Thursday, 8 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
148. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands the number of heritage houses in County Kildare which are the subject matter of preservation orders or are listed buildings; the plans she has for the future of such buildings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27329/01]
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): Under the provisions of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999, each planning authority shall, for the purpose of protecting structures, or parts of structures, which are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest, include in its development plan a record of protected structures within its functional area. The number of structures that are so protected in County Kildare is a matter for the planning authorities there.
This legislation places a duty of care on the owners of protected structures and also gives planning authorities enhanced powers, not only to deal with development proposals affecting them, but also to safeguard their future. This is the proper framework for the protection of our architectural heritage.
The protection afforded under the planning Acts covers both the interior and exterior of the  protected structures and, in the absence of a declaration from the planning authority outlining any works which are exempted development, any future building works will require planning permission. Planning applications received by local authorities relating to any protected structure must be forwarded to my Department for observations. The strength of these provisions is sufficient to safeguard the architectural integrity of the protected structures in County Kildare.
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