Caution: RIAI warn “short form” commencement notices invalid?

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following guidance was issued to RIAI practices on May 19th 2014 regarding commencement notices for projects where SI9 does not apply, correcting previous guidance issued. We are not sure whether this indicates “short form” commencement notices lodged since March 1st 2014 up to this point will be deemed invalid.

We noted in a previous post that “…174 of the 327 commencement notices appear to be the short form for small works“. The listing of BCMS Commencement Notices (where Certifier appointments are do not apply- see link here) indicates that a significant number of these notices have been validated (seemingly in error) by building control authorities throughout the country.

If this RIAI clarification is correct it would appear that incorrect short form notices are still available on the following County Councils: Carlow, South dublin, Waterford City and Mayo (selection checked- pdf’s attached).

Here is an extract from the recent RIAI Practice guide:


The RIAI understood that there would be a “short” form of Commencement Notice (S.I. 494 of 1997) for use after the 1st March 2014, where the building project did not come under the remit of S.I. 9 of 2014.

That form of Commencement Notice has been superseded.  Page 13 of SI 9 of 2014 states:
“Amendment of Second Schedule to the Principal Regulations 15. The Principal Regulations are amended by substituting for the Second Schedule the following.”

Therefore the Statutory Certificates detailed within the Second Schedule of SI  496 of 1997 are substituted by the Statutory Certificates detailed in the Second Schedule of SI 9 of 2014.

There is now a new single Commencement Notice form. This form must be used for all Commencement Notices, whether they are under the remit of BC(A)R 2104, or not.

We are advised that the old form of Commencement Notice cannot be used anymore, and if used will be deemed to be invalid.

FAQ revised text:
5. Q.: If planning permission is obtained for an extension to the side of an existing dwelling and is less than 40 sq. metres, does BC(A)R 2104 apply?

A.: Because planning permission was obtained it is necessary to issue a Commencement Notice. In such circumstances the Commencement Notice must be in accordance with the “Form of Commencement Notice” as per Article 15 of SI 9 of 2014. Only the relevant parts of the “Commencement Notice for Development” need be completed.

The new Commencement Notice must be signed by the Building Owner.

Currently the BCMS system does not have the functionality to electronically submit Commencement Notices only, but at the moment a downloaded version of the Commencement Notice only is available through the BCMS site, accessed through before you log into the system.


Links to a selection of “Short Form” commencement notices in use:

PDF Carlow County  Council “short form” (LINK HERE): Carlow short form

PDF Mayo County  Council “short form” (LINK HERE): mayo short form

PDF Waterford City  Council “short form” (LINK HERE): waterford city commencement notice

PDF South Dublin County Council “short form” (LINK HERE): sdcc short form