Before you begin the planning application process you may wish to familiarise yourself with the issues that will affect how your application will be assessed.
What is a pre-application consultation?
Planning law facilitates pre-application consultations (also referred to as pre-planning meetings) between Cork City Council and any person who has an interest in land and who intends to make a planning application. This process is set out under section 247 of the Planning and Development Act 2000.
Pre-planning consultations give prospective applicants for planning permission the opportunity discuss their proposal with a Cork City Council planner.
In order to expedite the process, pre-application consultations are often conducted via phone or email. Face-to-face meetings are also available, but usually for larger or more complex proposals. These will be arranged by the Development Management Planning team.
Anyone seeking a pre-planning consultation requiring confirmation that a proposal is exempted development (in other words, planning permission is not required) should submit a request for a Section 5 Declaration.
Can pre-application advice be relied upon in a planning application?
Pre-application consultations have many benefits, as they can help to streamline the planning application process by improving the quality of subsequent planning applications and raising awareness of relevant planning issues with applicants.
However, the carrying out of pre-application consultations cannot prejudice the performance of Cork City Council in carrying out any of its functions under the Planning Acts and Regulations. Furthermore, as the planning application process is a public process, Cork City Council cannot predetermine any proposed development before a formal decision is made on a planning application.
Pre-application consultations therefore cannot bind Cork City Council to any subsequent decision. However, a record is maintained, as required by legislation, of all formal pre-application consultations and a copy is kept with any planning application in respect of proposed development to which the pre-application consultation relates.
Can I request a pre-application consultation?
Pre-application consultations are only available to parties who have a legal interest in the site of the proposed development. If you do not have a sufficient legal interest in the property concerned (in other words, if you do not own the property) then you must obtain a letter from the owner of the lands consenting to you engaging in pre-application consultations with Cork City Council.
Before requesting a pre-application consultation
There are a number of things you can do in advance of a pre-application consultation that can help to guide your proposed development.
- You can access a range of relevant policy documents, information and guidance that Cork City Council will have regard to when assessing your planning application:
- the Cork City Development Plan
- any Local Area Plan that may affect your site
- national planning guidelines on a range of topics, including residential development, building heights, flood risk assessment
- strategic national and regional planning policy including the national planning framework, regional spatial and economic strategy and the metropolitan area strategic plan
- You can access Cork City Council’s online map-based planning system to check the planning history of the site or surrounding area – this could highlight potential planning issues that may arise.
- You can seek your own professional advice from an architect, planner, engineer or other relevant advisor or agent.
Before requesting a pre-application consultation with Cork City Council you should ensure that you have at least the minimum level of information required to conduct a consultation. Details are provided below.
How do I request a pre-application consultation?
To request a pre-application consultation, you must submit the documents listed below. Your request will be logged when sufficient information has been received.
Please complete the Pre-Application Consultation Application Form.
Your request for a pre-application consultation as well as all the required information should be sent by email to:
You should provide at least the minimum level of detail required to conduct a productive pre-application consultation, details of which are provided below.
If your proposed development comprises one or more of the following you should indicate this in your request for a pre-application consultation:
- Residential development of 10 or more housing units (houses, apartments, duplexes or a mix of these types)
- Non-residential development of more than 1,000 square metres
- Residential development of 100 housing units or more (subject to Strategic Housing Development legislation and an application to An Bord Pleanála)
- Student accommodation of 200 bed spaces or more (subject to Strategic Housing Development legislation and an application to An Bord Pleanála)
What do I need to submit with my request for a pre-application consultation?
In order to try to ensure that your pre-application consultation with Cork City Council will be productive you should try to ensure that a minimum level of documentation and information is provided in advance of the meeting.
Cork City Council may not facilitate a consultation request until all relevant information to has been received.
As there are many different types and scales of development, the nature and scale of your proposal will ultimately dictate the level of detail required by Cork City Council to conduct a productive pre-application consultation. However, as a minimum, the following details are required:
- The address of the property / lands concerned
- Confirmation that you own the property / lands concerned; if you are not the owner, you will have to provide a letter from the owner giving consent to you having pre-application consultations with Cork City Council on the property / lands concerned
- A description of the proposed development
- A site location map at a scale of at least 1:2500
- A site layout plan
- Sketches or drawings of your proposal
- Additional information such as photographs may also be supplied
As a general rule, the more information and detail you can provide, the more productive your pre-application consultation with Cork City Council is likely to be.
How long does is it take to get a response?
Some categories of proposed development, mainly large-scale developments, have statutory timeframes within which a pre-planning consultation must take place.
However, in all other instances, Cork City Council endeavours to respond to requests for pre-application consultations within six working weeks. However, this period may be extended, at the discretion of Cork City Council, depending on resources and workload.