Covid curbs: Year-long extension to planning permission on the cards

Cabinet to examine plan to give builders hit by pandemic extra year to finish projects

Builders will have up to a year extra to finish projects where planning permission was due to expire under proposals expected to be brought to Cabinet by Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien.

The plan to allow extra time to complete developments that have already been commenced is due to the pause in building work that took place on many commercial and residential sites due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The proposed legislation – expected to be brought to Cabinet on Wednesday – will extend the expiry date of planning permissions by up to a year, or until December 2022, whichever comes first.

Eligible developments must have started and have had substantial works carried out – a provision designed to prevent the delay of building works on land that has planning permission.


The Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2021, when enacted will also address delays in the planning system caused by the pandemic, extending the time period allowed for city and county councils to prepare development plans.

The statutory period for the conclusion of county and city development plans in the current cycle are to be extended by up to one year.

It will be a matter for each local authority to decide on whether they would like to extend their development plan timeframe.

It is understood this is in recognition of the impact Covid-19 has had on the process of drawing up development plans.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times