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September 2015

Question

Recently I have been quite unhappy with the state of my porch as it has become quite dishevelled. I plan on replacing it with an improved structure. It should be noted that my existing porch is very close to a busy road. Will I have to apply for planning permission? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Answer

The addition of a porch to the front of a house, particularly with older properties, is popular because it can improve insulation and security in addition to aesthetics. Fortunately, such a structure does not generally require planning permission as it is considered an exempt development under the planning and development regulations.

However, there are some conditions which must be adhered to in order for the exemption to apply. The floor area of the porch should not be greater than 2sq m and the height not greater than 4m if it has a tiled or slated roof, or 3m if it is has any other type of roof.

Also, the porch should not be less than 2m from a road, which may be an issue in this instance depending on the distance the house is from the roadside. In some cases, the edge of a road can be difficult to determine due to poor road surfacing or lack of a definite verge.

Finally, it should be noted that the demolition of an existing porch does not generally require planning permission, as long as it is in connection with the construction of a porch built in accordance with the aforementioned conditions.

Andrew O’Gorman is a chartered building and planning and development surveyor and is a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.