Reinstate derelict cottage

Does anyone know the rules about reinstating derelict cottages?

Lets say that roof, walls, and windows are intact, and the plan is just to restore the existing cottage. Do you have to apply for planning permission? Department of the Environment guidelines from 2005 say…

Proposals to reinstate, conserve and or replace existing,
ruinous or disused dwellings will be looked on favourably
by the planning authority subject to satisfying normal
planning considerations relating to the provision of safe
access and the design and provision of any necessary
wastewater disposal facilities, …

The cottage is in Meath, and this is from their Development Plan…

*To look favourably upon proposals to reinstate, conserve and/or replace
existing, ruinous or disused dwellings for holiday home purposes subject to
normal planning considerations relating to design and provision of any necessary
wastewater disposal facilities.

I think if it has been lived in recently (8 years?) this makes a big difference. Does anyone know the precise conditions for when you must apply for planning permission? I couldn’t find planning guidelines on the Meath County Council site.

It’s almost certain it would require a full application. The legal concept of ‘abandonment’ has been thrashed out in numerous planning cases in the high court over the years re: what actually is considered development under section 4 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) - you should be able to google relevant cases handy enough but a rule of thumb of 5-7 years non-use as a dwelling would be considered abandonment iirc.

On a more practical level if the roof is off that would definitely put you into the realms of requiring a full permission application imo. Also there may have been a permission granted in the past in the locality of a replacement dwelling directly related to the derelict property.

Development Management in Meath CoCo are like all planning depts, not the busiest at the moment to say the least - you should get a pre-planning appointment fairly swiftly.

No, it has a roof, and in good condition, but you seem to be saying it would, in all probability, need permission. Any clue as to the likelihood of success. The mention of ‘holiday homes’ in the county development plan tends to suggest that ‘local needs’ is not essential.

Also, Meath County Council will only do a pre-planning meeting if you provide a …

Letter of consent from the land owner if the applicant does not own the land in question

Wouldn’t this up the price if you ask for consent, and then put in a bid -it implies you had a favourable hearing.

there’s absolutely no way I would contemplate a transaction on a semi-derelict cottage in Meath without talking to the planners and doing some serious research first so trying to be cute about a bid doesn’t really come into it if I understand your predicament- there’s far too many variables to consider.

Can you apply for planning without first owning the land?
The council says it will look “favorably” - that is so vague. We need less of this crap.
This is the grey area nonsense that leads to bribery. Time to cut it out.

Check the planning history in the area. I really can’t see there being any difficulties particularly if you are not making any material changes to the appearance of the building (window sizes, roof height and line etc). Check the sight-lines along the road and the position of the entrance to see if that might cause a concern. If a septic tank is required then that will require a planning application so you should satisfy yourself that there is sufficient land and that it is suitable. Check if the land is sterilised from development or if there is a demolition order on the structure (sometimes planning is granted for the replacement of a dwelling and the the demolition of the existing structure is required. Unlikely to apply unless there is a modern bungalow awkwardly close by). Check the availability of mains water supply, group scheme or the necessity of a well.

If the house has been lived in within 8 years and the roof is intact then I doubt if there would be any issues.

As long as you have the permission of the landowner.

I hardly think that “look favourably” provision is particularly vague, in fact it is saying that you are more than likely to get planning as long as you satify the normal planning considerations. They can’t say “you will definitely get permission”. It is a positive incentive to re-instate such buildings.

Ah but the problem is you dont know what criteria they will make you adhere to from the outset.

What has me a bit curious is when they say…

to reinstate, conserve and/or replace
existing, ruinous or disused dwellings for holiday home purposes

Firstly, REPLACE surprises me.

Secondly, HOLIDAY HOME PURPOSES opens it up to non-locals.

I only know that in the Fingal area as a non-local you haven’t a chance. I’ve checked all the Fingal Development Plan documents, and I couldn’t find any similar language. I appreciate the point about the necessity for a pre-planning meeting, but does anyone have any experience of how Meath works in practice for planning permissions of this type.

If you’re trying to ‘live the dream’ on the cheap you’ll be sniffed out quick enough. Meath would hold fast in principle against urban generated rural housing and be nearly as hard line as Fingal in my limited experience- MeatCoCo’s iplan system isn’t as advanced as other local authorities but iif you have the time, trawl for application numbers covering 2006 onwards and cross reference them with the An Bord Pleanala website where you can read Inspectors reports on appeals -This will give you a clear insight into how the policy has been applied in practice. Good luck.

We did this (renovated a derelict cottage and added on a substantial extension) in the south-east about 5 years ago. The local planning office could not have been more helpful - they were delighted to see a ‘vernacular’ building rescued!

how much of a planning “contribution” did they extract from you?