WHAT IS AN EXTENSION OF TIME (DURATION) OF PLANNING PERMISSION?
Nearly all planning permissions are granted for a period of 5 no. years, unless specifically otherwise stated. You are technically required to have the development permitted under the planning permission complete within the 5-year period. If the permitted development is not complete or has not begun within the 5 years or otherwise stated period, then you may apply for an extension of duration of that permission.
WHY DO ASSET MANAGERS / LENDERS / RECEIVERS/ ADMINISTRATORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXTENSION OF DURATION OF PLANNING PERMISSION?
If you are managing a land asset it will have a book value or valuation. Where the asset benefits from planning permission that has not been taken up or is part taken up, the value of the asset will rely on that permission to indicate value.
- In letting a planning permission run out (‘wither’) then you risk the following:
- You will depress the value of the asset.
- In the case where a planning permission is part taken up you will not be able to complete the development without a new planning permission.
- In the case where planning permission has not been taken up you will need a completely new planning permission to enable the development of the lands.
- Preparing a new planning application can be a costly process requiring at least the appointment of an architect if not specialist consultants for engineering and other environmental matters.
- In addition, this new planning application must go through the planning application process which itself carries the risk of refusal and allows for other parties to frustrate the planning application process, including bringing that application decision to appeal. An added risk lies in the fact that since the coming into force of the 2010 Amendment Planning and Development Act each planning authority, in making their Development Plans can now dezone lands. Where lands are in marginal locations they have the potential to be dezoned as they provide an excess of required zoned land as calculated by the authority. Where those lands are the subject of extant planning permission they are less likely to be dezoned.
IS THERE ANYTHING I HAVE TO DO BEFORE MAKING THE APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME?
The facility for an extension of duration of permission is provided for under Section 42 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended by Section 28 of the P&D (Amendment) Act, 2010.
In order for your application for an extension of time to be favourably considered where it has not begun the following criteria must be met:
(ii) The underlying land use zoning and objectives for the site and area remain as they were at the time of granting of permission such that the continuation of the permission will not now be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
(iii)That the development granted permission will not be contrary to any Planning Guidelines (national Guidelines issued by DoECLG).
(iv) That an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and/or appropriate Assessment (AA), if appropriate, were carried out for the development in the first instance.
HOW DO I MAKE THE APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF DURATION OF PERMISSION?
- Download an extension of duration application form from the relevant local authority website and fill it out.
- Provide a cover letter stating why you are seeking the extension of duration of permission and addressing those matters in 3.0 where the development has not commenced.
- Submit a site location plan (if you have no plan you can download one, for approx. €90 in the appropriate format and scale from www.osi.ie)
- Make the application for extension of time before the expiration of the planning permission for which you seek time extension.
- The fee to the local authority is currently €62.00.
- The decision on the extension of time is to issue as “expeditiously as possible” and in any event, is confined to 8 weeks from submission of the application.
OUTCOMES / CAVEATS
The Act only allows you to seek an extension of time:
- Where you are managing an asset that already benefits from an extension of time issued before the coming into force of the Planning and Development Amendment Act Section 28 in August 2010, you may apply for a 2nd extension of duration of permission.
- The local authority has the power to extend the period for less than the standard 5 no. years.
- The local authority can add or modify conditions of permission as they see fit.
- NAMA properties have special exclusions (S.42A of P&D Act) they may seek extensions of duration of permission on expired permission in limited circumstances: where the permission expired between 01.01.2009 and 31.12.2011 they (or Receivers appointed under their statute).