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Home Forums General Discussion Ireland – planning permission – change of use?

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    A massive generalisation, but long-term experience suggests England is far better than Scotland if you ever get into a disagreement with a local authority; I could tell many stories about how in Scotland the local bureaucrats run roughshod over the law with no fear of any comeback whatsoever. Maybe it’s something to do with the lodge or how having a brass plate on the door passes for sophistication?

    My question is – what’s it like in IRELAND for those who start living off-grid in, say, previously non-residential places they are converting, or in benders etc. erected on greenfield sites?

    Everyone knows the construction industry has been active like crazy in Ireland for 10-15 years, egged on and assisted by money-lenders and their PR guys in the political arena. Many well-connected farmers (often more accurately called form-fillers?) have made fortunes by selling off land for development.

    On the other hand, though, there hasn’t been much negative feeling, outside of Dublin, against travellers in one group or another who have just parked their vans on the roadside and set up camp – unlike in England.

    And ‘permitted development’ rules are laxer than in England too. I believe they vary by county. In one place you’re allowed to build an extra 40 sq metres at ground level onto an existing dwelling; in another, you’re allowed 25% extra space – whether floor area or ground-floor footprint, I’m not sure.

    I’d be interested to learn about people’s experiences living off-grid in Ireland, with regard to whether they get much trouble from what Nick in his book tactfully calls the “planning community”.

    Unfortunately there’s been a huge amount of land enclosure in Ireland, but there are still wilderness area in e.g. Mayo and Donegal, including close to the coast.


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