Built Heritage & Conservation

In the interests of safeguarding cultural and built heritage over 2000 structures have been identified for their contribution to the heritage in our city and county and have been designated ‘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 or technical point of view. 

The Record of Protected Structures (RPS) is a list of the buildings held by a Local Authority which contains buildings considered to be of special interest in its operational area. 

Section 51 (of the 2000 Act) requires that the development plan shall include a Record of Protected Structures and that the Record shall include every structure which is, in the opinion of the Planning Authority, of special interest. 

The protection of a Protected Structure also extends to and includes all parts of the structure, including its interior, all 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 of a Protected Structure or of any structure on land around it.  Each owner and occupier of a Protected Structure is legally obliged to ensure that the structure is maintained and safeguarded from endangerment.   

Each owner and occupier has an obligation to ensure that a Protected Structure or any element of a Protected Structure is not endangered through harm, decay or damage, whether over a short or long period, through neglect or through direct or indirect means. 

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

However, 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 or may become endangered.
  • Require an owner or an 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 under the scheme of grants 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 ptructure, 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. A Declaration from the Local Authority is necessary as to the type of works which would or would not materially affect the character of the structure. 

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Protected Structures List

A list of the Protected Structures in the city can be found in the Limerick City Development Plan 2010-2016 and a list of the Protected Structures in the county can be found in the Limerick County Development Plan 2010-2016.

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Architectural Conservation Areas

Section 57 Declaration

Section 57 of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (As Amended), allows for the owner or occupier of a Protected Structure or a Proposed Protected Structure to make a written request to the Planning Authority to issue 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
Conservation Officer
Limerick City and County Council
Dooradoyle Road
Dooradoyle
Limerick V94 WV78

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

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 or technical interest, or that contributes 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. 

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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Further Reading

  • Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (An Roinn Tithíochta, Pleanála, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiύil), 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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Historic Structures Fund 2019

A new measure, the Historic Structures Fund has now replaced the Structures at Risk Fund (which was originally introduced as an emergency response to the suspension of the wide range of measures available to owners and custodians of our built heritage because of the financial crisis).

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 great need of investment to ensure their preservation and continued use so that they remain a living part of our history and community life into the future. This new Scheme will focus primarily on the conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public. 

For more information about the Historic Structures Fund, click here.

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Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2019

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is conservation works to protected structures, proposed protected structures, and structures within architectural conservation areas.

The Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht has made provision for a further round of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme to assist owners and occupiers of recognised heritage buildings and structures undertake conservation works to their properties. 

For more information about the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2019, click here.

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This service is provided by

Planning and Environmental Services Department

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