Section V Declaration for Exempted Development

In accordance with Section V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), any person may request a declaration as to whether development is exempt.  

An application should be made in writing to the planning authority, to determine whether a proposal requires permission or is considered exempted development.  

The application should be accompanied by:  

  • Site Location Map Site Layout Plan 
  • Details of gross floor space of proposed development (if applicable) 
  • Dimensions of proposed development 
  • Details of previous extensions 
  • Fee of €80.  

The planner will then assess the application and make a decision within four weeks. The applicant can appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála, accompanied by a fee (€210). 

Common Queries around Exempted Development 

Some of the more common queries regarding exempted development relate to the building of domestic extensions, domestic sheds/garages, and agricultural buildings. Please see extracts below from the Planning & Development Regulations, 2001 (as amended) for detailed information:  

Exempted Development - Domestic Extensions

Exempted Development – Domestic Garages/Sheds

Exempted Development – Agricultural Buildings


Exemption for Change of Use from Commercial to Residential 

The Planning & Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 30 of 2018) – provides an exemption, for a period of time, for the change of use and related works of vacant commercial premises for residential purposes. 

The change of use, and any related works, must occur between when the 2018 Regulation came into operation on 8th February 2018 and the 31st December 2021. Therefore, while the exempted development will be permanent in nature, the exemption can only be availed of for a temporary period. 

A planning authority must be notified in writing of the details of the development at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the proposed change of use, and related works, and the notification must include information on the location and details of residential units being developed. The planning authority is required to maintain a record of any notifications received; make the record publicly available online and at their office; and submit annual returns to the Minister detailing the notifications received. 

It should be noted that the provision of an exemption does not remove the requirement to comply with the building regulations or any other code. Primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings. 


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