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Apply for planning

This section details the procedure of making an application, the types of permission you can apply for, and the information required for the application to be processed.

 The Planning System is complex, difficult and frustrating, even for those most familiar with it. This complexity and difficulty is multiplied many times for the unfamiliar and it is into this category that the vast majority of those who apply for planning permission in this county fall. It is often a good idea to meet a planning officer for an informal discussion before you submit an application.

Pre-application advice is encouraged as it can:

  • Verify the list of local requirements each planning authority can require, read more about local needs
  • Reduce the likelihood of submitting invalid applications
  • Help you understand how rural design guidelines and other requirements affect your proposals.

Apply for:

Permission for a development

Is sought where an applicant wishes to obtain permission. Full details and plans must be submitted. Permission lasts 5 years beginning on the date of the grant of permission, unless the permission states an alternative time period. Development must be completed inside this time frame.

Outline permission for a development

Is generally sought where an applicant wishes to find out whether planning permission would be granted for a particular development, but may not wish to incur the expense of having detailed plans drawn. The grant of an outline permission means that the planning authority agrees, in principle, to the proposed development on a particular site but does not permit the carrying out of any works. As specified in Section 36 (3) (a) of the 2000 Planning and Development Act as amended, ‘where outline permission has been granted by a planning authority, any subsequent application for permission must be made not later than 3 years beginning on the date of the grant of outline permission, or such longer period, not exceeding 5 years, as may be specified by the planning authority.’

An outline permission may not be made for:

  • Retention of development
  • Carrying out of works to a protected structure or proposed protected structure or development requiring an integrated pollution prevention and control licence, waste licence or Environmental Impact Statement (E.I.S.)
  • Provision of, or modification to, an establishment to which the European Communities (control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances) Regulations 2006.
Permission consequent on the grant of an outline permission

Is sought where an outline permission has already been granted. Detailed plans and specifications must be submitted.

Permission for retention of an unauthorised development

Is sought where the applicant already has carried out a development without grant of permission and wishes to retain it.

No planning application, which is the same as a planning application subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála on the same site, shall be made to the planning authority before:

  • The Board has made its decision on the appeal
  • The appeal is withdrawn, or
  • The appeal is dismissed by the Board.

Mandatory documents

As a minimum, you must provide the following documents for your application to be validated

  • A completed planning application form.
  • Correct planning application fee. You can also download a guide to the fees for planning applications in Westmeath
  • Copy of public site notice. The site notice is placed on site for 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the planning application. You must replace it if it gets damaged or removed as your application could be invalidated. It should be placed where the site meets the public road and be clearly visible to public. 
  • Site location map (6 copies). This should be an Ordinance Survey map and scaled not less than 1:1000 (urban areas) and 1:2500 (rural areas).  The site application must be outlined clearly in red, additional ownership in blue, wayleaves in yellow.
  • Site Layout Plan (Block Plan/ Site Plan) (6 copies) The scale should be not less than 1:500 (or other if previously agreed).  Mark site application in red, show all relevant features, distances from boundaries, position of site notice/s, levels/ contours where applicable.
  • Copy of original newspaper notice in  List of Approved Newspapers You must lodge the application within 2 weeks of the newspaper publication date. 

You can download a guide to the fees for planning applications in Westmeath.

The revenue from fees contributes towards the cost to the local authority of handling applications and the fee is not refundable unless the application is invalid.

Once we have received your application it will validate it within its normal workflow processes and time scales.

See our guide to the planning application process for more information.

Search for:

Current and approved planning applications determined by us are held on our planning portal.

Not all documents and plans for applications submitted before December 1995  are available. If you require information that's not available email planning@westmeathcoco.ie


is development for which planning permission is not required. Categories of exempted development are set out in planning law (see 2000 Planning Act (as amended) and 2001 – 2013 Planning Regulations) The purpose of exemption is to avoid controls on developments of a minor nature, such as a small extension to a house. Reference must be made to the legislation to ensure that the development falls within the exemption thresholds/limits. If the particular development exceeds the thresholds/limits listed, the development requires permission.

Section 5 Declarations

Under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, a person can seek a formal declaration from the planning authority to establish if there is a requirement for planning permission for a specific proposal. You must submit details in writing and forward it along with a site location map, a fee of €80.00, and as much detail as possible outlining your proposal (drawings, photos etc,) A decision will issue in four weeks, and the applicant may appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Section 5 Application Form (44kB)

Foirm Iarratais Maidir Le Dearbhú Alt 5 (1,504kB)  

Fees payable

Scale Of Fees (36kB)

Contribution Schemes

The Local Government (Planning & Development) Act, 1963 enabled planning authorities to grant planning permission subject to conditions requiring payment of a contribution towards expenditure incurred or proposed to be incurred by it in respect of works to facilitate the proposed development.

The Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended) provides for a new system for levying development contributions in order to increase its flexibility and the range of infrastructure that can be funded by this mechanism. For further information please read the documents below:


 Westmeath Development Contribution Scheme 2013-2020 (27,045kB)