Planning Permission

After a lengthy struggle with the Planning Department of my local County Council I was lucky to get planning permission to build a house on my site. Unfortunately, I delayed in starting the build and now my financial situation is such that I will not get finance for the build. The planning permission is due to expire next year. Is there anything I can do to protect it?

Once an applicant receives planning permission they are expected to complete the relevant works within five years from the date of granting of that permission. An extension to this period could previously be obtained where substantial works were completed. In the case of a private dwelling house this usually meant the house being constructed to at least up to wall plate level.

However, under the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 it is now possible to qualify for a once-off extension to your permission for a maximum of five years, even if you have not started construction at all. To avail of this extension you must demonstrate that there were “commercial, economic or technical” considerations which substantially interfered with you being able to start construction works.

The Planning Authority does not need evidence of an applicant’s personal financial situation. Instead, it may base its decision on such matters such as national and local conditions or availability of credit.

An applicant gets just one opportunity to apply for this extension of up to five years. The application for extension of permission must be sought prior to the expiry of the original planning permission. If the application for expiry is not made on time the planning permission will lapse.

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