25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:56 pm

Can anybody clarify and reference whether the 25sqm Exempted Development status for a garage type structure to the rear of a property is based on the internal floor area or the external walls (building footprint).

Please bear in mind that the garage is not attached to the house.

I am aware that there are other considerations to meet the Exempted Development status but it is floor area vrs footprint that I am trying to clarify. All literature and planning legislation seem to refer to “floor area” but the local authority is assessing the structure using external measurements/building footprint.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:07 pm

I did find this:

‘‘floor area’’ in relation to a building means the bounded by the inner finished surfaces of the enclosingwalls, or, on any side where there is no enclosing wall, the outermost edge of the floor on that side and in calculating the area of a building or part of a building there shall included in such area the space occupied by any walls, shafts, ducts or structure within the area being measured;

"http://www.environ.ie/DOEI/DOEIPol.nsf/0/35d32b901ee51d3d80256f0f003bc83e/$FILE/Buildingregs.pdf

Any thoughts?
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby publicrealm » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:51 am

Gross Floor area is defined in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001

In Article 3 “gross floor space” is defined as “the area ascertained by internal measurement on each floor …disregarding any floor space provided for the parking of vehicles occupying or using the building or buildings where such floor space is incidental to the primary purpose of the building”.

So basically the internal measurements i.e. from the internal face of the wall of the building, including any internal partitions.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:36 am

This information is certainly helpful but Class 3 of Exempted Development refers to "total area" rather than "gross floor space". Can anybody clarify is there a dirfference?

Also, it is clearly defined from above hoe to calculate "gross floor space" but again can anybody enlighten us how to calculate "the total area of such structures"?

A speedy reply would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:30 pm

Hi all, posted this last week. Have looked long and hard to try and clarify this but am having no luck. If anybody has ant experience of this please post. Or if you know of any previous cases before the board, please reference. Thanks, John
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby publicrealm » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:55 pm

John,

As far as I am aware it is not defined but I would suggest that 'total area' is the same as 'total floor area' i.e. the area ascertained by the internal measurements (as for 'gross floor area' above) but including any areas set aside for ancillary/incidental parking.

If that figure suits your purposes I would just run with it. If you have any doubts you can seek a section 5 declaration - whereby the planners will tell you whether your proposal is or is not exempted?
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:55 pm

My thoughts also, but unfortunately the local authority is insisting on working with external measurements which means my building is being classed as unauthorised development (24sqm internal and 27sqm external) requiring retention. This will cost me at least 12 weeks which I don't have. .I was trying to find some previous case study that might persuade them it is reasonable to work with an internal measurement as total area cannot be clarified.

Thanks for you help.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby publicrealm » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:33 pm

John,

I would disagree - as would An Bord Pleanála (in some cases at least ;) ) see par 4.4 (b) of rlinked Board Inspector's report.

http://www.pleanala.ie/REP/RL2/RRL2219.DOC
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:56 am

emailtojohn wrote:My thoughts also, but unfortunately the local authority is insisting on working with external measurements which means my building is being classed as unauthorised development (24sqm internal and 27sqm external) requiring retention. This will cost me at least 12 weeks which I don't have. .I was trying to find some previous case study that might persuade them it is reasonable to work with an internal measurement as total area cannot be clarified.

Thanks for you help.


I may be a bit late posting this but I think most people will agree/accept that the floor area is based on the internal dimensions (except the planners in your case) so depending on why you need this clarified or confirmed I would suggest that you get an architect's certificate stating that it is exempted development.

As I said it depends on what you need the confirmation for

good luck with it
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:11 pm

They refuse to accept an architect's certificate and will not clarify their logic in writing.

HOw can I make them see sense?
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:33 pm

Im not sure I understand what you mean by "They". Is that the planning dept. you are referring to?

Can you say why you need a certificate or declaration

Edit: Sorry, forgot about the retention aspect of it. Not being nosey but how did you come to be in contact with the planning dept.?
Did they contact you re: unauthorised development or did you go to them looking for a declaration for mortgage purposes?

You referred to gross floor space in an earlier post. I always understood this to be the the total floor space inside the external walls but including all inner walls/partitions etc.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:13 pm

I have recently applied to the local authority for pp to extend our home. This is a modest extension that has already been granted to over 30 houses in the estate. While the local authority has no difficulty with the extension in principle they will not grant PP as they believe there is Unauthorised Development on-site (the garage structure with 24sqm internal and 27sqm footprint/external) and want it regularised with an application for retention.

This will take another 12 weeks at least, which I do not have as we want construction work completed prior to the birth of a new baby.

The only information that I received from the local authority to support their external measurement/building footprint logic is a reference to the term “total area” found in Class 3, Article 6, Part 1 of the Planning & Development Regulations 2001 which states “

“The total area of such structures constructed, erected or placed within the curtilage of a house shall not, taken together with any other such structures previously constructed, erected or placed within the said curtilage, exceed 25 square metres”


There would seem to be no definition of “total area” in current planning legislation so it is a matter of opinion or interpretation. However “Gross Floor Space” is defined as:

“by measuring the internal measurement of the floor space on each floor of a building (including internal walls and partitions), any incidental carparking space for persons occupying or using the disregarding any floor space provided for the parking of vehicles by persons occupying or using the buildings should be disregarded.”

In my opinion (which I accept may be wrong) a more logical definition of total area would be the sum of all Gross Floor Spaces. To interpret “total” to imply “External” or “Footprint” defies common sense, logic and reason.

Any advice, comments or clarification (even if you disagree) would be welcome.
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:54 pm

I see the problem you have. The obvious thing to suggest would be to talk to one of the senior planners and see if you can persuade him/her. Give him/her the same info as you've posted here. I have found that planners in general are loathe to admit to a mistake. A bit like referees - they may not always be right but they are never wrong.

Maybe there was a problem in the past with something similar and they are being over-cautious.

Try your local Co. Councillor to see if he can get them to accept what everyone else believes is correct.

You could also try contacting the Dept. Environment for advice.

I have known people to withdraw an application, build and then look for retention but I know you would never consider that ;)

For what its worth I think the garage is exempted development. I have issued certs in the past for garages the same size and indeed slightly bigger but that had to do with property transfer and/or mortgages
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:06 am

Just to follow on from above. At the beginning of March Donegal Co. Council introduced a new development contribution scheme which would be based on the floor area of the house. I contacted them and they told me that they would be calculating the floor area based on the dimensions from the bare blockwork on the inner side of the external walls but including all internal walls, chimney breasts, stairwells etc.

Have a look here and scroll down to the bottem of the page. Only problem is that they have referred to it as net floor area

Now to muddy the water a bit have a look at South Dublin County Councils defination which is completelt at odds with the above.
http://www.sdublincoco.ie/sdcc/departments/planning/publications/doc/DevelopmentContributionsSchemePart1.doc
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:09 am

Have a look here Go to appendix 4 on page 40/41.

The old tax man will let you away with nothing so this another piece of ammo in your defence
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby emailtojohn » Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:55 am

Thank you Archie,

You and publicrealm have been a great help.

I did speak to the senior planner and challenged him on his opinion. He was none to happy but could not support his opinion with anything more than the reference to "total area"

At this stage he will not return my call and has put up the iron curtain. To be honest, I am considering notifying the LA that I am going to build without PP to force the matter into court.

A little stupid and pigheaded perhaps, but can anybody suggest an alternative?
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Re: 25sqm: Internal or External Measurement for Exempted Development??

Postby Archie » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:09 am

The 2001 Planning & Development Regulations contains at the bottom of page 2 the defination of "gross floor space" All Planning Authorities must abide by this. You can view it here.
I would print out the first 3 pages, fax it to him with a covering letter asking him if he is now prepared to accept what is contained in the statutory regulations.
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