What Can I Build Without Planning Permission in Ireland?

Matt Keane
July 18, 2023

Are you wondering, “What can I build without planning permission in Ireland?” If you’re considering developing a space on your property, it’s essential to know your rights and limitations. Whether it’s a simple shed, a green oasis in the form of a conservatory, or a functional home office, there are rules you need to adhere to. Let’s embark on this journey of discovering the possibilities and potentially saving you from unnecessary hassle and paperwork.

What is Planning Permission?

In layman’s terms, planning permission is consent needed from your local council to carry out construction or major alteration to a property. It is a system put in place to control the development and use of land for the betterment of the community and environment.

In Ireland, planning permission plays a crucial role in maintaining a balance between development needs and protecting the environment. As such, if you are planning any significant changes to your property, it’s crucial to determine whether your project requires planning permission.

What Can Be Built Without Planning Permission in Ireland?

Small Extensions

As far as the small extensions are concerned, they can fall under the exempted development category. This means you can construct a rear extension of up to 40 square metres for a terraced or semi-detached house or 50 square metres for a detached house without planning permission.

Conservatories and Sunrooms

Under certain conditions, you can add a conservatory or sunroom to your home without requiring planning permission. The total area of the conservatory must not exceed 25 square metres, and it must not reduce the open space of your garden to less than 25 square metres.

Garages, Sheds, and Garden Buildings

Outbuildings such as a garage, garden shed, greenhouse, or playhouse can be built without planning permission as long as they adhere to specific size and location regulations.

Fences, Gates, and Walls

You can erect or replace fences, gates, and walls without needing planning permission, provided they are not higher than 2 metres and not forward of the building line of the house.

Driveways and Paths

The creation or replacement of hard surfaces like driveways, patios, or paths can be done without planning permission, so long as they are designed to allow water to soak away, reducing flood risks.

Loft Conversions

Under certain conditions, loft conversions can be completed without planning permission. However, this is typically restricted to internal works, and any external alterations may require permission.

Solar Panels

You can install solar panels on the roof of your property without planning permission, provided they don’t protrude more than 15cm from the roof’s surface.


Building a porch at the front entrance of your house is permissible without planning permission as long as it does not exceed 2 square metres in area and is no more than 2 metres above the ground.

Satellite Dishes

You can install a satellite dish on your property without planning permission as long as it is not installed on the chimney, does not exceed one metre in diameter, and is not on a listed building or in a designated conservation area.


Decking lower than 1 metre in height can be installed without planning permission, as long as it does not cover more than 50% of the garden area.

Exemptions Aren’t Always Straightforward

While the above list gives you an idea of “What can I build without planning permission in Ireland?” it’s crucial to remember that there are general considerations;

Impact on Neighbours

Any new building work should not interfere with or adversely affect your neighbours. This includes blocking light, causing an invasion of privacy, or creating noise pollution.

Protected Structures

If your building is a protected structure or located in an architectural conservation area, normal exemptions might not apply. You’ll need to seek advice before starting any work.

Follow Building Regulations

Whether you require planning permission or not, you must always adhere to Irish Building Regulations, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your building.

Why Choose BuildTech for Your Building Projects?

Proven Expertise in Planning Laws

At BuildTech, we pride ourselves on our extensive understanding of Ireland’s planning laws. This expertise ensures your construction project aligns with all the necessary legal guidelines, providing peace of mind and hassle-free progress.

Comprehensive Design and Build Services

Our team of experienced designers and builders is committed to turning your vision into a reality. We handle everything from small-scale home improvements to larger, more complex projects, ensuring high-quality results every time.

Client-Centric Approach

Your needs and ideas are at the heart of what we do. We work closely with you, providing personalised and responsive service to ensure your building project meets your exact specifications and expectations.

Seamless Project Execution

We strive to make the construction process as smooth as possible. From initial planning to final execution, our team manages each phase with the utmost professionalism, eliminating the usual stresses associated with construction work.

Trustworthy and Reliable

BuildTech is synonymous with trust and reliability. We’ve earned our reputation through years of delivering excellent services and are dedicated to maintaining it by continuing to serve our clients with integrity and excellence.

Ready to Start Your Next Building Project?

Still unsure about what you can build without planning permission in Ireland? Let BuildTech guide you. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we can help you understand your rights and plan a seamless building project that complies with all regulations. So, get in touch with us today and start your building journey without any stress.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.

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