Planning and Development Act, 2000
Works affecting character of protected structures or proposed protected structures.
57.—(1) Notwithstanding section 4 (1)(h), the carrying out of works to a protected structure, or a proposed protected structure, shall be exempted development only if those works would not materially affect the character of—
(a) the structure, or
(b) any element of the structure which contributes to its special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.
(2) An owner or occupier of a protected structure may make a written request to the planning authority, within whose functional area that structure is situated, 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 of any element, referred to in subsection (1)(b), of that structure.
(3) Within 12 weeks after receiving a request under subsection (2), or within such other period as may be prescribed, a planning authority shall issue a declaration under this section to the person who made the request.
(4) Before issuing a declaration under this section, a planning authority shall have regard to—
(a) any guidelines issued under section 52 , and
(b) any recommendations made to the authority under section 53 .
(5) If the declaration relates to a protected structure that is regularly used as a place of public worship, the planning authority
(a) in addition to having regard to the guidelines and recommendations referred to in subsection (4), shall respect liturgical requirements, and
(b) for the purpose of ascertaining those requirements shall—
(i) comply with any guidelines concerning consultation which may be issued by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, or
(ii) if no such guidelines are issued, consult with such person or body as the planning authority considers appropriate.
(6) When considering an application for permission for the development of land under section 34 which—
(a) relates to the interior of a protected structure, and
(b) is regularly used as a place of public worship,
the planning authority, and the Board on appeal, shall, in addition to any other requirements of the Act, respect liturgical requirements.
(7) A planning authority may at any time review a declaration issued under this section but the review shall not affect any works carried out in reliance on the declaration prior to the review.
(8) A planning authority shall cause—
(a) the details of any declaration issued by that authority under this section to be entered on the register kept by the authority under section 7 , and
(b) a copy of the declaration to be made available for inspection by members of the public during office hours, at the office of the authority, following the issue of the declaration.
(9) A declaration under this section shall not prejudice the application of section 5 to any question that arises as to what, in a particular case, is or is not exempted development.
(10) (a) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a planning authority or the Board on appeal—
(i) in considering any application for permission in relation to a protected structure, shall have regard to the protected status of the structure, or
(ii) in considering any application for permission in relation to a proposed protected structure, shall have regard to the fact that it is proposed to add the structure to a record of protected structures.
(b) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall not grant permission for the demolition of a protected structure or proposed protected structure, save in exceptional circumstances.