Ireland (IAI) is the representative all-island organisation for professional archaeologists working in Ireland.

The actual physical preservation of archaeological sites and monuments, including archaeological deposits, features and structures. Preservation in situ must always be the first option to be considered rather than preservation by record in order to allow development to proceed, and preservation in-situ must also be presumed to be the preferred option. 

The scientific recording of archaeological features prior to their destruction i.e. archaeological excavation Preservation by record requires that appropriate archaeological excavation and recording is carried out which ensures that, as a minimum, a complete and meaningful record is preserved of all archaeological deposits, features and information likely to be damaged as a result of the development.

No, archaeological objects are by law the property of the State.

No, use of a metal detector without a licence issued by the National Monuments Service and the National Museum of Ireland is illegal.  it is also an offence to dig or excavate for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects, or anything of archaeological interest, even though you may not be using a metal detector. It is also an offence to dive on a wreck that is 100 or more years old, or which is subject to an underwater heritage order, or to search for archaeological objects located underwater, without being in possession of a formal consent from the Minister.

If you discover any archaeological sites that are not in the RMP you must stop any works immediately and contact the National Monuments Service.  [email protected]  Tel.: (01) 8882000.

If you discover an archaeological object you must, by law, report it within 96 hours to the National Museum of Ireland.  an%74iquitie%[email protected] " rel="nofollow"> [email protected]  Tel.: (01) 6777444. Leave the feature or artefact where it is and contact the Heritage Office for advice.

A protected structure is a building or structure that has been identified as being of special

·       Architectural Interest

·       Historical Interest

·       Archaeological Interest

·       Artistic Interest

·       Cultural Interest

·       Scientific Interest

·       Social Interest

·       Technical Interest


A Protected Structures does not necessarily have to be attractive to look at to merit protection but could be of interest as an example of a rare or declining building type in the county, or may be a simple structure that has an association with a significant historical person or event or has a very special meaning to the local community, or it can be an example of innovative construction methods for its time.

The protected structure designation covers all parts of the structure that contribute to its character and special interest and so (unless otherwise specifically stated in the description in the Record of Protected Structures) includes the exterior, interior, fixture and fittings, the land within the curtilage (boundary), and any ancillary buildings within the curtilage.

Every local authority is legally obliged to have a Record of Protected Structures.  Fingal County Council’s Record of Protected Structures is contained in Appendix 2 of the County Development Plan 2017-2023.  The Fingal Development Plan maps show the locations of Protected Structure which are marked by a yellow circle with a number.  The number corresponds to the individual numbers in the table of the Record of Protected Structure in Appendix 2 of the Development Plan.  If you are still unsure or require further details you can contact Fingal’s Architectural Conservation Officer.

Additions to the Record of Protected Structures can be made during the review of the Fingal Development Plan or outside of this time by using Section 55 of the Planning and Development Acts. In general, assessments are done as part of a group when the review of the Development Plan takes place every six years, rather than on an individual basis.  The first step is to visit and assess the structure. A judgement is then made whether the structure is of sufficient special interest under one or more of the eight criteria of special interest to continue with the process to add it to the Record. If it is decided to proceed to propose an addition to the Record an official notice is served on the owners and occupiers to inform them of this and a time period is stated in which they can make submissions or objections. Once this time has passed a report is presented to the local councillors at a full council meeting, setting out the reason for the proposed addition and also details of any submissions made. A decision is then made by the local councillors whether to add the structure or not. Another notice is then issued to the owners and occupiers to inform them of the final decision.


Any person who thinks a structure is of sufficient special interest under the set criteria to be added to the Record of Protected Structures may write to Fingal’s Architectural Conservation Officer to put if forward for consideration. It is asked that supplementary information accompany the proposal beyond the address of the building. An explanation should be set out as to which category of special interest might apply so as much information as the proposer can provided is welcomed and if available any copies of relevant historic maps and photographs or references to books and other publications.

Protected Structure status does not stop the development or alteration of a property. However, the alterations, improvements and interventions proposed should be sensitive in design and scale to the Protected Structure.  Some works that are normally considered exempted development may require planning permission when taking place to a protected structure. The types of works where planning permission would generally be required are:

·       New build or extension to a Protected Structure (irrespective of size)

·       Demolition works to, or within the grounds of, a Protected Structure

·       Changes to the internal layout of a Protected Structure (such as sub-division of rooms or breaking through new openings)

·       Changes to or removal of the historic materials of the Protected Structure (such as roof covering, windows and doors, wall finishes, plasterwork, internal joinery, plasterwork and other decorative features)


Owners and occupiers must also make sure that the protected structure is not endangered (i.e. not harmed, damaged or allowed decay) through neglect or through deliberate actions and works.  Regular routine maintenance can help ensure that this does not occur.  Funding is available to assist owners of Protected Structures with maintenance and repairs. The Architectural Conservation Officer should be contacted to check what schemes are available in a given year. Please note that many schemes have a closing date of the end of January for receipt of applications for funding for that particular year.

Where works are planned to a protected structure they shouldn’t damage or remove the elements that make it of special interest or contribute to its character.  Under the planning system, many minor works to structures do not normally require planning permission.  These works are known as exempted development.  However, for a Protected Structure, such works can be carried out without planning permission only if the works would not affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure that contributes to its special interest.  A declaration can be sought from Fingal County Council for an official determination on whether works require planning permission. There are two types of Declarations under the Planning Acts that can be availed of:

·       SECTION 5 DECLARATION - where the local authority is asked to determine whether specific works require planning permission.  This Declaration of Exemption from Planning Permission can be used for all types of buildings not just Protected Structures but is focused on particular works and details of these have to be given to the local authority to assess. There is a fee of €80 for this service.  Forms are available from the Planning Department.

·       SECTION 57 DECLARATION - where a list is provided by the Architectural Conservation Officer after an inspection of the property to identify the general types of works that can be carried out without materially affecting the character of the Protected Structure.   As this is more general than specific it may not be detailed enough for clarity on precise works.  There is no fee and a form is available from the Architectural Conservation Officer to request this type of declaration.


Fingal’s Architectural Conservation Officer can be contacted for advice if an owner is unsure of which process to avail of or wants to discuss in general any proposed works to their Protected Structure.  Consultation may also be required with the area planner as other considerations apart from architectural conservation matters may apply.

Pre-planning consultation can be arranged to discuss proposals at design stage with the Architectural Conservation Officer and the Area Planner.  Other considerations apart from architectural conservation matters may arise and so it is important that the consultation is directed through the Planning Department.  Detailed information including drawings of your proposal should be submitted for assessment.  Feedback may be provided by email, phone or via a meeting, if required.

Clear guidance is given in the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023 within Chapter 12 on Development Management Standards regarding the considerations to inform the design of the proposed development of a Protected Structure and on the documentation that should accompany a planning application related to a Protected Structure (see Table 12.10).   Direction is also set out on what should be contained within an Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment for a proposed development.  This report should be prepared by an accredited conservation architect or equivalent (a list of suitably qualified professionals is available on the Irish Georgian Society and RIAI websites). 

It is important to source an architect, building surveyor, engineer or other historic building professional who understands traditional building construction methods and materials, and who specialises in their repair and refurbishment.  A number of organisations maintain a database of contractors with suitable expertise and these can be accessed through their websites:

·       The Irish Georgian Society has a register of practitioners at

·       The Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) has a list of conservation accredited architects which can be found at

·       The Construction Industry Federation has a register of specialist Heritage Contractors at

·       The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has a register of Historic Building Professionals at

·       Engineers Ireland also offers conservation accreditation for its members and has a register of conservation accredited engineers at

Please note though that some professionals and/or contractors may not have signed up to a register but have a sufficient depth of knowledge and experience of conservation to be competent to advise on works to a Protected Structure.  It is always advisable to seek examples of previous conservation projects they have worked on and if possible talk to the clients about their experience of the works undertaken.