Frequently Asked Questions - Planning


These notes on Frequently Asked Questions do not purport to be a legal interpretation of the legislation. Offaly County Council assumes no responsibility for and gives no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided.

For specific information please consult the relevant Statutes / Statutory Instruments.


Q1. – How are time limits calculated?

A1. - Time limits are specified on numerous occasions in the Planning Acts and Regulations for example, submissions or observations must be made within five weeks of receipt of the application. The same applies to Planning applications where the last day of the 14 day period is a Saturday or Sunday, or a public holiday the application will be accepted on the following Monday. A decision must normally be made within eight weeks of receipt of the application and in relation to development plans, the are time limits in respect of each stage. In the case of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala, appeal must be made etc. within four weeks of the decision of the Planning Authority.

Q2. – Is a detailed description required for the newspaper notice?

A2. – No. A brief description is sufficient. However, the number of houses must be given.

Q3. – Is an original newspaper required?

A3. – No, a full page copy is sufficient.

Q4. – What newspapers are approved in Offaly?

A4. – The following newspapers are approved:

NewspaperElectoral Area
Irish IndependentMunicipal Districts of Birr/Edenderry/Tullamore
Tullamore & Midland TribuneMunicipal Districts of Tullamore/Birr
Offaly IndependentMunicipal Districts of Birr/Tullamore
Offaly TopicMunicipal District of Edenderry
Leinster ExpressMunicipal District of Edenderry


Q5. – Must site notices be always erected adjoining a public road?

A5. – Where site is not adjoining public road, the site notice must be erected in a conspicuous position on the land, so as to be easily visible and legible by persons outside the land.

Q6. - Does the site notice have to be removed from a site?

A6. – Yes, as soon as final decision is made.

Q7. – How long has a site notice to remain in place?

A7. – A site notice must remain in place for five weeks.

Q8. – How do I apply for planning permission?

A8. – Application should be made on the official planning application form. A full planning pack is available from the Planning Department giving all details in relation to a planning application. Council has produced design guidelines which also are available on request.

Q9. – Can you make an outline application for development to a protected structure? Development requiring E.I.S.? Development on a Seveso Site/Major Accident Site?

A9. – No.

Q10. – Can I demolish a protected structure?

A10. – Demolition of a protected structure is only permitted in exceptional circumstances.  It requires planning permission.

Q11. – What size garage extension is exempt?

A11. – Total area should not exceed 25sqm. Private open space shall not be reduced to less than 25sqm and the external finishes shall conform with those of the house. No garage shall be constructed or placed forward of the front wall of the house. The height of any such structure shall not exceed in the case of a building with a tile or slated pitched roof, 4 metres or in any other 3 metres.

Q12. – Is there a fee for making a submission?

A12. – Yes, the fee for making a submission is €20.

Q13. - How do I obtain a tree felling licence?

A13. - With certain exceptions it is an offence, under the Forestry Act 1946, to fell trees without a felling licence having been granted by the Forest Service,failure to obtain felling licence when necessary, may result in a criminal prosecution. Developers are advised to contact the Felling Section, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Food, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford, telephone (052) 9163400.

 Q14. - What are the photocopying charges in relation to copy documents on planning files?

 A14. - A4/A3 Copy (whether correspondence, maps or drawings) 30c per page

 Copy of Maps/Documents Larger than A3 e.g. A2/A1/A0 €10 per copy

  Copy of Grant (Decision/Notification)  of Planning Permission €5.00

  Copy of Commencement Notice €12.00

Retrieval of Files from Long Term Storage (pre 2003 files) €20.00 per file

Issue Letter of Compliance re. Development Contributions €10.00

Monthly Planning List (yearly subscription) €45.00