Is planning permission required for a log cabin?

Navigating the topic of planning permission can be tricky as there are many opinions and myths out there that can cloud the facts. You can rest easy as we have separated the facts from the fiction for you. In this handy guide you should find the answers to most of your questions.

What can I build without planning permission?

You can build up to 40 m2 (cumulative) of usable internal floor space as an extension, to the rear of an existing house without planning permission. specialize in custom extensions, talk to us today about your plans.

You can also build up to 25 m2 of usable internal floor space as a standalone garden structure without planning permission, as long as there is a minimum of 25 m2 of garden space remaining. We have a large selection of garden rooms and even a 1 bed log home that come in under 25 m2, check them out on our website or our show site in Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

One Bed Log Cabin

What about for residential use?

Any building that is to be used as a residence, regardless of size or material, planning permission would officially be required. There are 3 types of planning permission –

  • Outline planning permission – Apply to the local planning authority to check the feasibility of qualifying for full planning permission/ to see the likelihood of a successful application.
  • Full (also known as Consequent) planning permission – The process for gaining permission to commence building works. The process takes 8 weeks to get an initial approval/refusal notice, followed by an appeals period. The fee for standalone buildings is €65.00 and €34.00 for extensions. Full planning permission, if granted, remains valid for 5 years. If planning permission is refused, appeals can be made to An Bord Pleanála.
  • Retention permission – The process to retain a structure that was constructed without planning permission or not built in accordance with the permission that was granted.

What if I build without planning permission?

With the current housing and rental crisis affecting thousands of families up and down the country, many people decide to find their own solutions and build without planning permission, particularly in back gardens or on family properties, where they won’t be generally visible.

There is a risk in doing this, where a complaint is made for example. The local planning authority may intercede and may require removal of the building or some other kind of enforcement action.

Your options at this stage could be to apply for Retention Permission or to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

If no approach has been made in relation to your structure within 7 years, you are then exempt from any enforcement action on the building thereafter, as it then stands.

This information is not a definitive guide to planning laws and all planning authorities also have their own local rules to consider. So here are a few tips to help you on your next steps:

  • Pay a visit to our show site in Blessington, Co. Wicklow. We can help clarify any queries you may have as well as show you around our fantastic range of garden rooms and residential cabins.
  • Do your research, there is plenty of information on local councils’ websites and on or etc. (Most of the information herein was sourced from these websites).
  • If you want to see what the chances of success are for a formal application for planning permission, apply for outline planning permission first.
  • If you are going for planning permission, refer to the structure as a Timber Framed Building, rather than a Log Cabin. Some people just don’t get the great benefits of log cabins; environmental, financial etc. Because log cabins are made from timber, technically they are also timber framed structures, which is a more widely understood construction method.
  • Get a good architect who knows the local planners and local area development plan, they can greatly increase the chances of your application being successful. We are happy to provide them with our technical drawings (free of charge) to assist them in preparing your application.

If you have any queries or need assistance getting your project past the ‘wish list’ stage, please don’t hesitate in contacting us, we are here to help.

Good luck with your plans!!

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