Planning and Development

Exempted Development Applications and Decisions

All development that is not exempted under planning law requires planning permission.

The Planning and Development Act 2000 and Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) set out categories of development that are exempted development in other words, exempted from the general requirement to obtain planning permission.

The legislation sets out various thresholds relating to, for example height or size. If these thresholds are exceeded, then the exemptions no longer apply and planning permission is required.

A person is entitled to carry out exempted development subject to the terms of the legislation.

There is a mechanism provided under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended where any person on payment of the relevant fee (currently €80) may request a declaration from Cork County Council as to whether any particular constitutes development* or exempted development*.

(* these terms are specifically defined in planning law)

In other words, a Section 5 Declaration Request is the procedure to follow if you want Cork County Council to confirm in writing whether or not any particular development requires planning permission (in other words, whether or not any particular development is exempted development).

To request a Section 5 Declaration, you must: 

  • Submit the request in writing, using the following form: Declaration of Exemption Application Form (pdf) {This is an editable PDF document}
  • Include the appropriate fee (currently €80)
  • Ensure a detailed description of the proposal is included in Section 3 of the application form
  • Submit all maps, site layout plans and relevant drawings as outlined on the application form.  Please note that maps/drawings greater than A3 size must also be submitted by email stating that they relate to a Section 5 Application. Please email to either, or as appropriate. 
  • Provide as much information as is required to enable an assessment of the matter

Cork County Council may require an applicant to submit further information to enable the assessment and determination of the matter.

If, following the issuing of a Section 5 Declaration by Cork County Council, you are dissatisfied with the Council’s determination, you may on payment of a fee and within 4 weeks of the date of the decision refer the matter to An Bord Pleanála for review – refer to An Bord Pleanála’s website for details.

County Hall Applications - Section 5 Declarations