We bought this old house in 2007. It was in a sorry state so it was reduced to a shell and rebuilt. The large open area of the downstairs (stabling, storage, the usual) was converted into bedrooms, which was the main source of its illegality. Our builder had assured us that as all the work was happening within the original footprint of the house then a 'small licence' was all we needed. This sounded right and was certainly how he'd approached similar projects for the other ex-pats that we knew in the area.
Unfortunately the laws passed in 2011/13 showed him to be wrong, as the change of use from storage to living areas meant we needed the full licence all along.
Thus started a process that lasted over 6 years and cost us over €10k, not to mention interminable worry and the waste of our time and effort. Well, the papers have finally been issued, and very impressive they are. When we get the hard copy versions I'll be straight to a lawyer to get them verified
If you hear of anyone who's planning to cut corners with renovations or added structures then you might want to have a quiet word. Several expat couples and individuals in these parts are setting out on the same course as us after hearing our tale of woe, and I don't envy them. Still, at least the 'architectural committee' actually exists here these days, whereas we had to wait 2 years for it even to be formed