Queries on Planning in Kildare

If you have any questions on planning in Kildare please feel free to ask and I will try my best to help you. Please keep questions general rather than personal as they will be availabe for all to see on the blog.

The responses provided should not be substituted for professional advice and no responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies in the responses provided.

David Mulcahy, Town Planning Consultant


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13 Responses to “Queries on Planning in Kildare”

  1. Teresa Gaffney Says:

    Hi. I am looking to built a shed in my back garden. I’ve been told I may not need planning permission. Can you tell me if I need planning permission or not. I’m based in a small town in north Kildare.

    • kildareplanner Says:

      The Planning and Development Regulations, 2001, state that “the construction, erection or placing within the curtilage of a house of any tent, awning, shade or other object, greenhouse, garage, store, shed or other similar subject” is exempt development. In other words, planning permission for a shed is not required.

      It is important to realise however, that there are a number of conditions and limitations which must be met in order to ensure that you comply with this exemption and do not require planning permission.

      1. The shed cannot be built forward of the front wall of a house.
      2. The total area of the shed (including any other structures mentioned above within the curtilage of the house) shall not exceed 25 square metres.
      3. The construction of the shed shall not reduce the amount of private open space to the rear of side of the house to less than 25 square metres.
      4. The external finishes of any shed at the side of the house shall conform with that of the house.
      5. Where the shed has a tiled or slated roof, the tiling or slating shall conform the house.
      6. If the shed has a tiled or slated pitched roof the maximum height is 4 metres.
      7. If the roof type is not pitched, i.e flat roof or monopitch, then the maximum height is 3 metres.
      8. The structure cannot be used for human habitation or for the keeping of pigs, poultry, pigeons, ponies or horses.
      9. The purpose of the shed has to be “incidental to the enjoyment of the house” i.e. the purpose has to be domestic related as opposed to being used for industrial or commercial uses.

      If the shed does not meet any of these criteria then the Council will form the view that the shed is not exempt development and planning permission is required. It is up to the house owner to ensure that the construction and use of the shed meets the criteria outlined in the Planning Regulations.

      It is also important to realise that there are further ‘Restrictions on Exemption’ which must also be consulted in deciding if work is exempt from planning permission or not (Article 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001). Not many people are aware of these and this can often lead to their downfall in terms of exemption. A typical example is if the proposed development would contravene a condition attached to a planning permission on the lands or where there is an objective in the County Development Plan to protect a view or landscape and the proposed structure would interfere with this.

      If you are in doubt as to whether a shed, garage or any of the other structures mentioned above is exempt development or not, you are entitled under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act (2000) to seek a declaration from the Planning Authority on this question. This declaration will attract a fee of €80 and it will take 4 weeks for the Planning Authority to issue a decision.

      As you can see a simple query about exemption can be very complicated and professional advice should be sought to avoid potential problems at a future date when trying to sell the house etc.

      David Mulcahy,
      Planning Consultant, Athgarvan, Newbridge.
      Ph: 045 405030/086 350 4471. http://www.planningconsultant.ie

  2. John O'Neill Says:

    I have been told that the criteria for building a replacement dwelling in the countryside is not as strict as building a new dwelling – is this true?

    • kildareplanner Says:


      You are right in saying that the criteria is not as strict as applicants applying for replacement dwellings do not have to meet the restrictions that normally apply to one-off houses in the countryside. There is however a list of criteria relating to the physical structure of the existing dwelling and new dwelling that have to be met – see below:

      Section 6.6.4 of the Kildare County Development Plan 2005 – 2011 deals with Replacement of Existing Dwellings.

      “It is the policy of the Council that in certain circumstances where a dwelling house exists and is habitable the
      Council will accept replacement of a dwelling subject to the following:

      (a) The dwelling must last have been used as a dwelling and the internal and external walls and roof must be intact.
      (b) A report from a suitably qualified competent person shall be submitted to verify that the dwelling is habitable but that replacement of the dwelling is the most
      sustainable option.
      (c) Documentary evidence of the most recent date of occupation should be submitted with the application.
      (d) The scale, character and design of the proposed replacement house should be appropriate to the character of the area and existing development in the vicinity.
      (e) Normally a condition to demolish the existing dwelling shall be included in any grant of permission in the interests of visual amenity and to control the number
      of one-off dwellings in the rural countryside.

      The applicants or proposed occupants will NOT be required to comply with Local Need or Local Growth. Normal planning considerations as outlined above will be taken into consideration”.

      David Mulcahy, Town Planning Consultant

  3. cindy tynan Says:

    I live in the country in a small area of houses and I want to put 3 horses
    stables at the sideof my garden facing my house not over looking or interfering
    with any other house these would not be permentant structures how many can I erect with out planning permission

  4. J Foy Says:

    Hello I would appreciate any advice you might offer.

    I am looking to have a non-permanent garage/shed constructed at the rear of my house.

    The entire site is approximately 1 acre.
    The garage would be built approx 10m’s to the rear of the house and approx 10m’s to the right.

    There are two options available.
    The first is a steel garage.
    The second would be a prefabricated concrete garage.

    Because the structure will not be “beside” the house, but to the rear and not in line with the house, do the constraints of having the external finish and roof slates similar to the main building still apply?

    The steel garage doesnt have any roof slates, just a steel roof similar to the walls.
    The prefabricated concrete garage has a steel roof, made to look like slates, but would not be similar to the house.

    In your opinion would this be a problem with the planners?

    Thanks for your advice

    Kind Regards


    • kildareplanner Says:


      Class 3, Schedule 2, Part 1, of the Planning Regulations 2000 deals with exemptions in relation to sheds and garages within the curtilage of a house. The third limitation/condition states that:-

      “the external finishes of any garage or other structure constructed, erected or placed to the side of a house, and the roof covering where any such structure has a tiled or slated roof, shall conform with those of the house”

      In my opinion it is clear that if the shed is located to the side of the house the external finish shall match that of the house. However there is certainly some ambiguity in relation to the wording concerning the roof of the shed. This essentially relates to the term “any such structure”. Does this “structure” relate to the previous reference in this condition/limition i.e. structure constructed, erected or placed to the side of a house or, does it relate back to the structures mentioned under Class 3. If the former then the tiling/slating is only confined to a shed constructed/placed to the side of the house. If the latter then all sheds must have tiling or slating.

      I consider that the former is the correct interpretation however, the only way in which to properly determine this is by seeking a section 5 declaration from the Council in relation to the specific case at hand. This is a short and inexpensive excercise – see my previous response to Teresa Gaffney on 19th October 2009.

      David Mulcahy, Town Planning Consultant

  5. John Malone Says:

    Rural Housing
    The applicant for a rural house has to comply with one of the criteria, one of these is to be resident in the local area for “circa 12 years”.
    The dictionary defines circa as meaning “about” – are there any precedents for what is acceptable as “about 12 years” – have there been cases where 10 or 11 years was accepted?

    • kildareplanner Says:


      I am not aware of any specific decision which I can refer you to in terms of a precedent being set for accepting less than 12 years. However, in my view if everything else stacks up in terms of the application and this issue is the only outstanding concern the wording in the County Development Plan (i.e. reference to circa) certainly allows for the Planning Authority to be flexible in this regard. I would expect that they would take a pragmatic approach in this regard if as I say everything else is acceptable. I would also expect An Bord Pleanala to apply a similar approach.

  6. Patrick O'Gorman Says:

    David, I am currently interested in purchasing a site with an existing derelict building inclusive…I would be purchasing same with a view of restoring the building and adding a minor extension to the rear for use as my future family home with my partner..i am a first time buyer and but I am unsure of the limitations in applying for planning permission within Kildare…could you inform me of these limitations..I am working in Dublin with a high possibility I will be transferred to Kildare in the immediate future..i am currently renting in lucan…a friend told me i would not be a suitable canditate…is this correct or can you advise me what criteria I would have to meet to an acceptable applicant…
    Many ThPaddy..

    • kildareplanner Says:


      I dealt with this issue in detail in a previous blog dated 10th december 2009 (do a search in the blog for derelict). If the existing house is derelict you would be assessed as per the normal policy requirements applying to the rural housing policy. As such you would have to meet the local need criteria in order to deemed acceptable in principle – see chapter 6 of current development plan (note the draft plan 2011 – 2017 is due out in mid-April and the policies may change under this plan so it would be certainly worth reviewing to see if more strict or relaxed).

  7. John M Says:

    Rural Housing Density
    In a recent case where Kildare CC refused permission for a one-off house on the basis of existing excessive density in the area, they justified this by drawing a 250m radius circle and counting the houses in it.
    This method is not in the Development Plan as far as we can see, or in any other guideline. Is there precedent for using this method? If so, how many houses in 250m is acceptable?

    • kildareplanner Says:


      Apologies for not getting back to you earlier – I missed your comment on the blog. I know I have previously tried to justify the absorbtion capacity to Kildare County Council using this method so it’s not unheard of. The would justify their use of it as a planning tool to help them arrive at a rationale basis for a decision. As such although it is not provided for in the Development Plan I would consider it reasonable for them to use.

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