Where unauthorised development comes to the attention of the Planning Authority, the Planning Authority may conduct a site visit, examine the planning history of the site and may serve a 'Warning Letter' or an 'Enforcement Notice'. The following sections provide information on the various issues pertaining to planning enforcement.
Please note that the information provided herein is for guidance only. It does not purport to provide a legal interpretation of the legislative provisions referred to nor can it be regarded as definitive or having any legal effect.
What is an Unauthorised Development?
All development carried out requires planning permission unless it is exempted development as set out in the Planning & Development Regulations 2001 (as amended).
Equally, any development carried out on foot of planning permission must comply with the planning conditions set down in the permission granted. Care should be taken to ensure that each condition of a permission is fully complied with, in order to avoid incurring enforcement action, and also to avoid difficulties when the property is being sold at a later date.
In summary, any development that does not have the benefit of exempted development status, or is not being carried out in accordance with the planning permission granted constitutes unauthorised development. The Planning Authority has the power to stop unauthorised development.
Who enforces planning decisions?
The enforcement of unauthorised development is the responsibility of the Planning Authority, which has wide enforcement powers to ensure that either a development is carried out in conformity with planning permission, or in accordance with the exempted development thresholds as set out in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended).