People who have not yet sanctioned irregularities at their properties have been given an extra year to do so, with the Planning Authority extending its regularisation scheme for another year. 

Fees to regularise properties will remain the same for the additional year, the Planning Authority said in a statement on Wednesday which cited “overwhelming” demand from applicants. 

More than 13,000 submissions have been filed to regularise illegal properties since the PA scheme was introduced in 2016.

The scheme was originally expected to expire this summer, with a legal notice stipulating a 25 per cent increase in fees for any further extensions. That increase requirement has now been waived. 

The regularisation scheme allows property owners to pay a fine to regularise illegal properties that fall foul of existing planning laws and policies.  The intention, the PA has repeatedly said, is to provide a means of allowing such properties to be bought and sold. 

Properties must be within development zones and irregularities must not be a nuisance to neighbours or the public for them to be eligible for regularisation. 
Of the roughly 13,000 applications submitted, just under 12,000 have been approved. 

The resulting fines generated nearly €29 million in income for the Planning Authority, which uses 70 per cent of the funds for community schemes such as Irrestawra Darek – a financial aid scheme aimed at helping property owners cover restoration costs – and 20 per cent going towards the Development Planning Fund, which is used by local councils to improve public facilities in towns and villages.