The number of planning applications in Laois has increased by more than a third in 2021 so far, compared to a year ago.
There were 176 valid applications made to Laois County Council in the first quarter, up to April 8.
Last year as the Covid pandemic hit, there were 131 applications over the same period.
This year 124 have been granted so far.
Seven have been refused. Another 39 were returned to the applicant after being deemed as invalid.
The council has so far given 118 free pre planning meetings up to April 8, held by phone to comply with Covid-19 restrictions, with a wait time of two weeks for applicants.
Meanwhile the council has spent €8,559 so far in legal fees enforcing planning laws this year and recouped over €6,500 in costs and fees.
It investigated 37 new cases following complaints, served 44 warning letters and 31 enforcement notices.
There were 17 cases in court, one resolved in court, 40 cases closed, and 166 still on the system. Nine retention applications were received following council action.