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What is planning permission?

The Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2006 impose certain requirements on all persons who propose to build or develop. They specify that a planning permission must be obtained from the relevant Planning Authority. (Note that the Planning and Development Act 2000 consolidates all planning legislation from 1963 – 1999. There have also been a number of changes to this body of legislation since 2006).

Exempted development

Local Authority building (including housing) is exempt in the case where construction takes place in the Authorities' own area. 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.)


The CSO planning permissions data is collected and published only in respect of developments within the State which are subject to the requirement to obtain planning permission. Further to that, the data is only collected in respect of final grants of permission or approval relating to works involving construction.

Types of building that require planning permission:

• New Construction, including Dwellings and Non- Dwellings
• Extensions
• Alterations and Conversions

Types of residential building requiring planning permission:

• One-off houses,
• Apartments
• Communal dwellings
• Multi-development houses

Types of non-residential construction that require planning permission:

• Commercial Buildings
• Buildings for agriculture
• Industrial Buildings
• Government, Health and Education
• Other Buildings for Social Use
• Civil Engineering
• Other types of non-residential building

What information does the CSO publish on planning permissions?

• Number of permissions granted
• Total floor area
• Type of development and Planning Region
• Permissions by region and county and by building type

What planning permissions are excluded from the statistics?

The following planning permissions are excluded from the statistics 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