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Do I need planning permission for a log cabin in Ireland?

Planning permission for a log cabin

Do I need planning permission for a log cabin in Ireland?

Your first step when considering going for planning permission for a log cabin is to go to the planners and ask the big question:

“Can I build a Scandinavian-style cabin on my site?”

What are the planners looking for?

There are two major issues your local planner will have with your chosen log cabin:

  1. It has timber on the exterior.

  2. It does not have enough insulation.

So, show them the page with your chosen log cabin (e.g., our current favourite three-bed, the ADARE.) Suggest to them that you will put 150mm of external insulation on this cabin, and see if they will pass it then.

There are three other points you can expect your planner to bring up when looking for planning permission for a log cabin:

  1. All window sills may need to align. (In effect, this might mean you will need to enlarge the bathroom window)
  2. An extra entrance might be required, depending on the size and layout of your log cabin.
  3. The verandah/overhang might not fit in with the style of housing in the area.

Any other tips when applying for planning permission for a log cabin?

Do not say it is a LOG CABIN. Say you want to build a timber frame home in the  Scandinavian style. Planners baulk when people ask about “planning permission for a log cabin“, and for good reason. Many inferior-quality log cabins have been built in Ireland, with only single walls, without weather-boards on the corners, and on poor foundations.

It’s frustrating when a “contemporary” building gets planning permission, but when someone applies for planning permission for a log cabin, they’re often told that the Scandinavian look doesn’t match “with the vernacular”…

Timber Living Timber Frame Buildings

If you’re going for planning permission, we can build you a timber frame home, with the same footprint as any of our log cabins.

Take a look at our page on Timber Frame houses, which features three models:

  • The Connacht, which is modelled on the Limerick Log Cabin
  • The Leinster, which is modelled on the Tullow log cabin
  • The Barrow, which is a new design, three bed timber-frame home.

What’s the difference between a log cabin and a timber frame?

The difference between log cabins and timber frames is all in the walls, floor and roof. The two key factors are insulation level and exterior finish. There’s a lot more insulation in a timber frame building (although we never get any complaints about the insulation levels in our log cabins – seems 100mm of insulation and 75mm of timber is sufficient for most people’s needs).

The other major difference is that you’ll struggle to get an engineer to pass the construction for your mortgage application. So, if you’re going for a mortgage, you need to talk to your engineer first about the design of our timber frame walls.

We asked ChatGPT about applying for planning permission for a log cabin…

As expected, some of it was quite generic:

In Ireland, the need for planning permission for a log cabin depends on various factors such as the size of the cabin, its location, and the local planning regulations. I should note that as an AI, I don’t have real-time information on the latest updates to planning laws and regulations in specific areas, so it’s important to consult with the relevant local authorities or a qualified professional to get accurate and up-to-date information.

But there was some useful information:

In general, planning permission is typically required for any new construction or substantial modifications to existing structures, including log cabins. However, there are some exemptions and allowances that may apply in certain cases. For example, if the log cabin falls within certain size limits (such as under 25 square meters) and is not intended for permanent habitation, it may be exempt from planning permission.

This next point was very good, and appertains to what we wrote at the start of this article:

It’s crucial to check with your local planning department or the appropriate local authority, such as the county council, to determine the specific requirements and regulations for log cabins in your area. They can provide you with the most accurate information based on your location, as planning rules can vary across different regions in Ireland.

Additionally, if you are part of a housing development or a specific neighbourhood, there may be additional rules or guidelines that you need to adhere to. It’s always best to consult with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with all regulations before proceeding with any construction project.

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