Do I need planning permission for my Garden Shed?

Planning Permission is a very tricky situation to navigate. Do I need planning permission for my shed is one question we get asked a lot!

Figuring out if you need planning permission for your home improvement project can be a tricky task. However, our team here at MCD Garden Sheds have put together this handy blog. It will help you to figure out if your building requires permission from some local council areas.

Planning Permission regulations in Ireland can be hard to understand. We have thrown out the jargon and now we have put it into layman’s terms for you to understand. Split into four simple sections,

  • What needs permission
  • How to apply
  • Timeline of events
  • Charges to apply
  • Appeals

What needs permission?

A general rule to follow is that if it the alteration is small enough and discrete then you will not need planning permission. However, this is not always guaranteed.

Here are some of the most common Planning permission requirements for home renovations projects in some of the counties around Ireland.


Garden buildings in Dublin can be constructed without planning permission. There are some exceptions which may result in you requiring planning. Theses include;

  • The Garden Shed or Room cannot be forward of the front wall of the house
  • Not greater than 25sqm (or no. of sheds aggregated)
  • 25sqm of garden space is left after the garden room has been completed. Note: extensions attached to house are not deemed as private open space
  • Shed finish is in keeping with the house
  • Shed height: max 4 m pitched roof; 3 m flat roof
  • It is not lived in or used for keeping of animals (pigs, ponies, horses, pigeons)


There are a number of exempted developments in Meath’s planning guidelines. Sheds and extensions fall into these exclusions.

  • Building of an extension, shed, garage, boundary walls etc. within the curtilage of a house, subject to conditions and limitations

But what exactly is curtilage of a house?

Curtilage is a word that comes from common law. Although the word sounds odd, it actually means the garden. When you read about curtilage in planning regulations it generally means that you must be building within your garden walls.


In Kildare, the guidelines for an exempt development is very similar to Dublin.

You can build a shed, greenhouse or similar structure as long as:

  • No part of the building is in front of the front wall of the house.
  • The Apex roof height is below 4 meters or Pent roof is below 3 meters
  • It does not exceed 25 meters squared in area
  • The remaining garden space is not reduced to below 25 meters squared.
  • The building is not lived in or used for keeping of animals


Wicklow has the same regulations as Kildare and Dublin.


Just like Wicklow, Louth also follows the same rules as Dublin when exemptions to permissions are inspected.

If My Project Requires Planning. What next?

If your project is not exempt from the regulations, you must apply for planning permission. Below, we discover what happens when you apply, how much it will cost, and finally how to submit an application. We will also look at how to appeal if the decision isn’t what you expected.


An uncontested application for planning permission will generally take 12 weeks from start to finish. It will usually take the process we have laid out below.

1. Application checked and validated, confirmation of receipt sent to applicant.

2. Application placed on Planning Register in Local Authority offices, also in public libraries and sent to relevant interest groups.

3. Site inspection by is carried out by a council inspector.

4. Acceptance of representations/objections. After which, they are considered by officer.

5. Decision taken by local authority to grant, refuse or ask for Further Information.

If Freedom of Information is requested, you have six months to provide the information. Then the planning authority will make a decision to grant, refuse or ask for Clarification of the request. After this, once the CFI is in, it has to either grant or refuse. Finally, an appeal can be lodged adding 22 weeks minimum to the process.

6. Written details of decision sent to applicant and anyone who made representations/objections.

How much will applying cost?

The rate to apply for planning rests on certain factors. They are your location and what you are applying for.

Ireland costs: The fee for a planning application to build a house is €65. The fee for an extension or the conversion of a garage is €34.

Northern Ireland costs: The fees in the North are a little more complicated. Depending on the scope of the project you may fall into any of the following categories:

  • OPP (NI Planning Charge) £425
  • FPP (NI Full Planning Charge) £851
  • Material Change of Use £692
  • Extension £285

Both in Ireland and in Northern Ireland, there may be a contribution charge to the local authority. This is for creating new infrastructure of water and sewage. This is set county by county and varies considerably depending on your local council.

How to apply

Applications are made by filling in a planning application form and submitting it together with required documents to the local authority for your area.

Your local authority will be able to give you advice about how to apply. Whether your proposals are likely to comply with the development plan. What documentation you will need. What the exact fee will be and any other requirements that may arise.

Information, application form and a checklist are available from your local authority.

It would be recommended to engage with a professional who can help write up your application.


In many instances the grant of planning permission will come with some conditions, which you will have to abide to. If you are not happy with these or the application is rejected. You will be given the reasons and you may appeal the decision within four weeks to An Bord Pleanala (ROI) or within four months to the Planning Appeals Commission (NI).

All in all the planning process in Ireland and Northern Ireland is not simple. Breaking it down into smaller sections certainly helps sift through the jargon of the planning permission vernacular.

If you are a registered business, looking at creating a unique office, there are also different planning guidelines. These differ depending on your local council area. Please contact your local authority to learn more.

It is important to note that although this guide shows that it is not necessary to seek permission for most garden buildings. It is very important to engage with your local authority about your specific situation. Please Contact your local Planning Office for information relating to your local building guidelines.

Interested in finding the perfect Garden Office or Room for you business. Click Here to learn about Garden Rooms.

Do i need planning permission for a shed

Short answer is no, unless it is over 25m squared or you intend to live in it. However as described above, there are some exceptions.

What is the maximum shed size I can build without planning permission in Ireland

You can build up to 25 metres squared without a planning application.

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