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International comparison:
Eurostat Planning Permission Data
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For more information on this release:
E-mail: 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: (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5279
CSO statistical release, 14 December 2017, 11am

Planning Permissions

Quarter 3 2017

Number of Dwelling Units
Quarters 1-3 2017Quarters 1-3 2016% Change
Total 13,84212,04614.9%

Dwelling units approved up 14.9% in year to date

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In the first three quarters of 2017, planning permissions were granted for 13,842 dwelling units, compared to 12,046 units for the same period in 2016, an increase of 14.9%.

Planning permissions granted for new housing units increased by 20.7% in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period last year, while the number of permissions granted for apartment units decreased by 4.1%. See Table 4.

The third quarter figures also show that:

  •  Planning Permissions were granted for 3,764 houses in the third quarter of 2017 and 4,362 in the third quarter of 2016, a decrease of 13.7%. See Table 4. 
  •  Planning permissions were granted for 975 apartment units, compared with 1,452 units for the same period in 2016, a decrease of 32.9%. See Table 4.   
  •  One-off houses accounted for 29.2% 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 6,884. This compares with 6,126 in the third quarter of 2016, an increase of 12.4%. See Table 1.
  •  Total floor area planned was 1,510 thousand square metres in the third quarter of 2017. Of this, 50.3% was for new dwellings, 29.7% for other new constructions and 20.0% for extensions.  The total floor area planned decreased by 13.0% in comparison with the same quarter in 2016. See Table 1.
  • Planning Permissions for new Civil Engineering Projects increased to 571 this quarter. This compares to 526 permissions in the same quarter of 2016. See Table 3(a).
X-axis labelPlanning Permissions CivilPlanning Permissions Non-Res Planning Permissions Dwellings
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%
 Q33,764-14%2,382-26%1,38222%975-33% 4,739-18%
Note: Percentages are rounded for tabular purposes
Table 1 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q1 2009 - Q3 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
 Q 31,6702,0462,1661,0026,884 7614473021,510
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
Table 2 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q3 2017, classified by region, county and type of development
Planning Region and CountyNumber of Permissions  Total Floor Area (000 sq.m)
New Construction  ExtensionAlteration and ConversionTotal New Construction  ExtensionTotal1
Dwellings Other DwellingsOther
Border, Midland and           
Western6596195542292,061 24012573438
Border27228325476885 976236195
Cavan3943435130 1211629
Donegal119699321302 3471355
Leitrim51410433 1214
Louth47455722171 324743
Monaghan39762512152 937349
Sligo2336261297 80614
Midland12917812655488 563019104
Laois36533617142 1513432
Longford202323571 51714
Offaly2744259105 239336
Westmeath46584224170 126422
West25815817498688 883317139
Galway City1315112564 131115
Galway2150717933333 478762
Mayo66385419177 2221649
Roscommon29343021114 72413
Southern and Eastern1,0111,4271,6127734,823 5203232301,073
Dublin1643726513361,523 16810155325
Dublin City52184289154679 65171899
Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown4550159102356 3401044
Fingal365010737265 487917143
South Dublin31509643223 2161139
Mid-East203164250106723 924136169
Kildare486710150266 26261768
Meath93646724248 4481467
Wicklow62338232209 227534
Mid-West15619919186632 523527114
Clare72577222223 179935
Limerick56848946275 2891450
North Tipperary28583018134 717429
South-East20432823699867 746648187
Carlow173215771 119222
Kilkenny45834521194 17131949
South Tipperary33804414171 816732
Waterford36536228179 741223
Wexford73807029252 3123862
South-West2843642841461,078 1348064278
Cork City2423301390 227231
Cork2189261190109749 696254184
Kerry71806424239 4311863
State1,6702,0462,1661,0026,884 7614483021,510
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
2 Excluding cities
- No permissions
NOTE: 0 implies less than 500 sq.m
Table 3(a) Number of Planning Permissions granted, Q3 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 Western659111342213101872421,278
Southern and Eastern1,011612445133193846352,438
South West2848881477126114648
Border, Midland and Western4023913166816--554
Southern and Eastern1,3199443448230--1,612
South West22613914175--284
Alteration and Conversion         
Border, Midland and Western90683123719--229
Southern and Eastern49016611195235--773
South West103252565--146
All Developments         
Border, Midland and Western1,15111815050118451872422,061
Southern and Eastern2,820321298114167843846354,823
South West61346993330171261141,078
- No permissions         
Table 3(b) Total Floor Area Planned (000 sq.m) in new construction and extensions, Q3 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        
Southern and Eastern52073142692612843
South West13415521022214
Border, Midland and        
Southern and Eastern72301569385230
South West1515357164
Total New Construction       
      and Extension       
Border, Midland and 2711386202720438
Southern and Eastern59310315813764181,073
South West14916564592278
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
- No permissions
NOTE: 0 implies less than 500 sq.m
Table 4 Summary of Planning Permissions Granted for new houses and apartments, Q1 2009- Q3 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
 Q 3 1,5163,764631167.61342,382302126.81,3821,382329237.81469759091.9

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. 


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. 


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. 


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.  


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 Dublin
Midland Laois   Mid-East Kildare
  Longford     Meath
  Offaly     Wicklow
West Galway City   South-West Cork City
  Galway County     Cork County
  Mayo     Kerry
      South-East Carlow
        South Tipperary
      Mid -West Clare
        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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