An Bord Pleanála

Time limits, decision time periods and our services over Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020

    About this guide

    This guide provides information about:

    • the 2019 Christmas and New Year holiday period in An Bord Pleanála,
    • how the nine days of Christmas and New Year holidays (from 24 December to 1 January inclusive) can affect you making appeals, applications, observations, requests, submissions with us and the Board’s time period to make decisions,
    • what the two important rules are on time limits and time periods over Christmas and New Year and examples of how the rules work and how they affect cases,
    • our opening hours over the period and when you can view decided case files.

    Below there are handy tables to help you work out the last day to make an appeal on a planning decision over the Christmas and New Year period. We have also included examples that will help you figure out relevant dates for you about cases.

    We have tried to make this guide as accurate and helpful as possible, however, it is not legal advice. NALA has awarded this document its Plain English Mark

    The full PDF guide can be downloaded here [PDF, 388 KB]

    Contents

    Our opening hours over Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020
    Introduction
    Time rules used over Christmas and New Year
    Planning and Development Acts Cases
    Handy calendar of last dates to make a planning appeal (November 2019 to January 2020)
    Building Control Acts and Water Pollution Acts cases
    Time periods for deciding cases
    Viewing decided case files: Public access
    Further information about your case
    Legislation
    Contact Us

    ❆ Our opening hours over Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020 ❆

    Monday 23 December

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Tuesday 24 December

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Wednesday 25 December ❆

    Closed ❆

    Thursday 26 December ❆

    Closed ❆

    Friday 27 December ❆

    Closed ❆

    Monday 30 December

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Tuesday 31 December

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Wednesday 1 January ❆

    Closed ❆

    Thursday 2 January

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Friday 3 January

    9.15am - 5.30pm

    Introduction

    Over Christmas 2019 and the New Year period, An Bord Pleanála will be closed on four days. These days are:

    • Wednesday 25 December 2019
    • Thursday 26 December 2019
    • Friday 27 December 2019, and
    • Wednesday 1 January 2020.

    On the days we are open, you can still make appeals, applications, referrals and observations, submissions and request oral hearings. You can also view decided case files in our office, and our staff are available to answer any questions you may have.

    The holiday period between 24 December and 1 January affects:

    • the time limits when you can send or deliver documents to us,
    • the time period the Board has to make a decision on your case, and
    • the time limits in statutory notice letters we may have sent to you.

    Before we explain what happens between 24 December and 1 January inclusive (nine days), we need to explain two important rules which affect time limits and time periods. These are:

    1. the holiday period rule, and
    2. the weekend rule.

    These rules are explained below.

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    Time rules used over Christmas and New Year

    1. Holiday Period Rule

    Under the Planning and Development Acts, the holiday period is the following nine days (shaded in the calendar picture below):
    • 24 December
    • 25 December
    • 26 December
    • 27 December
    • 28 December
    • 29 December
    • 30 December
    • 31 December
    • 1 January

    Calendar picture showing the nine days of the holiday period rule

    During the holiday period, we are open on three days:

    • 24 December
    • 30 December
    • 31 December

    Note: Even though we are open on these days, the holiday period rule below still applies.

    How the holiday period rule affects time limits for the public.

    If you are due to make or want to make:

    • an appeal,
    • an application,
    • an observation,
    • a request,
    • a submission, or
    • anything else

    to An Bord Pleanála on any of these nine days, the holiday period rule gives you an extra nine days after the due date to send or deliver your item.

    Example: if the planning authority makes its decision on a case on 28 November, the last date for an appeal would be Wednesday 25 December. However, that is one of the days in the holiday period, so nine days are added after the due date of 25 December leaving the revised date of Friday 3 January.

    Calendar picture showing that if the planning authority makes its decision on a case on 28 November, the last date for an appeal would be Wednesday 25 December. However, that is one of the days in the holiday period, so nine days are added after the due date of 25 December leaving the revised date of Friday 3 January which is highlighted by a red box.

    How the holiday period rules affects time limits for An Bord Pleanála.

    The Board has a target to make decisions within 18-weeks of a case being received. This timeframe is known as the ‘statutory objective period’.

    The holiday period rule affects this statutory objective period from the Board’s perspective, as it is given extra time to make a decision in addition to the normal 18-weeks. Depending on what day in the holiday period the Board was due to make a decision, between one and nine extra days will be added to the time period it has to make a decision.

    Example: If a decision was due on 30 December, seven extra days will be added to the holiday period as 30 December is one of the holiday period days. The decision is now due on Wednesday 8 January.

    If the Board is due to make a decision after the Christmas and New Year period on a case but the 18-week statutory objective period includes the holiday period, nine extra days will be added to the time period the Board has to make a decision (see time period for deciding cases example 1 and example 2).

    2. Weekend Rule

    If the last date for us to receive documents is on a Saturday, Sunday, public holiday or other day when our office is closed, we can receive it by 5.30pm on the next working day that our office is open.

    Example: if you are due to send or deliver something on Saturday 4 January, the next working day you can send or deliver your item will be Monday 6 January.

    Do both these rules apply to all cases handled by An Bord Pleanála?

    When calculating time limits over Christmas 2019 and New Year, the rules that apply depend on the relevant Act as you see in table below.

    Under the:

    The rules that apply to these cases are …

    Planning and Development Acts …

    … the holiday period rule and the weekend rule apply – in that order. (See timeframe example 2 or example 3.)

    Building Control Acts and Water Pollution Acts …

    only the weekend rule applies.

    The following describes how the holiday period rule and weekend rule apply first to Planning and Development Acts cases. They include a very useful calendar. After this we describe, how only the weekend rule applies to the Building Control Acts and Water Pollution Acts.

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    Planning and Development Acts cases

    What do the holiday period rule and weekend rule apply to?
    Both these rules apply if you want to make:

    What happens between 24 December and 1 January?

    From 24 December to 1 January, the holiday period rule will apply to time limits and time periods. The weekend rule will also apply if the revised last day is a Saturday or Sunday.

    Can I still send or deliver items to An Bord Pleanála during Christmas and New Year?

    Yes, you can still send or deliver your items to us during Christmas and New Year on the days we are open – Tuesday 24 December, Monday 30 December and Tuesday 31 December. You do not have to wait until after the holiday period to send or deliver your item if you wish. You must follow all the statutory requirements to make a valid appeal, application, observation, request or submission. This means you need to please check the relevant guide carefully.

    Important note 1

    Remember, do not place your appeal, application, observation or request in the letterbox of our office and do not email it to us as your appeal, application, observation or request will be invalid.

    For submissions on appeal documents you have received from us, please follow the advice in the letter you have received from us or contact us for further help.

    My appeal should be due to be received on Tuesday 31 December 2019 which is one of the days you are open over the holidays. Does this mean I have to submit on that date?
    No. Even though we are working on 24, 30 and 31 December, anyone with an appeal (or other items in the list) which should be due to be received on these dates benefits from the extra time allowed under the holiday rule. These three days are treated as holidays when the rule is being applied. Therefore, if your appeal is due on Tuesday 31 December 2019, your revised date after the rule is applied is Thursday 9 January 2020.

    Important note 2

    It is extremely important to note, though, that this is the only time in the year when an appeal or other item normally due on a working day we are open is allowed to have the deadline extended. This is only allowed because of the holiday period rule.

    Examples

    Three timeframe examples for planning appeal cases
    Example 1
    I want to make an appeal. The planning authority made the decision on the planning application on Wednesday 27 November 2019.
    The time limit to make your appeal is Thursday 2 January 2020.

    Why?

    1. For a decision made on Wednesday 27 November 2019, the last day of the four-week period would be Tuesday 24 December 2019.
    2. Tuesday 24 December is a day in the holiday period you add extra nine days after 24 December to get the last day to make an appeal. This is even though we are open on 24 December.
    3. The last day to receive this appeal is Thursday 2 January 2020.
    4. Calendar picture showing the date of 27 November selected and the last day to receive this appeal is Thursday 2 January 2020 which is highlighted by a red box.
    Example 2
    I want to make an observation on a planning appeal. An Bord Pleanála received the last appeal on Friday 6 December 2019.
    The time limit to make your observation is Monday 13 January 2020.

    Why?

    1. If the last planning appeal is received on Friday 6 December 2019 and you want to make an observation, the last day of the four-week period would be Thursday 2 January 2020.
    2. This four-week period includes all nine days of the holiday period.
    3. We add nine extra days to the last day for making an observation to An Bord Pleanála which gives a date of Saturday 11 January 2020, but
    4. … we are closed on Saturday 11 January 2020, so the last day to make an observation is on the next working day An Bord Pleanála is open. In this example, this is Monday 13 January 2020.

    In this example, both the holiday period rule and weekend rule are used. First, the holiday period rule is applied; then the weekend rule.

    Calendar picture which shows the date of 6 December selected and the time limit to make your observation in this example is Monday 13 January 2020 which highlighted by a red box
    Example 3
    An Bord Pleanála has sent me a copy of an appeal on Friday 20 December 2019 and I want to make a submission on it.
    The time limit for you to make a submission on the appeal is Monday 27 January 2020.

    Why?

    1. If we write to you with a copy of an appeal on Friday 20 December and you want to make a submission, the last day of the four-week period would be Thursday 16 January 2020.
    2. This four-week period includes all nine days of the holiday period.
    3. The last day to make a submission is nine extra days after Thursday 16 January 2020. This is Saturday 25 January when we are closed.
    4. The weekend rule applies and the last day to make your submission is the next working day our office is open which is Monday 27 January 2020.

    In this example, both the holiday period rule and weekend rule are used. First, the holiday period rule is applied; then the weekend rule.

    Calendar picture which shows 20 December selected and that the time limit for you to make a submission on the appeal in this example is Monday 27 January 2020 which is highlighted by a red box.
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    Handy calendar of last dates to make a planning appeal (November 2019 to January 2020)

    The handy tables below can help you work out the last day to make an appeal when the planning authority has made a decision on and between: Monday 25 November 2019 and Friday 3 January 2020 (but it does not cover weekends). This table applies the holiday period rule and weekend rule when they are needed.

    To find out the last date to make an appeal on a planning authority decision:

    1. Find the date that the planning authority made its decision on the planning application in the left-hand column of the relevant table.
    2. Then go across to the right to see the last date you can make an appeal to us. Remember we are open from 9.15am to 5.30pm on the day shown.

    Example: The first table below shows that when a planning authority makes its decision on Monday 25 November, then your last date to make an appeal is Monday 23 December 2019.

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 25 November 2019

    Monday 23 December 2019

    Tuesday 26 November 2019

    Monday 23 December 2019

    Wednesday 27 November 2019

    Thursday 2 January 2020

    Thursday 28 November 2019

    Friday 3 January 2020

    Friday 29 November 2019

    Monday 6 January 2020

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 2 December 2019

    Tuesday 7 January 2020

    Tuesday 3 December 2019

    Wednesday 8 January 2020

    Wednesday 4 December 2019

    Thursday 9 January 2020

    Thursday 5 December 2019

    Friday 10 January 2020

    Friday 6 December 2019

    Monday 13 January 2020

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 9 December 2019

    Tuesday 14 January 2020

    Tuesday 10 December 2019

    Wednesday 15 January 2020

    Wednesday 11 December 2019

    Thursday 16 January 2020

    Thursday 12 December 2019

    Friday 17 January 2020

    Friday 13 December 2019

    Monday 20 January 2020

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 16 December 2019

    Tuesday 21 January 2020

    Tuesday 17 December 2019

    Wednesday 22 January 2020

    Wednesday 18 December 2019

    Thursday 23 January 2020

    Thursday 19 December 2019

    Friday 24 January 2020

    Friday 20 December 2019

    Monday 27 January 2020

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 23 December 2019

    Tuesday 28 January 2020

    Tuesday 24 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Wednesday 25 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Thursday 26 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Friday 27 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Planning authority makes a decision on planning application

    Last date to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála

    Monday 30 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Tuesday 31 December 2019

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Wednesday 1 January 2020

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Thursday 2 January 2020

    Wednesday 29 January 2020

    Friday 3 January 2020

    Thursday 30 January 2020
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    Building Control Acts and Water Pollution Acts cases

    Christmas and New Year also affects appeals under the Building Control Acts and Water Pollution Acts.

    There is an important difference to time limits on these cases compared to planning appeals and applications. The holiday period rule does not apply on a case under the Building Control Acts or the Water Pollution Acts.

    Only the weekend rule applies to time limits on these cases.

    Example
    I want to make an appeal on a fire safety certificate decision. The building control authority made the decision on the application on Tuesday 26 November 2019.
    The time limit for you to make your appeal is Monday 30 December 2019.


    Why?

    1. For a decision made on Tuesday 26 November 2019, the last day of the one-month period would be Wednesday 25 December 2019.
    2. We are closed on Wednesday 25 December 2019. The weekend rule is used and the last day to make an appeal is the next working day our office is open.
    3. The last day to receive this appeal is Monday 30 December 2019.
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    Time period for deciding cases

    This section outlines the time period for deciding each of the following:

    1. Planning and Development Acts cases, and
    2. Building Control Acts cases and Water Pollution cases.

    1. Planning and Development Acts Cases

    For Planning and Development Acts cases, the amount of time (statutory objective period) the Board has to make a decision on the case will be increased by up to nine days if it is with An Bord Pleanála during the holiday period.

    Three examples of planning cases
    Example 1
    My appeal was made on Tuesday 27 August 2019. The statutory objective period (18-weeks) target date should be Monday 30 December 2019.
    The decide by date for your appeal is Wednesday 8 January 2020.


    Why?

    • Without the holiday period, your case would due to be decided by the Board by Monday 30 December 2019. However, the eighteen-week statutory objective period to decide this case includes seven days of the holiday period.
    • These seven additional days start after the end of the holiday period, so the decide by date for this appeal is Wednesday 8 January 2020.
    Example 2
    The appeal was made on Wednesday 30 October 2019. The statutory objective period target date should be Tuesday 3 March 2020.
    The decide by date for the appeal is Thursday 12 March 2020.


    Why?

    • Without the holiday period, the case would due to be decided by the Board by Tuesday 3 March 2020. However, the 18-weeks statutory objective period to decide this case includes all nine days of the holiday period.
    • These nine additional days are included in the time period for this case, so the decide by date for this appeal is Thursday 12 March 2020.
    Example 3
    The strategic housing application was made on Friday 18 October 2019 and the 16-week statutory objective period decide by date should be Thursday 6 February 2020.
    The decide by date for the application is Monday 17 February 2020.


    Why?

    • Without the holiday period, the case would due to be decided by the Board by Thursday 6 February 2020. However, the 16-weeks statutory objective period to decide this strategic housing case includes all nine days of the holiday period.
    • These nine additional days are included in the time period for this case, so the decide by date for this appeal is Monday 17 February 2020. (Nine days after 6 February is 15 February which is a Saturday, so the weekend rule applies.)

    2. Building Control Acts cases and Water Pollution Acts cases

    If the case is under the Building Control Acts or the Water Pollution Acts, there is no holiday period rule. Therefore, Christmas and New Year will not affect the statutory objective period, the normal period of four months will continue to apply.

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    Viewing decided case files: Public access

    You can view decided case files through our public access service over Christmas and New Year on days that we are open. This service is free.

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    Further information about your case

    To get further information about how your case is affected by the Christmas and New Year period, please contact us.

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    Legislation

    The laws and regulations referred to in this document are:

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    Contact us

    If you want a copy of this document in a different format or if you need more information, please contact An Bord Pleanála.

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    Last updated: November 2019.



Last modified: 26/11/2019