What Are My Options If My Planning Permission Gets Refused?

Matt Keane
March 18, 2024

Have you ever applied for planning permission for a building project or a home improvement and received a refusal from the planning authority? 

If so, you may be feeling frustrateddisappointed, or confused. You may be wondering why your application was refused and what you can do next. You may be worried about the time, money, and effort you have invested in your project and whether you can still achieve your desired outcome.

In this blog post, we will explain what the reasons are for planning refusalhow to review the refusal and the conditions, and what your options are for moving forward.

By the end of this post, you will have a very in-depth understanding of what to do if your planning permission gets refused and how to work with your design team to find the best solution for your project.

So, let’s get started!

What Are the Reasons for Planning Refusal?

Planning permission may be refused for various reasons, such as:

Non-compliance with planning policies

Planning policies are set by the nationalregional, and local authorities and reflect the vision, objectives, and priorities for the area. 

These policies cover various aspects of development, such as design, layout, density, height, access, parking, landscaping, heritage, environment, etc. 

If your proposed development does not comply with the relevant planning policies, it may be refused by the planning authority.

Adverse impact on the environment

The environment may be affected by the development in terms of pollution, noise, vibration, light, odour, waste, etc. 

If your proposed development is likely to cause significant or unacceptable harm to the environment or to the health and well-being of the people and animals living in the area, it may be refused by the planning authority.

Adverse impact on the amenities

The amenities are the features and facilities that contribute to the quality and enjoyment of life in the area, such as the views, the sunlight, the privacy, the security, the recreation, the services, etc. 

These amenities may be affected by the development in terms of overshadowing, overlooking, overbearing, loss of outlook, loss of character, loss of space, etc. 

If your proposed development is likely to cause significant or unacceptable harm to the amenities of the area, or to the living conditions and rights of the neighbours and other affected parties, it may be refused by the planning authority.

How to Review the Refusal and the Conditions?

If your planning permission is refused, you will receive a written decision from the planning authority, which will specify the reasons and the basis for the refusal. The decision will also include the conditions that apply to your application, which are the requirements or restrictions that you need to meet or follow in order to obtain planning permission. The conditions may relate to the design, the layout, the materials, the finishes, the services, the landscaping, the mitigation measures, etc. of your development.

You should review the refusal and the conditions carefully and try to understand the rationale and the implications of the decision. You should also consult with your design team, who will help you analyse the refusal and the conditions and advise you on the best course of action. Your design team may include professionals such as architects, engineers, surveyors, planners, etc. who have the expertise and experience to deal with planning issues and find creative solutions for your project.

What Are Your Options If Your Planning Permission is Refused?

If your planning permission gets refused, you have three main options to consider, which are:

Redesign or omission

This option involves making changes or adjustments to your proposed development in order to address the reasons and conditions for the refusal. 

This may include redesigning or omitting certain elements or features of your development, such as the size, the shape, the height, the location, the materials, the colours, the windows, the doors, the roofs, etc.

This option may be suitable if the refusal is based on minor or specific issues and if the changes or adjustments do not compromise your vision or your budget for your project.

Full redesign process

This option involves starting from scratch and creating a new design for your proposed development, in order to comply with the planning policies and to avoid the adverse impacts on the environment and the amenities.

This may include changing the concept, the style, the function, the use, or the orientation of your development, or choosing a different site or location for your development. 

This option may be suitable if the refusal is based on major or fundamental issues, and if you are willing and able to revise your vision or your budget for your project.


This option involves challenging the decision of the planning authority and seeking a review and a reversal of the refusal. 

This may include submitting an appeal to the An Bord Pleanála, which is the independent planning appeals board, or applying for a judicial review to the High Court, which is the legal process of examining the lawfulness of the decision. 

This option may be suitable if you believe that the refusal is unjustified, unreasonable, or unlawful, and if you have strong grounds and evidence to support your case.


Securing planning permission is a vital yet challenging step in any building project. It’s not always guaranteed and may be refused for various reasons. 

However, don’t lose hope if your application is denied. You have options, like redesigning or appealing the decision. Remember, your design team is there to guide you through these hurdles. 

For those seeking professional assistance in Ireland, we at BuildTech are ready to help with your planning permission needs. We’re confident in our ability to get your application accepted because of our practice of conducting pre-planning meetings with the council. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BuildTech for a free quote and consultation. Let us assist you in making your building project a success.

Contact us today!

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