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November 2015

Question

I’m starting my own business within the next two years. I’ve got a concrete garage which is sound, but the roof is made of asbestos and is in bad repair. I’m thinking of converting the garage into a kitchen. Obviously it would need a new roof but I’m wondering if there was any other regulations or permission I need to have a kitchen in there. It already has access to water and electricity. 

Answer

Planning permission is required for all developments, including the change of a building’s use, unless it is classified as ‘exempt development’ under the Planning and Development Regulations. I note you are starting your own business and that you wish to convert your existing garage into a kitchen, which I assume is for commercial use.

The conversion of a garage into a kitchen is therefore not classified as ‘exempt development’ under the Regulations. You will be required to prepare a planning application for a ‘change of use’ from garage to kitchen and lodge the application with your local planning authority.

Given the proposed works relate to commercial use, you will also be required to prepare the following applications and submit these to the local Building Control Authority for review and approval: Fire safety Certificate Application; Disability Access Certificate Application; and a Commencement Notice (in advance of building works commencing on site).

With regard to the removal of the asbestos roof, it is recommended that specially trained asbestos removals contractors be engaged for this part of the project.

There is a risk that the fibres within the asbestos roof cladding can become air borne and may be inhaled by humans, which can result in cancer causing illnesses. It is not permitted to use, re-use, sell or supply asbestos containing materials or products. I recommend that you seek professional advice prior to the commencement of the above project and wish you every success in your endeavours.

Andrew O’Gorman is a Chartered Planning and Development Surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.