Built Heritage & Architectural Conservation

In the interests of safeguarding cultural and built heritage over 2000 structures have been formally identified for their contribution to the heritage of our city and county and have been designated as ‘Protected Structures’ under section 51 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Amended).

What is a Protected Structure?

A Protected Structure is a structure which is considered to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social and/or technical point of view. 

The Record of Protected Structures (RPS) is a list of the buildings and features maintained by your Local Authority which details sites considered to be of special interest. 

Section 51 (of the 2000 Act) requires that the Limerick Development Plan includes a Record of Protected Structures and that the Record includes every site which is, in the opinion of the Planning Authority, of special interest. 

The protection of a Protected Structure also extends to all parts of the structure, including its interior, land around it (curtilage), and any other structures on that land. The obligation also applies to all fixtures and fittings forming part of the interior and exterior of a Protected Structure or of any structure on land around it. Each owner and/or occupier of a Protected Structure is legally obliged to ensure that the structure is cared for and safeguarded from endangerment.   

The obligation to ensure that a Protected Structure or any element of a Protected Structure is not endangered extends to causing harm, decay or damage, whether over a short or long period, through neglect or through direct or indirect means. 

The Planning Authority has greater powers under the Planning & Development Act 2000 (As Amended) to enforce the protection of structures entered on the Record of Protected Structures.

These powers are generally only used in exceptional circumstances when all other avenues have failed. The Planning Authority may:

  • Require an owner or an occupier of a Protected Structure to carry out works if it considers that the structure is endangered.
  • Require an owner or occupier of a Protected Structure to carry out works if it considers that the character of the structure ought to be restored.
  • Acquire, by agreement or compulsorily, a Protected Structure if it considers that this is desirable or necessary in relation to the protection of the structure. 
  • Where a Local Authority requires works to be carried out to prevent a Protected Structure from becoming or continuing to be endangered, the owner or occupier concerned may be eligible for a grant through the schemes available for the conservation of Protected Structures.

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Works to a Protected Structure

The effect of the designation of Protected Structure status is to ensure that any changes or alterations to the character of the building are carried out in such a way that the existing special character is retained and enhanced. 

Therefore works which would, in the opinion of Limerick City and County Council, have a material effect on the character of the structure require planning permission.  

Under the planning system, many minor works to structures do not normally require planning permission. These works are known as exempted development. However, for a protected structure, such works can be carried out without planning permission only if the works would not affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure that contributes to its special interest. 

Depending on the nature of the structure, planning permission could, for example, be required for interior decorating such as plastering or painting previously unpainted exteriors. A Declaration may be sought from the Council to obtain guidance as to the type of works which would or would not materially affect the character of the structure. See below for further information. 

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The Record of Protected Structures

The Record of Protected Structures can be found in the Limerick City Development Plan 2010-2016 and in the Limerick County Development Plan 2010-2016. These plans are currently being reviewed during the preparation of the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028.

Section 57 Declaration

Section 57 of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (As Amended), allows for the owner or occupier of a Protected Structure to make a written request to the Planning Authority seeking a declaration as to the type of works which it considers would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure, thereby clarifying which works would be considered exempted development.

To apply for a Section 57 Declaration contact:

Tom Cassidy
Architectural Conservation Officer
Limerick City and County Council
Dooradoyle Road
Dooradoyle
Limerick V94 WV78

Phone: +353 61 556367
Email: conservation@limerick.ie

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Architectural Conservation Areas

An Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) is a place, area, group of structures or townscape, taking account of building lines and heights, that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social and/or technical interest, or areas that contribute to the appreciation of a protected structure and whose character is an objective of a development plan to preserve. 

Limerick's historic areas can be protected by means of Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA’s) under Section 81 of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (As Amended). The aim of designating areas is to protect their special characteristics and distinctive features from inappropriate actions. 

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The Record of Monuments & Places

Archaeological remains are a non-renewable resource, therefore it is essential that they are properly safe-guarded and managed. A variety of different types of development may affect archaeological remains. These include new buildings, modifications and extensions to existing buildings, the construction of car-parks, road surfaces and the installation of services. 

It is the policy of Limerick City and County Council to protect and enhance the special heritage values, unique characteristics and distinctive features from inappropriate external works. 

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Limerick City Walls Conservation and Management Plan

To view the Limerick City Walls Conservation and Management Plan click here
To view the conservation plan you will need to download the DjVu Viewer, click here.

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Kilmallock Town Walls Conservation and Management Plan

To view the Kilmallock Town Walls Conservation and Management Plan, click here.

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Further Reading

  • Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, click here.
  • The Irish Georgian Society click here.
  • The Heritage Council of Ireland click here.
  • National Inventory of Architectural Heritage click here.
  • Engineering the Past to Meet the Needs of the Future: best practice installation of mechanical and electrical services into historic buildings click here.

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Grant Aid

The Minister for Heritage has made provision for further rounds of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, the Historic Structures Fund to assist owners and occupiers of recognised heritage buildings and structures undertake conservation works to their properties. The Community Monuments Fund is now available for sites entered onto the Record of Monuments and Places which is maintained by the State under the 1930 National Monuments Act. 

The Community Monuments Fund is now available for sites entered onto The Record of Monuments and Places which is maintained by the State under the 1930 National Monuments Act.

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Built Heritage Investment Scheme

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme assists conservation works to Protected Structures, Proposed Protected Structures within Architectural Conservation Areas, sites identified being of significance by the national inventry of Architectural Heritage, or other sites of merit on a case by case basis.

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Historic Structures Fund

The Historic Structures Fund recognises that Ireland’s historic buildings and structures combine to provide us with a valuable and unique built environment. Many of these are in need of investment to ensure their preservation and continued use so that they remain a living part of our community life into the future. This Scheme focuses primarily on the conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public. 

Click here for more information about the Historic Structures Fund.

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Community Monuments Fund

The monies available through this measure are to assist appropriate works to Archaeological Monuments that are included in the Record of Monuments and Places under the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) and/ or identified in the Sites and Monuments Record compiled by the National Monuments Service.

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Tax Breaks

The Living City Initiative

Certain areas of King's Island and the Georgian core of Newtown Pery qualify for this generous measure. Currently, qualifying works to conserve, extend, improve and upgrade buildings that meet certain criteria must be completed by 31st December 2022.

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This service is provided by

Planning Development

Phone +353 61 556000
Location
Limerick City and County Council, Dooradoyle, Limerick V94 XF67