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What is a pre-planning consultation?

The planning process can be complex and difficult to understand, particularly for those who may be unfamiliar with the system. The purpose of pre-planning consultation is to afford the opportunity to an applicant for planning permission to seek advice from the Planning Authority on the proposed development in terms of the procedures involved in considering a planning application.  A planner will not advise, based on the documents submitted with a pre-planning request, that a proposal will receive planning permission.

As stated in Section 247 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended), “In any consultations under subsection (1), the Planning Authority shall advise the person concerned of the procedures involved in considering a planning application, including any requirements of the permission regulations, and shall, as far as possible, indicate the relevant objectives of the development plan which may have a bearing on the decision of the Planning Authority”.

The system as a whole is designed to be objective, open and fair. Planners are obliged to explain to applicants, and potential applicants, the Planning Authority’s policies in relation to particular areas of the county and the considerations taken into account in dealing with particular classes of applications e.g. housing, retail, commercial etc.

It should be noted that pre-planning consultation requests should relate to a specific proposal for a specific site / land. Those that are speculative in the sense that they refer to lands/ property with the applicant requesting advice in general, together with queries relating to sites that are up for auction and seeking advice for “development potential” for their lands cannot be dealt with by the Planning Authority. 

Advice given

It should be noted that any advice is given in good faith and without prejudice to the formal consideration of any subsequent planning application. Article 247 (3) of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 2000 (as amended) states that “the carrying out of consultations shall not prejudice the performance by a Planning Authority of any other of its functions under this Act, or any regulations made under this Act and cannot be relied upon in the formal planning process or in legal proceedings.” Formal consideration of a planning application is necessarily more extensive than consideration at the pre-application stage because of consideration of any internal technical reports e.g. environment section or submissions from third parties or prescribed bodies.

Format of Pre-Planning consultations

It is not typically necessary to hold an in-person meeting. Alternative formats make most efficient use of limited staff resources, allow more pre-planning consultations to be facilitated and reduce time and cost for the applicant. Advice may be given via email correspondence, telephone call, or video call via Microsoft Teams.

Pre-Planning Clinics for One-Off Rural Houses

Kildare County Council offers a limited number of appointments for in-person pre-planning consultation meetings for proposed one-off rural houses. These are facilitated on the last Thursday of each month (excluding August and December) re-commencing January 25th 2024. Please note the following:

  • The meeting will take place with one Planner. Please note representatives from other Service Departments (Roads, Environment, Water Services etc.) will not be present.
  • The purpose of the meeting is not to conduct an assessment of an applicant’s rural housing need (“local need”).
  • Meeting duration will be strictly limited to 15 minutes. If a further or more in-depth meeting is required, this will be faciliated through a seperate request to
  • A maximum of 3 people may attend. Attendees must be notified to Kildare County Council in advance. Children may not attend.
  • The use of mobile phones and the consumption of food/beverages is not permitted during the meeting.
  • Meetings are formal in nature and must be conducted in a manner which ensures dignity and respect in the workplace.
  • Applications close on the Friday preceeding the clinic.

To book an appointment at a monthly clinic, please complete and submit the relevant application form (link below) to
Appointments are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If all relevant documents are not submitted, we will be unable to faciliate your appointment.

Pre-Planning meetings for Largescale Residential Developments

Pre-planning meetings for Largescale Residential Developments shall be dealt with in accordance with the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016.