What are your rights when it comes to planning permission?

Val O'Brien joins Pat Kenny to talk about your rights when it comes to planning permission

Do you have a right to a view? When and how can you lodge a planning permission objection? There are plenty of issues and questions when it comes to home improvements.

'The Make Over' on Pat Kenny is a brand new weekly feature sponsored by Energia which looks to try and answer all of those concerns.

Each week Pat is joined by a different guest from the property world to talk about the topics you need to know about your home. Whether it’s restoration, colour schemes, insulation or extensions, Pat and his experts have it covered.

In the inaugural edition, Pat was joined by Building Surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Val O'Brien to discuss planning permission, as well as fielding questions from listeners.

With the current trends in the housing market and a general shortage of housing around the country, Pat noted that more and more homeowners are opting to stay put and improve the property they currently own instead of looking to make a move.

Of course, this leads to a need for planning permission, and questions about what will be needed, or what exemptions could apply. Of particular interest was the exemption clause allowing a rear residential extension up to 40 sq metres. 

As Val explains, for anything larger than that involves a two-fold notification process, which allows other interested parties to make "observations and comments on the planning."

As Pat noted, that means anyone from anywhere can lodge a complaint or an observation, or indeed an objection, to any application should they see fit, and can do so simply be vexatious. Val noted that the difficulty arises when it comes to proving that a complaint is vexatious, but there are any number of reasons why people can lodge complaints.

One of the most obvious ones is a complaint from a home in the area or a neighbour about the building, but Val notes that, despite what many people may think, that complaint can't be based around the view.

"You have no right to a view," explains Vial, "but you have a right to light. Calculating that right to light is a science in itself, so clearly if someone builds next to you you're going to lose light, it's the degree of light that matters."

Regardless, planning is an area that most people will encounter at some point in their lives, whether as a homeowner, neighbour or a renter and it’s important to have some idea of what your rights are and how far they can go.