How will COVID-19 Affect my Planning Application?

Planning Applications - COVID-19 Update

Published on: Friday 3rd April 2020

The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication. Please contact your local authority for further information.

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, changes have been made by the Department of Housing regarding the planning application process. The national Planning System has not been deemed as an ‘essential service’, meaning the majority of Council staff will now be working from home. For this reason, periods of extension have been applied to the application process. 

To learn more about how this will affect your planning application, please see below.

Can I still lodge a planning application?

Yes. You will still be able to lodge planning applications by post and planning authority personnel will be able to communicate with applicants via electronic means. However, the application process will inevitably take longer than normal.

How much longer will the planning application process take? 

This entirely depends on when your application was lodged and at which stage of the process it is sitting at. As a general rule however, you can expect the decision on your planning application to be delayed by a minimum of three weeks. See below for a more detailed outline of the extensions that have been added by the Department. 

Decision Timeframe Extensions:

Appeal Period – If your application is in the appeal period, An Bord Pleanála will make a decision with the extension of 23 days.

Applications lodged before 21st Feb 2020 – Planning Authorities can make a decision with the extension of 23 days.

Applications lodged between 22nd Feb & 29th March 2020 – Planning Authorities cannot make a decision until after 20 April 2020 to ensure that the public participation element has been completed.

Applications lodged after 29th March 2020 – Planning Authorities cannot make a decision until the five-week period for public consultation on the application commences, which will now be after 20 April 2020.

Please note that these are the general guidelines from the government , however, each planning authority may operate slightly differently. Please contact your local authority for more information regarding your application.

For further information please visit the official government website here