Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, all development, including a material change of use, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission.
Section 4 of the Act and Article 6 and Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) set out in more detail the various exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission. Furthermore, Article 10 of the Regulations provides that certain changes of use, with regard to particular classes of use, are also exempted from the requirement to obtain permission. Any such exemptions are subject to compliance with any general restrictions on exemptions set out in the Act or the Regulations and to the specific conditions set out in each class of exempted development in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.
Article 10(4) of the 2001 Regulations provides that:
‘Development consisting of the use of not more than 4 bedrooms in a house, where each bedroom is used for the accommodation of not more than 4 persons as overnight guest accommodation, shall be exempted development for the purposes of the Act, provided that such development would not contravene a condition attached to a permission under the Act or be inconsistent with any use specified or included in such a permission.’
It is important to note that, for the purposes of Article 10(4), the Regulations provide that “house” does not “include a building designed for use or used as 2 or more dwellings or a flat, an apartment or other dwelling within such a building”.
Part (f) of Class 14 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the 2001 Regulations provides an exemption for development consisting of a change of use from use as a house, to use as a residence for persons with an intellectual or physical disability or mental illness and persons providing care for such persons, subject to conditions and limitations.
The exemptions provided for in the 2001 Regulations are kept under regular review. Exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission in respect of specific forms of development are provided for when they are considered to be consistent with proper planning and sustainable development. If an exemption is not provided for in the Act or associated Regulations, planning permission is required, under which a number of public notifications are made during the consideration of the application.
I am satisfied that the current arrangements for the consideration of planning applications allow for extensive public participation in the decision-making process and I have no proposals to amend the legislation in this regard.