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Do I need to build exactly to planning permission

  • 04-12-2022 1:26am
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Hey Boardsies,

    I received planning permission for a 3 bedroom bungalow 6 months ago. Not Building for the moment as feel prices might come down.

    I am not in the building trade so didn't realise some of the details in the plans until a builder mate of mine said to me.

    The finished floor level of the house is beneath the road level. I would like to raise the height of the house by 10 to 20 cm. I know this will mean more concrete and costs! I don't want to reapply for planning but would I get away with this or must an engineer sign this off ? What would an engineer think about this ? Anything else to consider?

    Some of the rooms in the house are a little smaller than I realised. How much more can I build the house than what I submitted for planning e.g. can I increase size of house by e.g. 50 cm at each cable end and the front and back of house ?

    I am fling down the route of timber frame but didn't specify this when I got planning. Do I need to specify this ?

    I don't want to go back for planning because of cost plus and my architect has retired.

    Can anyone tell me how much or what I can amend during the construction of my home versus what I submitted for planning?

    Do the councils come out and measure all of this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,593 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    If your architect has retired, who is going to supervise your build?

    You're going to need an engineer anyway, so find one now and spend a few quid wisely on his advice around tolerances. It will save you thousands in the long run.

    There are quite a few variables involved in what you are talking about, so definitely don't fudge anything.

    In general, I've seen domestic self-builds escape with a tolerance of +/- 100mm in any one elevation. But thats not any sort of rule, a planning inspector could nail you to +/- 10mm if they were in the mood, depending on all sorts of external factors. So yes, the Councils MAY come out and measure it all.

    But variances of 200mm here, 500mm there? Absolutely no chance.

    The question I'd be asking as a case planner is, why do you want to raise the slab level now? Has a drainage risk from the road been discovered? Why was it not investigated in the original design? Why did the Council not detect it in their assessment of the original plan?

    Look, if you've realised the plans were deficient and you are deferring the build pending a reduction in costs anyway, you'll be waiting 2 or 3 years at least, so spend the money fixing the plans now and have it right when you break ground, it'll save you a thousand sleepless nights at the very least.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,669 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Legally speaking you can't alter anything as planning is granted strictly on a condition that the house is to be built "in accordance with the plans submitted" To do otherwise would be in breach of the planning permission. Your architect / engineer may agree to a small variance in the floor level but that has to be agreed before hand and will be dependent on adjacent development. However I can't see anyone signing off on changes to the floor area. From my experience you won't see anyone from the planning dept again unless a complaint is made by a third party.

    Here in Donegal the local planning dept have a facility whereby you can submit plans showing the changes you wish to make and if the changes are considered minor then they will give their written approval to same. I'm not aware of any other planning authorities having this facility. But you still have to get your plans amended so when you have that paid for you would be advised to reapply for planning as there wouldn't be much extra expense at that stage. Just to clarify that my local planning dept wouldn't give written approval for any increase in the size of the house. That would entail another application.

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,483 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    +200 mm on the floor level is arguably within "de minimus" range

    But adding an extra 1000mm to the length of the house absolutely isn't.

    If you are not planning on building now, then you should apply for permission for the changes you want to make sure that there's no issues when it comes to building. If your architect is retired, they should be amenable enough to sharing their drawings with someone else to do the application for you. It would be as simple enough application as all your applying for is "change of design"

    Maybe €1500 should cover it

  • Registered Users Posts: 642 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    Size changes can be problematic, easily enough you can spill into the next band of development fees.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,060 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    How far below road level is the current floor level: you may need to come up more

    Post edited by Calahonda52 on

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,022 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    In terms of changing the width of the house, for substantial compliance I've always taken it as max. 225mm added to either side (to allow for rounding the width to nearest half-a-block for ease of construction), so long as it doesn't affect anything like bringing the building too close to foul drainage, site boundaries etc (depending on how close to the minimum requirements the house is designed to). Anything more than that would need to be agreed with whoever is signing off for compliance with planning permission, or agreed with the planning department in advance (either via email or alterations to granted planning).

    Raising the floor height, that's a bit trickier. Your floor level may be below the road level, but is this deemed to be an issue? Is drainage around the site designed to accommodate this? Is the rest of the site sloping away to the rear? By raising the floor height are you going to be raising the rest of the site levels around the house to match, and will that affect site drainage or will it affect disabled access into the dwellings (extra steps or changes to sloped approach)? Are there neighbouring dwellings, and how will raising the roof height match in with those dwellings (as raising the floor means raising the roof to match)?

    Again, whoever is going to be certifying for planning and building regulation compliance are the only ones who can fully answer these questions by assessing the drawings, site and planning. If needed, discussing informally with the planner and getting their opinion on whether a new application for changes to granted permission is required or if they can give a letter stating that the changes are deemed to be in substantial compliance with the granted permission.

  • Registered Users Posts: 764 ✭✭✭dmakc

    What is stopping someone building the house to design, then adding 40sqm "extension" to the back a week later without the "need" of permission? And alternatively would this same clause cover doing it during the build instead?

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,483 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    doing it "during" is not allowed as you cannot extend what doesnt exist.

    doing it after is fine, even if its the day after the house is complete.

    as to whos watching for this, depends on how you are building ie by mortgage or not. Also, the council may be watching too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,669 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Completely different scenario to what the OP asked. But to answer your question, yes a house can be extended as described but only after it has been completed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,669 ✭✭✭✭muffler

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