All development requires planning permission unless it is an exempted development, e.g. certain works about the house, on the farm, or other miscellaneous activities which do not require planning permission. The majority of the exempted developments are listed in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended. Most of the exemptions contain certain conditions and limitations. If the terms of conditions and limitations cannot be complied with, the development cannot be considered as exempted development.
If a question arises as to whether or not a development is or is not exempted development, a person may apply to the planning authority for a declaration on the question. This is known as a section 5 referral or an Exemption Declaration.
In order to apply for a section 5 referral it is necessary for the applicant to submit, an application form , a fee of €80.00, a site location map, drawings of the proposed development in question, full details and description of the proposed development.
The planning authority shall issue the declaration, within 4 weeks of the receipt of the request.
The planning authority may require further information to be submitted to enable the authority to issue the declaration. In this regard, a declaration shall issue within three weeks of the receipt of this further information.