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2022 Update


mike2016

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After giving up for a year or two, my stubborn side has gotten hold of me. I've been looking at direct labour and surmounting the crazy compliance regime in Ireland when building a new house and involving a bank. As I can't afford an Architect or a builder I needed someone else to sign off the build stages & compliance paperwork. Well, I finally found someone for 5K so that hurdle was crossed. I then went about examining the planning permission I had previous obtained. There was a compliance condition than I add a window to the side facing the road. Despite appealing, I got nowhere so I chased the Architect for an update to the drawing. After 3 months of emails and phone calls I tried writing a letter the the owner and that got me a response and 24 hours later I had an updated drawing which I then posted into to the planning department for my region of Dublin, Ireland. I didn't see it appear on the website though, and despite using registered post it had gone missing. I was able to email in the file in October 2021 and they back dated it to September 2021. And that's where I am today. Still waiting 5 months later. After chasing up last week the files appeared on the website with no receipt and no idea if  and when their compliance team will take a look at it. I'm caught between rocking the boat and annoying them again, writing to councillors, or just waiting patiently. 

 

In the meantime I've been chasing key contractors for fresh quotes, some get back, most don't. The Timber Frame price went up 20% in the last year alone. I'm looking at a strip foundation instead of a Raft to save money and deciding if I can install the Velux rooflights or cover the holes over and do them in a few years to keep the budget down. It's getting interesting to see how this may play out and the delay by planning is not helping. I'll own them 10K as soon as I lodge a commencement notice, despite not feeling they've earned it in this case!! It's just a single window! But they review them in order received, no exceptions. Any if you annoy a civil servant you could end up at the bottom of the pile again!! There's no statutory response time for compliance issues that I'm aware of. 

 

The plan B approach is to sell the site and pass, get my mortgage down and the funny thing is some of the people I've been getting to quote for the new driveway and foundations are interested in buying the site. No shortage of potential offers there. 

 

I've decided to do the driveway relocation myself and any exterior concrete work also after practicing pouring some new steps around my existing house. I plan to hire a digger/driver, bull float and compactor and then invite a relative over to help me with the pour. 

 

So, Just sitting at the start line and I'm determined to pull this off and get it under budget despite all the risks/market pressures. Just hope it's not a years time before I get the green light!! Best of luck to everyone else out there trying to start a build this year! Don't give up!  

new window.jpg

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In terms of working with Dublin local authorities (or any authorities in Ireland) you need to phrase the letter something like "we assume the enclosed updated elevation satisfies planning condition number XX, however if not please let us know." That way when they don't get back to you it's approved. If you wanted you could send in a letter along the same lines. "In relation to the revised elevation submitted on the XX September 2021 we assume this meets the planning condition number XX as we haven't received further correspondence on this matter". 

 

The local authorities in Ireland (it probably varies and is more an issue in Dublin) are under resourced and so poor at replying to communications that a new law for planning applications currently under discussions will require the planning authorities to reply and agree within a certain timeframe. 

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Thanks - great idea - there is just one line in the final grant letter as follows:

 

"No development shall take place under this permission until the applicant, owner or develop has lodged with the Planning Authority:

(i) - revised plans with widows etc etc (abridged)

(ii) a commitment to complete the development in accordance with the required revised plans

(iii) The receipt for all these requirements from the applicant, owner or developer has been acknowledged in writing as an acceptable lodgement by the Planning Authority". 

 

I tried writing in two years ago to have the window condition lifted and got a receipt letter but that it would be forwarded to the local planner. Never heard anything back. I think they can't withdraw a condition after it's written up. 

They did publish my updated drawing and cover letter 2 weeks ago, but I've not yet seen a receipt letter against this. And given the wording above, I don't think I can proceed or I'll be in violation. Now, I could send in another letter along the lines you've suggested, assuming compliance and proceed?

 

What's interesting is that all compliance submissions after 17th December 2021 have a statutory 8 week turn around. I'm not if they are prioritizing these over mine from Sep 2021 or if all are delayed? They have offered no timeline and I know they are under resourced. Frustrating but forgiveness vs permission is not a defence when it comes to starting building - last thing I need it a legal battle with the council.....

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Give them a ring. Have the planning reference number at hand and the name of the planner that did the planning report or signed the grant. 

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Tried - 4 times Monday, once Tuesday, call drops after being transferred to planning Dept after 60 seconds. Not taking calls I'd guess and no direct number. I have another email into them which they do respond to to see if resubmitting would bring me under the 8 week statutory decision timeline but I'm not sure if they are even able to fulfill that. Emailed councillor to ask about resourcing and what the wait times are for everyone, no reply. Bureaucracy at it's finest in Ireland!  

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