Section 40 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended ('the Act') specifies that the appropriate period for the completion of a planning permission shall generally be 5 years, unless otherwise specified by the planning authority pursuant to Section 41.
Section 42 of the Act enables the holder of a planning permission to apply to a planning authority for up to two extensions to the initial appropriate period of the permission, provided the combined duration of both extensions does not exceed 5 years.
The granting of such an extension is subject to the Planning Authority being satisfied that the development has been commenced, substantial works have been carried out, the development will be completed in a reasonable time and that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and appropriate assessment (AA) are not required for the proposed extension.
There is a circumstance where the holder of a permission may apply for a further extension to the appropriate period of a planning permission, beyond the initial appropriate period and the extension of duration period or periods under Section 42, and this is explained as follows:
Section 7 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2021 ('the 2021 Act'), which was commenced on the 9 September 2021 provides a temporary provision allowing for applications for further extensions of planning permissions which have already availed of an extension under section 42, or otherwise under section 42(1A). This provision seeks to ensure the timely delivery of housing and the completion of construction projects, in the context of delays and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides for the further extension of the appropriate period of a planning permission by an additional period of up to 2 years or until 31 December 2023 whichever first occurs, subject to the planning authority being satisfied of a number of matters set out in section 42(1B). These matters include that the relevant planning authority shall be satisfied that: the development has commenced; that substantial works have been carried out; that the extension is required to enable the development to be completed; and that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and appropriate assessment (AA) are not required for the proposed extension. The provision applies to extant permissions due to expire and as well as to permissions which expired between 8 January 2021 and 8 September 2021.
This further extension period takes into account the restrictions on construction and disruptions in logistics, supply chains as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, I have no plans to provide for further legislation for extensions to planning permissions.