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Methodology Previous Releases
International comparison:
Eurostat Planning Permission Data
For more information on this release:
E-mail: STS_RAP@cso.ie Paul Murphy (+353) 21 453 5201 Alan Finlay (+353) 21 453 5211 Mairéad Ní Chuill (+353) 21 453 5242
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5279
CSO statistical release, 18 September 2017, 11am

Planning Permissions

Quarter 2 2017

Number of Dwelling Units
Houses Apartments Totals
Quarter 2 20162,3408013,141
Quarter 2 20173,6308234,453
% change55.1%2.7%41.8%

Dwelling units approved up 41.8% in year

Figure 1 Number of Dwelling Units approved classified by type of unit, Q4 2015 - Q2 2017
go to full release

In the second quarter of 2017, planning permissions were granted for 4,453 dwelling units, compared with 3,141 units for the same period in 2016, an increase of 41.8%.

The second quarter figures also show that:

  •  Planning Permissions were granted for 3,630 houses in the second quarter of 2017 and 2,340 in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 55.1%. See Table 4. 
  •  Planning permissions were granted for 823 apartment units, compared with 801 units for the same period in 2016, an increase of 2.7%. See Table 4.   
  •  One-off houses accounted for 28.0% of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in this quarter. See Table 4.
  •  The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments was 6,279. This compares with 5,236 in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 19.9%. See Table 1.
  •  Total floor area planned was 1,455 thousand square metres in the second quarter of 2017. Of this, 47.9% was for new dwellings, 36.5% for other new constructions and 15.6% for extensions.  The total floor area planned increased  by 16.9% in comparison with the same quarter in 2016. See Table 1.
  •  Planning Permissions for new buildings for Agriculture decreased to 349 this quarter. This compares to 510 permissions in the same quarter of 2016. See Table 3(a).
X-axis labelPlanning Permissions CivilPlanning Permissions Non-Res Planning Permissions Dwellings
201282137948569
201380634408204
2014123234989072
2015151940859845
20161913514311497
Table A Summary of Planning Permissions granted for new Dwelling Units
Period All HousesAnnual % changeof which Multi- Development HousesAnnual % changeof which One-off housesAnnual % changeApartmentsAnnual % change Total Dwellings (All Houses & Apartments)Annual % change
2015Q12,51474%1,606139%90817%699342% 3,213100%
Q22,63777%1,816145%8219%473315% 3,11094%
Q32,34532%1,39545%95016%359-1% 2,70426%
Q42,75445%1,84159%91322%1,263731% 4,01795%
Year10,25055%6,65889%3,59216%2,794256% 13,04476%
            
2016Q12,5341%1,556-3%9788%557-20% 3,091-4%
 Q22,340-11%1,350-26%99021%80169% 3,1411%
 Q34,36286%3,233132%1,12919%1,452305% 5,814115%
 Q43,24518%2,11215%1,13324%1,084-14% 4,3298%
Year12,48122%8,25124%4,23018%3,89439% 16,37526%
            
2017Q13,75448%2,48159%1,27330%89661% 4,65050%
 Q23,63055%2,38276%1,24826%8233% 4,45342%
Note: Percentages are rounded for tabular purposes
Table 1 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q1 2009 - Q2 2017
Number of Permissions Total Floor Area (000 sq.m)
 New Construction    New Construction  
Period DwellingsOtherExtensionAlteration and ConversionTotal  DwellingsOtherExtensionTotal1
2009Q 13,2751,2312,4994817,486 2,0908704593,419
 Q 22,6891,1582,4055046,756 1,7538722812,906
 Q 32,5051,2182,4334996,655 1,2739152782,466
 Q 41,9119081,8854335,137 8124081791,399
 Year10,3804,5159,2221,91726,034 5,9283,0651,19710,190
            
2010Q 11,7687751,6173594,519 8443031811,328
 Q 21,5137721,9963944,675 7765532321,561
 Q 3 1,6348662,3194535,272 7274152711,412
 Q 41,4327921,7783714,373 514254186955
 Year6,3473,2057,7101,57718,839 2,8611,5258705,256
 
2011Q 11,2777001,6374054,019 5993762021,177
 Q 21,2647211,8663934,244 5604522091,222
 Q 3 1,2718621,8964174,446 465288216969
 Q 49556811,3123353,283 357214137708
 Year4,7672,9646,7111,55015,992 1,9821,3307654,077
            
2012Q 19576951,3393773,368 279283173734
 Q 29428281,5493533,672 284341199824
 Q 39071,0501,6804104,047 312346219877
 Q 48378341,3413083,320 325261177763
 Year3,6433,4075,9091,44814,407 1,1991,2317683,198
            
2013Q 18627851,2963323,275 394366169930
 Q 27727541,4893533,368 333331170834
 Q 39319041,6653753,875 282312229823
 Q 47519881,2453993,383 295297159751
 Year3,3163,4315,6951,45913,901 1,3051,3067273,338
            
2014Q 18911,0061,3965403,833 336229180744
 Q 28751,0911,5905934,149 296242174712
 Q 39621,1831,7054784,328 366379228974
 Q 48781,0191,2613463,504 368214172754
 Year3,6064,2995,9521,95715,814 1,3661,0647543,184
            
2015Q 11,0661,0461,4543353,901 525243206973
 Q 29911,0211,6633724,047 5273212161,065
 Q 31,1281,4921,9424475,009 4945682931,354
 Q 41,0841,5651,4134084,470 6016871801,468
 Year4,2695,1246,4721,56217,427 2,1471,8198954,861
            
2016Q 11,1691,6951,6803704,914 5025222561,280
 Q 21,2031,7581,8494265,236 5544602311,245
 Q 31,4031,9742,1985516,126 8456292621,736
 Q 41,3411,5171,5104554,823 6844501911,325
 Year5,1166,9447,2371,80221,099 2,5852,0629405,586
            
2017Q 11,5231,9061,7677635,959 7604212791,461
 Q 21,4842,0901,9048016,279 6985312271,455
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
Table 2 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q2 2017, classified by region, county and type of development
 Number of Permissions Total Floor Area (000 sq.m)
 New Construction    New Construction  
Planning Region and CountyDwellings OtherExtensionAlteration and ConversionTotal DwellingsOtherExtensionTotal1
Border, Midland and West5476174741581,796 16014769375
           
Border23626923974818 637340176
Cavan253134595 65617
Donegal90737921263 2212843
Leitrim41913238 1215
Louth41455116153 14271051
Monaghan50562111138 13251250
Sligo26454119131 61310
 
Midland1271508031388 3630874
Laois4250235120 1415331
Longford131816956 4217
Offaly31479390 810120
Westmeath41353214122 103316
 
West18419815553590 614420126
Galway City516231357 2349
Galway21001047324301 3422561
Mayo5428399130 1815538
Roscommon2550207102 85619
 
Southern and Eastern9371,4731,4306434,483 5383841581,079
 
Dublin1514026182871,458 14913459342
Dublin City42212253146653 325718107
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown546215484354 3301448
Fingal348711332266 734519137
South Dublin21419825185 1131850
 
Mid-East20416117878621 1634919231
Kildare70465131198 104193126
Meath93546426237 49231183
Wicklow41616321186 107522
 
Mid-West12319614060519 424821111
Clare29774616168 14211044
Limerick 60787234244 2110940
North Tipperary34412210107 817227
 
South-East21135820887864 8310028212
Carlow1628231380 67719
Kilkenny57954412208 2111839
South Tipperary25733718153 818430
Waterford37704229178 1012426
Wexford76926215245 3853597
 
South-West2483562861311,021 1015330184
Cork City18304925122 80614
Cork216825118191691 713918127
Kerry62755615208 2214643
           
State1,4842,0901,9048016,279 6985312271,455
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
2 Excluding cities
 - No permissions
 0 implies less than 500sq m
Table 3(a) Number of Planning Permissions granted, Q2 2017, classified by region, type of development and functional category
Functional Category
Type of Development and Planning RegionDwellingsCommercial BuildingsBuildings for AgricultureIndustrial BuildingsGovt., Health and EducationOther Buildings for Social UseCivil Eng.OtherTotal
New Construction         
          
Border, Midland and Western54725122169121882451,164
Border2369578439098505
Midland1276331335450277
West18410327264497382
Southern and Eastern937632274718354086752,410
Dublin1512941610174268553
Mid-East2045264484074365
Mid-West1237442245879319
South-East211118414111117120569
South West248116911111119134604
 
State1,484883496327475969203,574
         
Extension
         
Border, Midland and Western3642517173120--474
Border180151111148--239
Midland5853338--80
West126533144--155
Southern and Eastern1,1787330317246--1,430
Dublin54131-82612--618
Mid-East15292186--178
Mid-West108672116--140
South-East150151191112--208
South West2271210111610--286
State1,54298474810366--1,904
          
Alteration and Conversion
         
Border, Midland and Western6160131815--158
Border2631-296--74
Midland1011--64--31
West25181135--53
Southern and Eastern3781643194633--643
Dublin18670-4189--287
Mid-East4220-484--78
Mid-West28211253--60
South-East402215109--87
South West82311458--131
 
State4392244226448--801
         
All Developments
          
Border, Midland and Western9721101403658471882451,796
Border44255682127179098818
Midland1952236412155450388
West33533361119154497590
Southern and Eastern2,493300260971361144086754,483
Dublin8781304285422742681,458
Mid-East3983428920184074621
Mid-West2593452618135879519
South-East4014896282232117120864
South West55754802622291191341,021
 
State3,4654104001331941615969206,279
- No permissions
Table 3(b) Total Floor Area Planned (000 sq.m) in new construction and extensions, Q2 2017, classified by region and functional category
 Functional Category
Type of Development and Planning RegionDwellingsCommercial BuildingsBuildings for AgricultureIndustrial BuildingsGovt., Health and EducationOther Buildings for Social UseTotal1
New Construction
  
Border, Midland and Western160387110234307
Border632237292136
Midland3622331165
West6114116121106
        
Southern and Eastern538104178434118922
Dublin149821217230283
Mid-East1632291116211
Mid-West42101996390
South-East83481905183
South West101638703154
        
State6981432495363221,228
        
Extension       
        
Border, Midland and Western 26118614469
Border128748140
Midland5011118
West92116220
        
Southern and Eastern67321017238158
Dublin2520-38359
Mid-East115102119
Mid-West71218121
South-East924101228
South West154334130
        
State934319233712227
        
Total New Construction and Extension       
        
Border, Midland and Western186497917378376
Border7531446173176
Midland4122432274
West7016127183126
        
Southern and Eastern6051361896064261,079
Dublin1741031219313342
Mid-East1736301138231
Mid-West50112111144111
South-East926851927212
South West11610411044184
        
State79018626876100341,455
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
 - No Permission
0 implies less than 500sq m
Table 4 Summary of Planning Permissions Granted for new houses and apartments, Q1 2009- Q2 2017
All Housesof which Multi-Development Housesof which One-Off HousesApartments
Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)
                
2009Q 13,02510,2561,687164.52827,513995132.42,7432,743692252.42373,92138297.4
Q 22,4757,7391,273164.52375,501707128.52,2382,238566252.92025,09246791.7
Q 32,3045,362963179.61963,254434133.32,1082,108529251.11953,22230694.9
Q 41,7633,457669193.41391,833252137.71,6241,624416256.31371,50713187
Year9,56726,8144,592171.385418,1012,388131.98,7138,7132,203252.877113,7421,28693.6
                
2010Q 11,6643,585667186.21122,033280137.51,5521,552388249.9921,92516384.5
 Q 21,3953,043548180.0951,743219125.41,3001,300329253.21152,33522897.6
 Q 31,5372,817552196.0941,374192139.41,4431,443361249.9891,82416791.6
 Q 41,3622,159441204.475872122139.71,2871,287319248.2657907190.4
 Year5,95811,6042,208190.33766,022813135.55,5825,5821,397250.33616,87462991.5
                  
2011Q 11,2053,075528171.7781,948246126.21,1271,127282250.36759265109.2
 Q 21,1972,599487187.3711,473204138.81,1261,126282250.7637117098.9
 Q 3 1,2071,887389206.483763111145.91,1241,124278247.55662573117.5
 Q 49071,537302196.34167186128.6866866210249.0436195487.9
 Year4,5169,0981,706187.52734,855647133.44,2434,2431,058249.42292,547263103.2
                  
2012Q 19021,263268212.43439553134.7868868215247.84992780.8
 Q 28751,166257220.04533648143.2830830208251.26224024101.8
 Q 38571,540302196.156739107145.4801801194242.84798885.1
 Q 47881,420283199.43766996143.2751751187249.5464314092.5
 Year3,4225,3891,110206.01722,139305142.43,2503,250805247.82048618093.0
                  
2013Q 18181,860345185.7451,087155142.6773773190246.24044846102.1
 Q 27271,496280187.143812109134.5684684171249.64043050116.9
 Q 38641,252266212.64543363146.6819819203247.5641571276.6
 Q 46941,394270193.654754109144.1640640161252.0531621593.6
 Year3,1036,0021,161193.51873,086436141.42,9162,916725248.61971,197123103.0
                  
2014Q 18351,446296204.661672106157.3774774190245.7491581596.9
 Q 28091,492283190.05774099133.2752752185245.9631141084.9
 Q 38871,783330185.266962134138.9821821197239.6653613186.9
 Q 48041,905352184.5551,156166143.2749749186248.3691521385.3
 Year3,3356,6261,261190.32393,530503142.63,0963,096758244.82467856988.3
                  
2015Q 19772,514454180.6691,606232144.3908908222244.8826996897.2
 Q 29132,637475180.0921,816277152.5821821198241.0734734799.7
 Q 31,0362,345419178.6861,395189135.2950950230242.4853593289.2
 Q 49952,754481174.7821,841259140.5913913222243.5861,26311994.2
 Year3,92110,2501,829178.43296,658956143.63,5923,592873243.03262,79426695.2
                  
2016Q 11,0722,534445175.7941,556209134.2978978236241.8905575090.1
 Q 21,0902,340422180.31001,350188139.0990990234236.61078017188.0
 Q 31,2734,362703161.11443,233434134.21,1291,129269238.41261,45212687.0
 Q 41,2343,245559172.41012,112281133.31,1331,133278245.41021,08410496.4
 Year 4,66912,4812,129170.64398,2511,112134.74,2304,2301,018240.64253,89435290.3
                  
2017Q 11,3873,754650173.11142,481341137.61,2731,273308242.11268968393.1
 Q 21,3693,630611168.41212,382310130.01,2481,248302241.81078237084.8

Background Notes

Scope and Background

Details of the scope and background of this series were given in the March 1973 Statistical Bulletin. The Planning and Development Acts 1963 - 2000, imposes certain requirements on builders, developers and all other persons who propose to build or develop and specifies that a planning permission must be obtained from the relevant Planning Authority.

Local authority building (including housing) is exempt in the case where construction takes place in the Authorities’ own area. Therefore, works undertaken by a local authority outside its functional area come within the scope of the Acts, and need planning permission. Planning permission is also needed for development by the State, except where the consultation procedures provided for in the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1993 obtain (e.g. national security, public safety or order, the administration of justice etc). This series only provides coverage where development is subject to the requirement to obtain planning permission.

This series is also available using the interactive tables in StatBank on the CSO website. 

Regions

The Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994, established eight new Regions. The CSO has adopted these in place of the old Planning Regions as the basis for the regional breakdown of planning permissions data. 

Classification

Planning permissions are classified by type of development, local authority district and by regional authority.  A distinction is made between residential and non-residential building and civil engineering. 

Coverage

Only final grants of permission or approvals are covered, i.e. only works which involve construction.  The following permissions are excluded since they do not entail construction per se:

  • Changes of a technical and business nature as distinct from a building or structural nature;
  • Outline permission;
  • Retention of an existing building;
  • Changes to existing plan;
  • Bye-law permission;
  • Refusals - permissions subsequently granted on appeal by An Bord Pleanála are included.  

Rounding

As the figures for floor area have been rounded there may be slight discrepancies between the sum of the constituent items and the totals shown. Estimates are included where complete details of floor area size are not available.  

NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat.  The NUTS3 regions correspond to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994.  The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions.  The composition of the regions is set out below.

Border Midlands and Western

NUTS 2 Region

   

Eastern and Southern

NUTS 2 Region

 
         
Border Cavan

 

Dublin Dublin
  Donegal     Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown   
  Leitrim     Fingal
  Louth     South Dubin
  Monaghan      
  Sligo      
         
Midland Laois   Mid-East Kildare
  Longford     Meath
  Offaly     Wicklow
  Westmeath      
         
West Galway City   South-West Cork City
  Galway County     Cork County
  Mayo     Kerry
  Roscommon      
      South-East Carlow
        Kilkenny
        South Tipperary
        Waterford
        Wexford
         
      Mid -West Clare
        Limerick
        North Tipperary

Comparison with other national series

There are differences (due to coverage, timing, definitions and other factors) between the planning permissions statistics produced by the CSO and those of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG), resulting in different but complementary sets of data aimed at meeting the needs of different users.

The planning permissions statistics produced by the DHPCLG focus on the overall process of the planning permissions system.  For example, it provides data for each planning authority on invalid applications received, applications for outline and full permission, decisions to grant /refuse permission, decisions issued within the statutory eight week period, decisions deferred. Percentages for decisions are provided.

By contrast, the planning permissions statistics published by the CSO provide a detailed breakdown of certain outputs of the planning process (number of  planning permissions granted with the number of units, functional description, and their floor areas).  Only final grants of permission for works which involve construction are covered. Refusals, retentions and outline permissions, for example, are excluded.  See under the heading Coverage above for a full list of exclusions.

The example of an application for a shopping centre with a car park illustrates how different approaches can result in a different total for the number of planning permissions granted. The CSO statistics include a breakdown into types of planning permission received and would therefore treat the case as an application for two permissions, one for a shopping centre and one for a car park. Where the statistics compiled do not involve such a breakdown, as is the case with the DHPCLG, the application would be treated as one for a single permission.

The purpose of the CSO Planning Permissions Statistics is to provide a short-term indicator on construction.  It aims to provide data enabling some prediction of or insight into the amount of building activity about to take place in the State. See under Historical Context for the Planning Permissions Series below for some further discussion on this aspect of the survey.

Historical Context for the Planning Permissions Series

The following was noted in the March 1973 Statistical Bulletin.

“Inaugurating this series, it was hoped primarily that it would prove in time to be a valid measure of the work about to flow into the building sector of the economy, and that it could, in fact, be related either directly or indirectly to a measure of subsequent activity in this sector. A detailed analysis of the data presently available suggests that this is not the case. No significant correlation can be found between for example the number of dwelling units planned in any period (monthly or quarterly) and any subsequent rate of completions of dwellings.  This is perhaps not too surprising when individual permissions  can relate to large numbers of individual units (up to 600 or so).  Clearly it could take up to two years or more for an “Estate” of this size to be completed. Therefore the analysis was repeated excluding the subset of permissions involving large numbers of units but the results were still not correlated significantly. This can arise from causes such as the fact that a person obtaining planning permission may not intend acting upon this permission for a considerable time, if at all. However the time scale of available planning data is still relatively short for this type of analysis, and it cannot be finally said yet that the planning permission does not correlate in any measurable way with subsequent building activity.”

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