The Planning and Development (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2018 - S.I. No. 30 of 2018 - which came into operation on 8 February 2018, provided for an exemption from the requirement to obtain planning permission in respect of the change of use of certain vacant commercial premises, including vacant areas above ground floor premises, to residential use. The regulations are primarily aimed at facilitating the productive re-use of qualifying vacant commercial buildings as homes, while also facilitating urban renewal and the bringing on stream of increased housing supply. 

In order to avail of the exemptions being provided for, the structure, or part of the structure, which is the subject of the change of use must have been vacant for at least 2 years immediately prior to the commencement of the relevant works, with such works being required to be completed by 31 December 2025.

In addition to the classes of use that qualified under the 2018 change of use exempted development provisions – i.e. Classes 1, 2, 3 and 6 – as outlined in Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the Principal Regulations, the new regulations extend the provisions to a new Class 12 - Use as a Public House, meaning a premises which has been licensed for the sale and consumption of intoxicating liquor on the premises under the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2018.

A planning authority must be notified in writing of the details of the development at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the proposed change of use, and related works, and the notification must include information on the location and details of residential units being developed. The new regulations further require that the notification must include the Eircode for the relevant property.

It should be noted that the provision of an exemption does not remove the requirement to comply with the building regulations or any other code. Primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings.

Anyone proposing to avail of this exemption to change commercial to residential use must fill in the notification form included below and meet the relevant conditions and limitations set out in the form.

Related Forms

Notification Form - Updated April 2024.pdf (size 149.2 KB)

Related Publications

2024 Notifications.pdf (size 447 KB)

2023 Notifications.pdf (size 458.3 KB)

2022 Notifications.pdf (size 38.2 KB)

2021 Notifications.pdf (size 94.3 KB)


PL 02-2022 Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) Regulations 2022 (S.I. 75 of 2022).pdf (size 887.3 KB)