Planning enforcement and control became more streamlined in 2002 with the introduction of Part VIII of the Planning and Development Act 2000. This legislation sets time limits within which complaints of planning infringements must be investigated. It establishes a common procedure for all type of planning offence – issue of a Warning Letter, service of an Enforcement Notice and institution of legal proceedings.
The Warning Letter, which must be served within six weeks of receiving the complaint, allows a developer up to four weeks to rectify the offence or to make a submission.
Regard must be had to any submission received when deciding whether or not to serve an Enforcement Notice. An Enforcement Notice sets out the requirements of the Council to rectify the offence and also contains a timeframe within which the work must be completed. Non compliance with an Enforcement Notice is an offence.
Should any person served with an Enforcement Notice fail to comply with its requirements, the Council may institute legal proceedings in the District Court.
In urgent cases, the Council may alternatively apply to the Circuit or High Court for an Order directing that particular actions take place or cease, as the case may be.
The making of a planning application for retention of an unauthorised development is no longer a reason to delay/suspend the taking of enforcement action by the Council.
Planning Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions
If you wish to make a complaint about any development which you consider to be unauthorised, please download and view the checklist (available below) before submitting a completed form (available below) by email, post, or in person to these offices. Anonymous complaints cannot be considered by Planning Enforcement. Please note it is our policy to keep the name of the complainant confidential both during the course of any enforcement proceedings and afterwards when the case is completed. However this information may subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1997as amended and accordingly may be subject to disclosure with the identity of complainants redacted by South Dublin County Council. In exceptional circumstances, this information may be subpoenaed by a Court.
Because development can gain immunity (statute barred) from enforcement action over time (7 years), you should report suspected breaches of planning control, relating to permitted sites and unauthorised development or activity, as soon as possible. Please ensure to provide as much detail as you can on the complaint form.
Before reporting a suspected breach of planning control please ensure South Dublin County Council is the appropriate Planning Authority.
A hard copy of the complaint sheet is also available at the planning counter, which is open to members of the public from 9am until 4pm, Mon-Fri, within the County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Persons making a planning enforcement complaint should be aware that comments involving allegations of any kind against a named or otherwise identifiable person or organisation may be viewed as defamatory by the subject of the comments. Persons may be sued directly for any defamatory allegations in any complaint and should avoid making such allegations. In the event of any potentially defamatory allegation giving rise to legal action against it, the Planning Authority may seek indemnity from the person making the allegation.