This blog follows a number of enquiries to create additional living space for family members returning home from abroad or in-laws moving in. The term being used to describe the space being added to a family home is a “family flat”, replacing the more restrictive (and probably less PC) term “granny flat”.

The following information is taken from guidelines given by the Dublin Area local authorities which can be found on their individual Development Plans (see links below).

A family flat is usually an extension to the side or back of an existing home that results in the creation of a sub-division of a dwelling to accommodate a member(s) of the immediate family for a limited period.




Firstly, it should be said the Councils’ are favourably disposed to these developments though in most cases planning permission is required. The use of this space as an independent flat is for a temporary period and the space should be returned to a single dwelling unit once no longer required. The area should not exceed 50% of the floor area of the main dwelling or 60 SQM.The family flat must be interlinked internally to the main dwelling.

The local authorities are quite strict that any external door to the new family flat should be located to the side or rear of the new unit rather than to the front of the house.

It is important that a planning application submitted to the Council should include information explaining why a family flat is needed. The name of the proposed occupant and their relationship to the householder should also be included. In other words, make a good case as to the relationship of the proposed occupant and the necessity of the arrangement.

As the option of a family flat is a significant and long-term investment, it is worth talking to your local authority to discuss and also feel free to contact us.

We recommend having a look at the below links to discover more about the area.