A planning retention application is a full planning application to retain an existing
structure, or partially constructed structure most commonly whereby:
The structure was previously constructed without the
required planning permission.
Commencement of a structure has taken place without the
adequate planning permission being in place.
A retention application needs to be applied for if the structure has drawn the
Attention of the Local Authority, or more commonly if the infringement is minor
in nature during a property sale/conveyancing.
Retention applications are required to regularise an Unauthorised Development
so the Construction work may continue, or to allow a successful property sale to be
Our practice can prepare a planning retention application and have it submitted
to the local authority .
A retention application has the same application period as a conventional application
(8 weeks) and there is no guarantee that the permission will be granted.
Retention planning fees tend to be three times the normal planning fee:
e.g. standard planning fee for a domestic extension €34.00
standard retention fee for a domestic extension €102.00
See typical planning fees for both planning and retention here
Some situations may occur as a genuine mistake, where a person has checked
the standard planning Exemption guidelines(document pl5) - and constructed
an extension or garage unaware that they may be breaching special conditions
included with the original planning application for their dwelling.
(Unfortunately this may only come to light during a house sale, whereby a vigilant
Solicitor will check for this as part of a standard conveyancing)
Please see an example of a planning permission where a special condition has
been applied - (condition 12 - page 2)highlighted in yellow on this document.
Our clients had purchased the original house a number of years ago, and had
Constructed a small porch extension to the front of the property, and a small
Sunroom to the rear(both normally exempted development) unaware
of the special conditions with the original application.
When the house was put up for sale, the solicitor for the purchaser highlighted
the issue, and our practice was approached to apply for planning retention
which we were duly granted.
Excerpts from Doe document PL7
(To download this information as a pdf file please click here)
10. Are there any limitations to exempted development?
All forms of development, which are normally exempted,
lose this status and require planning permission if they:
• contravene a condition of a planning permission (you
should always check the planning permission under
which your premises was constructed or change of use
• endanger public safety by causing a traffic hazard or
obstructing the view of road users;
• modifications to a building with repercussions or major
• are built forward of the building line (as specified in the
development plan or draft development plan);
• involve a new or wider access to a public road;
• affect a building, feature, site, etc., listed for
preservation in the development plan or draft
development plan (check your local development plan);
a protected structure or a structure in an architectural
• interfere with character of a landscape;
• obstruct a public right of way;
• include any works to, or changes to, an unauthorised
structure or one where there is an unauthorised use.
(“Unauthorised” means without the benefit of
planning permission or exempted development
11. Where can I get more information on exemptions?
The full list of exempted developments is set out in the
Planning and Development Acts 2000 and 2002, and
Planning and Development Regulations 2001to 2002
(details at the end of this leaflet). The planning authority
can advise on whether it considers planning permission is
necessary, or not, in any particular case. You should
write to the planning authority giving all the necessary
information and on payment of a fee, the planning
authority will make a declaration as to whether the
development is exempt or not. If you disagree with the
decision of the planning authority, you can obtain a
formal ruling by referring the decision to An Bord
Pleanála, on payment of the appropriate fee.
12. What happens if exemption limits are exceeded?
The limits must be observed and the planning authority has
powers to stop the development if they are breached. If,
due to an oversight an error is made, you should apply to
the planning authority for permission to retain the work
done. This is generally known as “retention” permission. It
does not automatically follow that this will be granted.
The fee for a retention application is 3 times the normal
fee and you may have to take down, alter or rectify work
done, which can be costly. Prosecution for breaches
of planning law can result in heavy fines or imprisonment.
You may also find it difficult to sell property which does
not comply with planning requirements. If buying property
check that the building itself, any extensions or alterations
and the present use, comply with planning requirements or
you, as the new owner, may be liable to enforcement