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What is Exempted Development?

Homeowners often want to know what building work they are allowed to do to their houses without having to apply for planning permission. Such work is known as Exempted Development

Please note that this is general, non – comprehensive advice only, as the subject is quite complicated. You will need more detailed advice relating to your particular case if you intend relying on these exemptions. Please note also that the Exempted Development categories do not apply in the case of Protected Structures

Extension to Rear of House:

You are allowed to add an extension of up to 40 sq. metres /430 sq. ft. to the rear of your house. A specified amount of this can be to the first floor. But there are some important restrictions to this allowance. For example, the extension must not reduce your garden to less than 25 square metres in area, the area of any existing extensions or garage conversions constructed after October 1964 must be deducted from the 40 sq. metre amount to give the area allowed in your case; and there are other important restrictions too that must be checked

Front Porch:

You are allowed to construct a porch outside your front door as long as the floor area of that porch is no greater than 2 sq. metres and as long as no part of the porch is within 2 metres of the road. There are other restrictions too, for example on the height of the roof

Sheds and other similar structures:

The construction of a shed in the back garden will qualify as Exempted Development as long as it complies with certain requirements. These include that it is not forward of the front wall of the house and is not larger than 25 sq. metres. but you must deduct the area of any such structures previously constructed from that 25 sq. metre allowance

Internal Works:

These are exempt generally except in the case of Protected Structures.

Satellite Dishes/Aerials:

Generally, these are Exempted Development as long as you comply with the restrictions - including that you place only one of these on your house and do not place it on the front wall or front roof slope.


Generally, a wall of up to 2 metres is allowable as exempt development around a house except around the garden or other space at the front of the house. The walls at the front must be no higher than 1.2 metres. Such walls (except dry stone walls etc.) have to be capped and - where visible from any public space, road or path - be plastered if they are constructed in blockwork

Note: The above gives an indication of EXEMPTED DEVELOPMENT under the Planning legislation: it is not intended to be a comprehensive explanation: not all the exemptions available are noted nor are all the restrictions upon those exemptions noted as space available here simply does not allow for this. You should always get specific advice for your particular circumstances.

S J CARROLL & CO ARCHITECTS can provide full architectural services in connection with your project. We can be contacted at or 086 8293293

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