Regularising Building Irregularities

MEDIA ROOM

On the 19th of August 2016, through Legal Notice 285 of 2016, the Government has introduced new regulations which will provide property owners with the opportunity to regularise existing unsanctionable non-conformant developments.

These regulations, which will have a validity period of 2 years, allows buildings, or parts thereof, not covered by a permit, to be regularised as long as they are within development zones and do not constitute an injury to amenity, such as disturbing neighbours or unsettling the environment. The use of the development must also be in conformity with current planning policies and regulations. Moreover, the existing development cannot have a footprint which goes beyond the Planning Authority’s aerial photographs taken earlier this year.

When an application is submitted for a site affected by an enforcement notice still in force, which notice was issued following the submission of a formal complaint by third parties, the Planning Authority will safeguard the interests of these third parties by informing them of the submission of the application and offer them the option to notify the Planning Authority to be considered as registered interested parties within 15 days from notification. Registered interested parties will have the right to appeal the Planning Authority’s decision.

Applications to regularise existing developments will be subject to a fee calculated on the total aggregate roofed over area of each floor of the property together with a non-refundable administrative fee of €50. Should an application be refused by the Planning Authority, 90% of the fees will be refunded back to the applicant.

As previously mentioned, the validity of these regulations are for a 2-year period. However, any applications submitted after 2 years but prior to 3 years, from the coming into force of these regulations, will be accepted by the Planning Authority and a 25% surcharge on the fee will be applied.

These regulations will assist a significant number of property-owners to sell their properties by regularising illegalities which if often date back a number of years.