How do I know if I need to apply for planning permission or consent?

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Permitted development rights are set out in the Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015  and apply to select groups of potential developers such as householders, statutory undertakers and agricultural units.  However, it is important to check whether there are other restrictions imposed on specific land or properties that should also be taken into account such as:

  • Is the property in a designated area such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Site, Conservation Area, or Area of Special Scientific Interest?
  • Is the property a listed building?
  • Have earlier planning permissions placed restrictions on further development of the property?
  • Is the property subject to an Article 4 Direction?
  • Is there a Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in place that may be impacted by the development?
  • Does the proposal fall within Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015


If you are confident that you do not need planning permission for the development you can commence development without contacting us.  However, if the works did require planning permission and this is brought to our attention you may become the subject of a planning enforcement investigation and action as per the Planning Enforcement Strategy.  This could ultimately result in a fine, court appearance and potentially the requirement of you to remove the unauthorised development and restore the property to how it was before you commenced the work.  This would all be at your own expense.


Therefore, we recommend that you contact us to obtain written confirmation as to whether planning permission is required or not as this evidence may also be requested if you ever decide to sell your property.

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If you would like further information, please contact us