"I speak for the building, as the building has no voice"

See below for more information on the following subjects

  • Planning For Protected Structures
  • Listed Buildings
  • Protected Structures
  • Architectural Conservation Areas
  • Protected Views
  • National Monuments
  • Ministerial Consent
  • Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment (AHIA)
  • Conservation Engineering
  • GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant

Planning for Protected Structures

If you have a Protected Structure, or even a proposed Protected Structure, any works to that building or any building within its curtilage (this is the area surrounding the building that would be reasonably associated with that building) may require planning permission. The planning process for a Protected Structure is similar to that for a non protected structure but additional information is needed together with additional copies of drawings and reports. The completed application will be then assessed by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DoCHG) for how well it protects the architectural heritage that has been identified in the building. Thus the entire application needs to reflect the protection of the heritage elements of the structure and measures to satisfy this requirement should be part of the process from the outset and not be tacked on at the end.

Listed Buildings

In Ireland, under the present planning law, what is sometimes called a listed building is now known as a Protected Structure.
There are other forms of protection that can be applied to buildings, these include:
Architectural Conservation Areas, Protected Views, National Monument status, Recorded Monument status and Protection Orders.

Protected Structures

When a building is made into a Protected Structure because it has been identified as being of Architectural, Historic, Artistic, Technical, Cultural or Archaeological significance, it is placed on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) as part of the local Council's County Development Plan which is published from time to time. In order to be placed on the RPS, a process of notification is carried out; of the owners, the DoCHG together with publication of intention to protect, followed by a similar notification of the decision to protect. It is possible to suggest buildings for protection and object to protection.
Once a building is protected it then becomes the legal responsibility of the owner to protect it from decay and damage.
Grants are sometimes available to help with this protection, usually from the local council. If you would like to be notified when grants become available please send me an email and I will add you to the mailing list. Grants are usually advertised in the autumn or winter and there is a short time to apply, it is worth getting prepared with plans and permissions in advance.

Architectural Conservation Areas

When a council decides that an area is of Architectural, Historic, Artistic, Technical, Cultural or Archaeological significance or that it contributes to the appreciation of a protected structure, it may make it into an Architectural Protection Area (ACA). The process to create an ACA does not require the same notification to individual owners as the creation of a protected structure. ACAs are listed, defined and justified in the Local Area Plan.
Carrying out exterior works within an ACA would not normally be classed as exempted development if they materially change the character of the area, even if they would be classed as exempted in other areas. Thus planning permission would be required for many even quite minor exterior works.

Protected Views

When a council decides that a view is of Architectuural, Historic, Artistic, Technical, Cultural or Archaeological significance or that it contributes to the appreciation of a protected structure then it may make it into a Protected View. The process to create a Protected View does not require the same notification to individual owners as the creation of a protected structure. Protected Views are listed, defined and justified in the Local Area Plan.
Carrying out exterior works within a Protected View would not normally be classed as exempted development if they materially change the character of the area, even if they would be classed as exempted in other areas. Thus planning permission would be required for many even quite minor exterior works.

National Monuments

Josepha Madigan TD, The Minister for the Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is responsible for the protection of our archaeological heritage, including the licensing of archaeological excavations, through the exercise of powers under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004.

Monuments are protected under the National Monuments Acts in a number of ways:

  • National monuments can be in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority;
  • National monuments can be subject to a preservation order;
  • Historic monuments or archaeological areas recorded in the Register of Historic Monuments;
  • Monuments recorded in the Record of Monuments and Places.

When the owner or occupier of a property, or any other person proposes to carry out, or to cause, or to permit the carrying out of any work at or in relation to a Recorded Monument they are required to give notice in writing to the Minister 2 months before commencing that work. This is to allow the National Monuments Service time consider the proposed works and how best to proceed to further the protection of the monument.

Ministerial Consent

For, or near to, National Monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority or which are subject to a preservation order, the prior written consent of the Minister is required for any works at or in proximity to the monument.

Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments (AHIA)

An AHIA is required by most Councils for any planning application that concerns development of a Protected Structure or Monument.
As described in Architectural Heritage Protection - Guidelines for Planning Authorities published by DoCHG in 2004 an AHIA consists of:

  • Core Data, which is any data relevant to the building or site that describes its situation, its level of protection.
  • Description of the building
  • Analysis of the structure
  • Drawings, Maps and Photographs.
  • Impact Assessment.
  • Recomendations and Conclusions.

It is a requirement that the authors of the AHIA are appropriately qualified in the eyes of the planning authority. This does not necessarily mean an Architect has to be involved only a person with suitable competence or expertise. James Powell has sufficent training and experience to satisfy this requirement.


Conservation Engineering.

Where engineering work is required for Heritage buildings, it is vital that the Engineer is trained in Conservation. There are often a number of different ways to approach any structural problem, where heritage buildings are concerned it is all too easy to take decisions and put foward proposals that do not sufficently consider the implications for the conservation of the heritage.


GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant

An annual grants scheme for the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings and related structures for farmers in the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/traditiona... usually open for applicants in the autumn.

To avail of this grant you must be a farmer who is in the GLAS Scheme, and the building must be within the GLAS registered farm. Grant amounts can be between €4,000 and €25,000 and will cover no more than 75% of the cost of the works. The grant is available for the conservation of traditional farm outbuildings, including roofs, walls, structural repairs, windows and doors. The grant is also available for other related farm structures including historic yard surfaces, walls, gate pillars and gates. The grant is advertised towards the end of each year and application details can be found on the Heritage Council website. If you want help filling out the form please contact us. You will have to specify a Conservation Consultant on the application and please feel free to use my name. You do not need to employ us if you are awarded the grant but you will need to pay a consultant to prepare Method Statements, progress and completion reports etc.