Neighours and Planning Permission

My Neighbours and My Extension; What You Should Think about.

When planning your project it is important to give some consideration to your neighbours and how what you’ll do will impact on them, what rights you have and what rights they have too. A poor relationship with a neighbour can spoil the atmosphere of where you live and can also make your project complicated and in some instances can even scupper your plans. The best place to start is to make sure you employ a professional Architect who can advise you on the process, so that you can achieve your project without upsetting the apple cart too much.


Whether you intend to build a large extension that will impact on your neighbours which will require planning permission, or you are planning something small and simple, be conscious that your neighbours will have an opinion on what you’re doing and it makes sense to consider them in some way.



The Irish planning regulations allow for several instances where one can extend a home without the benefit of planning permission, see the attached link. These regulations are put in place to allow for smaller works and have been designed to insure that what you do does not impeach on your neighbours in any un reasonable way. Once a project has been designed and built to these standards, your neighbours can have a say but they can’t stop what you’re doing. However be sure that you employ an architect to guide you through this as the regulations are not a simple as you think and we have had numerous examples of where people have thought they were within the regulations, only to find out later that they needed planning permission in the first place.


If your project is proposing an extension over a certain size (ie not exempt), or is to the side or front of the house it will require planning permission and in that instance, the process is particularly set up to allow your neighbour to have a say in the process if that’s what they want to do.  In a lot of cases the success of your project may depend on how well you design your project in order to take into account how it will affect your neighbours.


There are a myriad of circumstance that need to be taken into account when designing your project to insure they do not take away from your neighbours enjoyment of their own property. Generally you will need to take into account at least the following instances when designing your project;


  • Your project will need to insure it does not overly shadow your neighbours garden
  • Your project will need to have set back distances with windows to insure that your new windows do not overlook your neighbour’s and take away from their privacy too much
  • You will need to be somewhat sympathetic in the choice of materials and design of same to insure that your project does not take away from the existing pattern of aesthetic
  • You will need to also take care not to encroach in any way on your neighbours existing rights and or shared amenities in any way such a shared parking and the like.


The other thing to note when your applying for a project which will require planning is that the day you lodge your project, your neighbour will have full access to the project on line. They will know this because you will have to erect a site notice giving them full details of your project and the ability to make an observation or objection is open to them for 5 weeks from the day you lodge your application.


In JEArchitecture we always advise our clients to at least give their neighbours notice that you are lodging an application as to not do so will only lead to your neighbours feeling duped and could cause them to react even harder if you don’t at least inform them.


When proposing a project that will require planning permission at a minimum you will require a professional to assist you with the design drawings and procedural processes. A professional architect will be skilled in not just producing the plans and procedural requirements, but will also be able to use good design to achieve what you need which also recognising your neighbours rights/concerns in a way that will insure your project is successful.


Weather you have a great relationship with your neighbours or you are cursed with the neighbours from hell, it’s important to realise that your project might be your dream but it’s not your neighbours dream and it’s a good idea that you take this into account. JEArchitecture are an architects practice in Dublin specialising in domestic and residential work and we have the experience to guide you through the process to insure your project becomes a reality.