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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 Planning Enforcement ?

“Planning Enforcement” refers to the process of ensuring that developments and land uses comply with planning permissions and regulations. It involves taking corrective actions against unauthorized or non-compliant developments.

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 sections below provide information on the various issues pertaining to planning enforcement.

Planning Enforcement Procedures

Dangerous Structures

A dangerous structure is any building, wall or other structure of any kind or any part of, or anything attached to a building, wall or other structures of any kind that, in the opinion of the sanitary authority, is now, or is likely to be, dangerous to any person or property.

For more on Dangerous Structures, and what work the Council can direct, see below.

Dangerous Structures

Derelict Sites

A “Derelict Site” is any property/land/site which detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the
amenity, character, or appearance of land in the neighbourhood in question because it is in neglected or ruinous or unsightly condition.

Waterford City and County Council are responsible for dealing with derelict sites in Co. Waterford.  The Council investigate reports of dereliction and undertakes action in accordance with the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

Derelict Sites - Further Information
Derelict Site

Vacant Sites

All planning authorities maintain a Vacant Sites Register, and sites/land shall be entered on the register where they have been vacant for a minimum period of 12 months preceding their assessment, have an area in excess of 0.05 hectares, are zoned for either residential or regeneration purposes and are consistent with the criteria as set out in the Act.

Vacant Sites - Further Information


Unauthorised Development

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).