Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions

Planning Enforcements Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Planning Enforcement Section?
A. The Planning Enforcement Section of Kilkenny County Council deals specifically with written complaints from the public in relation to unauthorised development. Unauthorised development is development that:
i) has not obtained Planning Permission from the Planning Department of Kilkenny County Council, or
ii) has not built/operated in accordance with the conditions of their Planning Permission.

Q. How do I make my complaint?
A. All complaints must be in writing and an Enforcement Complaint Form is available at (a) Customer Service Desk, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny or here on our website. It is important that you give as much information as possible and if using the form, that you answer every question. Sometimes it is necessary for the Planning Authority to seek further information from you.
Note: Verbal representations cannot be investigated.

Q. Is my complaint confidential?
A. Yes. The Planning Authority will not disclose your name or details to any
other person.

Q. What happens to my complaint next?

  1. On receipt of your written representation, Kilkenny County Council will decide to issue a Warning Letter to the owner, occupier, developer or any other person who may be connected with the alleged unauthorised development.
    Alternatively the Council may decide not to issue a Warning Letter (where the complaint regarding the development is considered to be of a trivial or minor nature or if it is a vexatious complaint).
  2. The Planning Authority has a period of 6 weeks in which to issue a warning letter following the receipt of a written complaint. In order to ascertain if a complaint has merit however, a number of investigative steps may first be carried out. Some of these steps would be as follows: -Site Inspection a technically qualified person inspects the alleged unauthorised development and prepares a report, Planning Register the planning register is checked to see if there is any record of planning permission, Planning Permission File if planning permission does exist the permission and conditions are checked and the Planning Authority determines if the alleged unauthorised development is/is not in compliance,

Q. What will the Warning Letter say?
A. The Warning Letter will contain particulars of the alleged unauthorised development. It will afford any person on whom it is served an opportunity to respond to the substance of the complaint. It will not contain your name or address.

Q. What happens next?
A. The Planning Authority will then investigate the matter further having regard to the response, if any, to the Warning Letter, your initial representations and any other relevant information.

Q. What happens if the person does not cease the unauthorised development or activity?
A. If the person does not cease the unauthorised development or activity, the Planning Authority may then serve
an Enforcement Notice.

Q. Is the Enforcement Notice different to the Warning Letter?
A. Yes. The main difference being that the Enforcement Notice is a legal document which directs the person to remedy in whatever way determined by the Planning Authority, the unauthorised development. It will specify a reasonable timeframe within which the person must correct the unauthorised development.

Q. What happens next?
A. After the time period specified for compliance has expired, the Planning Authority will re-inspect the site to confirm whether or not the works have been carried out as directed. If the works have been carried out and the unauthorised development or activity has ceased, then no further action is taken. The Planning Authority will write back to you informing you of the decision.

Q. What if the terms of the Enforcement Notice have not been complied with?
A. If the terms of the Enforcement Notice served are found not to have been complied with after the specified time allowed, the Planning Authority may proceed with legal action. Legal proceedings are normally at District Court level where the Planning Authority seeks to obtain an Order of the Court to have the person comply with the terms of the Enforcement Notice. If the Court grants the Order to the Planning Authority, it will normally oblige the Developer to comply with the Enforcement Notice within another specified time frame.

Q. What happens next?
A. After the timeframe directed by the Court Order has expired, the Planning Authority will then re-inspect the site/development and attend Court once more confirming compliance or not. Even if the Enforcement Notice is complied with at this time, a fine is usually imposed on the person for having committed the offence in the first place. The Planning Authority will seek their costs in relation to preparation of the Enforcement Notice and subsequent legal proceedings costs. This is usually the end of the matter and if no further Enforcement action is required, the Planning Authority will write back to you informing you of the outcome.

Q. If Retention Permission is received, is that the end of the matter?
A. The Planning Authority may still prosecute a person for having carried out unauthorised development whether or not retention Planning Permission has been applied for or obtained. (This note does not purport to be a legal interpretation of the provisions
of the Planning & Development Acts 2000-2015).

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