9.3.2 Architectural Heritage

Closed22 Dec, 2020, 09:00 - 12 Mar, 2021, 17:00
9.3.2 Architectural Heritage​​​​​​ Record of Protected Structures

Protecting architectural heritage is an important function of the planning authority.  A Development Plan must include policy objectives to protect structures or parts of structures of special interest.  The primary means of achieving this is to include a Record of Protected Structures (RPS) for the functional area within the development plan.  A planning authority is obliged to include in the RPS every structure, which, in its opinion, is of architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest. 

A protected structure, unless otherwise stated in the RPS, includes the interior and exterior of the structure, land lying within the curtilage, any other structures lying within that curtilage[1] and their interiors, plus all fixtures and features which form a part of the interior or exterior of any of these structures.

Works which would, in the opinion of the planning authority, have a material effect on the character of the protected structure require planning permission.  Those with an interest in a protected structure may seek a Declaration under Section 57(2) which would offer practical guidance in relation to the protection of the structure.  Section 57(10)(b) of the Planning and Development 2000 provides that permission may only be granted for the demolition of a protected structure in exceptional circumstances.  

There are now approximately 1,400 (City and County) buildings, structures and features listed in the RPS. The RPS (as correct at time of publication) is listed in Appendix I of this written statement.  To ensure the protection of the County’s architectural heritage, the Council will promote the importance of regular maintenance of structures contained within the Record of Protected Structures. Information is available to owners of protected structures through the Architectural Conservation Office of the Council, while useful information and advice is also provided on the Council’s website.  The Council will promote best practice and principles in conservation of the built heritage through the custodianship of Protected Structures in the Council’s ownership/care.  The Council administer and manage conservation grants for the repair and safeguarding of Kilkenny’s architectural heritage[2]. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey for Kilkenny was published in 2006[3].  The planning authority is obliged to consider for inclusion in its Record of Protected Structures any buildings rated as being of Regional, National or International importance by the NIAH and to consider including structures rated of local importance.  The Council are continuing to process, on a phased basis, the addition to the RPS of NIAH buildings recommended for inclusion by the Minister.  While structures on this Inventory await assessment for inclusion in the RPS, Kilkenny County Council will have regard to the heritage value of such structures in the context of any development proposals.

It is Council Policy to ensure the protection of architectural heritage by including all structures considered to be of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest in the Record of Protected Structures.


9F           To provide assistance to owners of protected structures in undertaking essential repairs and maintenance by the provision of relevant information. 

9G          To respond to the Ministerial recommendation to include in the RPS, structures which have been identified as being of Regional, National or International significance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage survey and to consider for inclusion those rated as being of local significance. 

9H          To continue to review the Record of Protected Structures and add or delete structures as appropriate.

9I            To ensure all digital mapping for the Record of Protected Structures is up to date and current, and readily accessible to the public.

Development Management Requirements:

  • To have regard to the Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines[4] when assessing proposals for development affecting a protected structure and buildings listed in the NIAH.
  • To encourage the sympathetic retention, reuse and rehabilitation of protected structures and their setting, while ensuring the involvement of suitably qualified professionals
  • To ensure proposed service upgrades undertake an initial assessment of current services, to ensure the internal environment and fabric is not impacted on by such works. Energy assessments and Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments may be required where energy and service upgrades are proposed. 
  • To ensure proposed development within the curtilage or attendant grounds of a protected structure respects the protected structure and its setting,
  • To require an architectural impact assessment where appropriate for developments within the grounds of country house estates which are Protected Structures. 
  • To promote principles of best practice in conservation in terms of use of appropriate materials, repair techniques, and thermal upgrades by adhering to the guidelines as set out in Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s Advice Series publications
  • To promote best conservation principles and practice when assessing proposals for Kilkenny’s architectural heritage
  • To ensure that energy upgrades for buildings constructed from traditional materials are respectful of architectural features, form, and environmental requirements necessary to maintain breathability in the structure.


[1] Curtilage is defined as the area of ground that is directly connected with the functioning or inhabitation of the structure. The Heritage Council -What is curtilage?

[3] www.buildingsofireland.ie

[4] Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 2004