Protected Structures and Architectural Conservation

Conservation Office

Conservation Office, Planning Section

Location: County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny

Telephone: 056 779 4010 - planning office


Architectural Conservation Officer, Francis Coady

Architectural Conservation Officer: Francis Coady

Telephone: 056 779 4376


Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny R95 A39T.


Record of Protected Structures 2018

As part of the review of Record of Protected Structures in Kilkenny, The Conservation Office of Kilkenny Council have added 18 structures to, and deleted 1 structure from, the Record of Protected Structures.
Additions and deletion may be viewed here

RPS 18 Additions and 1 Deletion 19th Feb 2018.pdf (size 589.5 KB)

Historic Structures Fund 2019

As part of The Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 - 2027, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the has announced the Historic Structures Fund for 2019 with a total (countrywide) fund available of €1,824,000. This Historic Structures Fund replaces the previous Structures at Risk Fund: the primary focus will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public.

Apply for Historic Structures Fund 2019

Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2019

The Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced the Built Heritage Investment Scheme for 2019 with a total (countrywide) fund available of €2,500,000.

The Scheme is to aid works to protected structures, proposed protected structures and structures in Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA), or within the amenity of a National Monument. It advised that applicants familiarise themselves with the attached Guidance Circular, and, Qualifying and Non Qualifying works. Full details of the scheme and application form are available at the links below.

Apply for Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2019


Records of Protected Structures (RPS) in Kilkenny

The updating of the RPS is a function of the Conservation Officer. The Record for both Kilkenny City and Environs and the County of Kilkenny may be amended by the addition or deletion of entries to or from the RPS. Please click on the links below for complete listings of the RPS in the relevant area.

Record of Protected Structures Kilkenny City And Environs 2014.pdf (size 715.9 KB)

Record of Protected Structures Kilkenny County Rps 2014.pdf (size 2 MB)


The Government has taken significant steps towards the conservation of architectural heritage through the introduction of comprehensive and systematic legislative provisions included in the Planning and Development Act 2000, Part IV.

Advice Series from The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

The following downloads contain information on the maintenance and restoration of older/historic buildings:

Architectural Heritage Protection - Guidelines for Planning Authorities

Architectural Heritage Protection - Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2011) .pdf (size 7.5 MB)

Conservation Advice Series AHG

Access - Improving the Accessibility of Historic Buildings and Places (2011)..pdf (size 7.5 MB)

Bricks - A Guide to the Repair of Historic Brickwork (2009).pdf (size 6.4 MB)

Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings (2010).pdf (size 4.7 MB)

Iron - The Repair of Wrought and Cast Ironwork (2009) .pdf (size 6.2 MB)

Maintenance - A Guide to the Care of Older Buildings (2007) .pdf (size 729.9 KB)

Places of Worship - The Conservation of Places of Worship (2011) .pdf (size 1.6 MB)

Roofs - A Guide to the Repair of Historic Roofs (2010).pdf (size 4.9 MB)

Ruins - The Conservation and Repair of Masonry Ruins (2010) .pdf (size 4.6 MB)

Windows - A Guide to the Repair of Historic Windows (2007).pdf (size 823 KB)

Paving - The Conservation of Historic Ground Surfaces (2015).pdf (size 2.5 MB)

Thatch - A Guide to the Repair of Thatched Roofs (2015)..pdf (size 2.6 MB)


National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH)

The NIAH a unit of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government has completed the survey for County Kilkenny and descriptions and appraisals of over 2000 structures can be viewed on the NIAH website. The County Council uses this survey when assessing and revising the RPS. More info: Buildings of Ireland, the website of the NIAH


Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Protected Structures:

Why protect our architectural heritage?

Our architectural heritage is a unique and exceptional resource. Structures and places that have acquired character and special interest over time have cultural significance in a changing world. All of their parts have been tested by our climate, and those that have survived the process of decay, and the depredations of their users, have acquired economic, environmental and aesthetic value. If we enjoy the fruits of this inheritance, we have a duty to ensure that it is conserved, sympathetically reused, and passed on to our successors with its value intact.

Our architectural heritage consists not only of great artistic achievements, but also the everyday works of craftsmanship of the past. The creative challenge faced by custodians of this heritage is to find appropriate ways to prolong its cultural life, satisfying the requirements of a structure to be safe, stable and durable on the one hand, and retaining its character and fabric of special interest the other.

What is a protected structure?
A protected structure is a structure that a planning authority considers to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social, or technical point of view. Every planning authority is obliged to have a Record of Protected Structures (RPS) that includes all structures of special interest in its functional area and into which details of protected structures are entered. The RPS forms part of the Development Plan.

The legislation to introduce the concept of protected structures was the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999, replacing the previous system for protecting and preserving structures by listing them in development plans. All the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts from 1963 to 2015 have now been consolidated in the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2015. Part IV of 2000 Act deals with Architectural Heritage and incorporates the provisions of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999

How does a building become a protected structure?
As stated above, structures that are of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social, or technical point of view are proposed for inclusion in the RPS. Anyone can recommend a building for protection, but the decision to include structures in the RPS can only be made by the elected members of the planning authority. The planning authority must notify the owners and occupiers of the proposed protected structure, the Minister for Environment and Local Government, and other bodies of the proposal. Particulars of additions are put on public display for at least 6 weeks. During which time anyone, including the owner or occupier, is entitled to make comments on such a proposal to the planning authority. The authority is obliged to take these comments into consideration before its elected members decide, within 12 weeks of end of display period, whether or not the structure should be entered onto the RPS. Within two weeks of its decision, the planning authority must notify the owner and occupier of the structure of that decision.

While a structure is a proposed protected structure it has the same protection as a protected structure with regard to the duties and responsibilities of the owners and occupiers.

What obligations fall on owners and occupiers to ensure the protection of a protected structure?
Each owner and occupier must ensure that neither a protected structure, nor any element of a protected structure that contributes to its special interest, is endangered through harm, decay or damage, whether over a short or long period, through neglect, through direct or indirect means. This duty is the same for owners and occupiers of proposed protected structures. In general, if a structure is maintained in a habitable condition and routine maintenance carried out (e.g. cleaning out gutters, repair of slipped slates), then it should not become endangered.

The protection applies to all parts of the structure that contribute to its character and special interest, including its interior, surrounding land or 'curtilage', and any other structures on that land, and their interiors, and all fixtures and features of these structures.

Do special procedures apply to protected structures under the planning system? How does an owner or occupier know which works require planning permission?
Protected Structure status does not preclude development or alteration. However it does require the owner or occupier to consult with the planning authority, either through pre-application discussions, planning application process or declaration, to ensure that elements that make the structure significant are not lost during development.

If works are proposed to a Protected Structure a planning application is made in the usual way. However, there are some additional requirements. Because it is necessary for an application to show how a proposed development would affect the character of the structure, the application may need to be more detailed than an ordinary application and include extra drawings, photographs and other material to explain the proposals. Please refer to Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines (see below for link) for more information about the additional documentation required when submitting a planning application for a protected structure.

Certain works that are normally considered exempted development may require planning permission when taking place on a protected structure, if those works would affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure that contributes to its special interest. An owner or occupier of a protected structure may ask the planning authority for a declaration indicating the types of works that could be carried out without materially affecting the character of the structure. These works would not require planning permission. Generally, in a declaration maintenance works carried out in accordance with the Department of the Environment Conservation Guidelines would be deemed not to materially affect the character of the structure and, therefore, would not require planning permission.

A planning authority will, in general, issue such a declaration within three months of receiving a request. There is no fee for this service.

Are there any measures in place to assist owners and occupiers to preserve a protected structure?
Yes. A conservation grant scheme is operated by planning authorities, to assist the owner or occupier of a protected structure to undertake necessary works to secure its building fabric. Each planning authority will have a Scheme of Priorities to assist them in assessing applications.

The standard grant is 50% of the approved cost of works, up to a maximum of €13,000. A planning authority may recommend, in exceptional circumstances, a grant of 75% of the approved cost of works, up to €25,000.

Full details of the Conservation Grant Scheme are available from your planning authority.

Do planning authorities have special powers in relation to protected structures?
Yes. The planning authority now has greater powers under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2015 to ensure the protection of structures listed in the RPS. However, these powers are generally only used in exceptional circumstances when all other avenues have failed.

A 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. The planning authority will specify the works it considers necessary.

The planning authority also has the power to carry out the works itself and recover its expenses from the owner or occupier. In exceptional circumstances a planning authority may acquire, by agreement or compulsorily, a protected structure if it considers that this is necessary to secure the protection of the structure.

Where a planning 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 grant assistance as described above.

There is provision in the 2000-2015 Acts to impose a substantial fine and/or prison term for those found guilty of damaging a protected structure.

For more information contact:

Kilkenny Local Authority's Architectural Conservation Officer: Francis Coady

Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny R95 A39T.

Telephone, Francis Coady: 056 779 4376



Tel: Conservation Office: 056-779 4010


Useful Publications

Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Traditional Building & Conservation Skills Register of Practitioners, Irish Georgian Society


Section 57 Declarations - A General Guide

A declaration for a Protected Structure sets out which categories of works require planning permission and which do not. It cannot give exemptions over and above those which would normally apply if the building were not a protected structure. Change of use of a structure will always require planning permission, for example, irrespective of whether the structure is a protected structure or not.

Protected structure status does not mean that a building or its features are 'preserved' and cannot ever be altered, only that such alterations may require planning permission.

What is being protected is the 'character' of the structure. Certain repair or reinstatement works may be exempt if carried out to an approved standard in a way which does not alter the character. These standards are described in outline in the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government Conservation Guidelines.

Usually, the following types of work require planning permission

(Depending on individual circumstances)

1. Extensions
The building of any extension attached to a protected structure requires planning permission.

2. Changes to the exterior appearance
Works which alter the exterior appearance of the building. These could involve the following:
Walls: repointing, refacing in an applied layer of masonry, brick, wood, plaster or paint, cleaning, damp-proofing, to any wall surface, front, sides or back

Roof: replacement of existing covering materials or rainwater goods, removal of chimneys or chimney pots, alteration of coping stones, gable or eaves parapets.

Openings: replacement of windows, painting or repair of windows, painting of sills, replacement of doors, renovation of fanlights, replacement of letterboxes or door ironmongery.

3. Changes to internal layout
Insertion of any fixed partitions, breaking out of new openings between rooms or spaces, insertion of new doors openings, formation of ramps and the provision of universal access.

4. Changes to the internal surfaces, finishes or linings
Replacement of internal joinery items (such as windows, doors, skirting boards, dado rails, panelling), replacement of integral floor coverings or structures, any works to plasterwork ceilings including work affecting cornices.

5. Installation or repair of internal mechanical services
Rewiring, re-plumbing, insertion of fire detection or security systems, equipment or fixtures, fixing of panelling, removal of fireplaces.

Works that would not usually require planning permission

In most cases, the following works do not require planning permission, unless stated otherwise in a particular declaration:

Painting or wallpapering

Routine maintenance:
Modest repairs to keep a building weather-tight, securing of existing elements of windows (but not replacement), the clearing of gutters and downpipes, gardening activities which do not disturb the sub-soil.

If you are uncertain whether works being considered require permission, please contact the Conservation Officer on (056) 7794010. You may be required to submit an application for a Section 57 Declaration

Section 57 Declaration Application Form.pdf (size 242.4 KB)

Related Links:

Applications Conservation Grants 2019

Applications for Conservation Grants 2019

Emergency Outside Office Hours

If you require the service of the Local Authority for an emergency outside of normal business hours please note the following:

Persons requiring the Fire Service for an emergency should Dial 112 and no other number

For all water related queries 1850 278 278 (Irish Water)

For any other emergency the public are advised to ring 1890 252654

Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny R95 A39T
Tel: +353 (0) 56 7794000 | Fax: +353 (0) 56 7794004
Email: | Emergency outside office hours: 1890 252 654
Water Queries : 1850 278 278 ( Irish Water )
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