About Planning Workshop

Why Work With Us?


Planning Workshop was founded by Declan Commons (BA Hons MSc) in 2005. Declan’s career and education in the built environment spans Architecture, Planning and Environmental Engineering in Ireland, the UK and Sweden. Declan founded this practice  to deliver a level of design, planning professionalism and sustainability in projects that only a truly committed team can bring. The ‘workshop’ philosophy of this company allows clients, technicians, regulators and creatives to interact together to find the optimum solution. Our method works.

Planning Workshop believe in giving clients design, planning advice and sustainable building expertise in the one service package, which means real value for you the client. Based in Dublin and Galway, with head office at the Innovation Hub at NUI Galway, PW have a broad network of experts in specialised fields that we draw upon as projects require.

Design Process

The approach I have developed, considers each project and each clients needs anew, with a fresh pair of eyes that brings out the best solutions and value for money. This is true whether we are working on traditional style homes or on a funky café or office fit-out. Clients have real constraints on their spending now, and deserve attention to detail and commitment to delivering on budget, on time, with style. Our typical process is outlined below, but the stages and cost of same can be tailored to each project:

Step 1. Initial Client meeting:

To inspect the land or buildings, and discuss client needs. Typically there is charge a small fee to cover travel and time on this initial consultation.


Step 2. The Brief or Wish List:

Continue discussions and through tried and tested methods help our clients develop their ‘brief’ or ‘wish-list’ for the project. At this point I can propose the most appropriate input and our fee schedule to suit the clients budget. Large or small, I welcome your challenge to make your budget work

Step 3. Survey and Sketches:

1/3 of proposed fee is required as deposit for Site Survey & draw up existing plans, sections and elevations. From this I can generate drawing studies of various layout options to compare and choose from. Preferred layouts will be further worked to ACAD drawings package, including exciting 3D models of proposal to assist in visualising the design, and assessing sunlight/shadow implications.

Step 4. Review V1

You the client are presented possible options and get to select and input into the creative process. I return to the drawing board with your comments and revise

Step 5. Review V2

You the client are presented with revised drawings incorporating all your input from previous review discussions. Again comments and preferences are recorded for future revisions.

Step 6. Pre-Planning Meeting

If planning permission is required, then I take these developed conceptual drawings and 3Ds for presentation to the local planning authority, where your case is presented on your behalf. PW have an excellent track record in negotiating with planning authorities, and in gaining favourable planning decisions. 1/3 of proposed fee is required post-planning meeting.

Step 7. Review V3

After the pre-planning meeting, drawings and planning package are further revised and finessed for final submission. Comments and changes from previous meeting with clients are incorporated, as are those necessitated by the planning authority. You the client are presented with revised drawings for your approval.

Step 8. Submit Plans

Full drawings package and planning documentation are submitted for planning permission, including relevant public notices and professional planning covering report supporting the application case. Balance of fees are to be paid.

Client Views

Here we are a couple of months into using our new extension. We can hardly believe how good it is, and getting all the praise for it from various neighbours, friends and family feels very good too. It is so nice and warm and the way it opens us out to the garden now that all the trees and flowers are coming on is just great. If you are passing , give us a shout and come in for a cuppa. You really should see it without all the building junk and now that the grass has recovered.

It was a great pleasure to do business with you. The whole project was a very interesting experience, it was a bit stressful but looking back on it we see that it was really completed quite quickly. The whole interplay between us all went without a cross word. All the different characters we met in the course of it were interesting and good to have in our house (as indeed you had predicted). I will be keeping an eye on your website to see what you and the Planning Workshop are getting up to. Regards and good luck with the website and all the rest of it.
Moira and Pádraig Laffan, Blackrock, Dublin

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