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What is a Protected Structure?

A protected structure is a structure that is considered to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical point of view and which has been included on the Record of Protected Structures. It can form part of a structure or be a group of structures.

The purpose of including structures or parts of structures on the RPS is to ensure that any works which, in the opinion of the Council, have a material effect on the character of the structure require planning permission. This ensures that potential changes or alterations to the character of the structure would be carried out in such a way that the existing character is retained.

Record of Protected Structures

In County Cavan there are 899 structures listed on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The RPS is a list of structures held by Cavan County Council, which contains structures/ buildings considered to be of special interest in the County. The RPS forms part of the Cavan County Development Plan Incorporating a Local Area Plan for Cavan Town 2022-2028. The development plan is available to view at the local libraries and the Planning Office at Farnham Centre, Cavan, or can be downloaded below.

Once a structure is listed on the RPS as a Protected Structure, the designation includes the structure itself, its interior, the surrounding land or ‘curtilage’ of the structure, or any other structure (including boundaries) within the curtilage, their interiors and all fixtures and features of the structures. It can also include certain features in the attendant grounds. All features which contribute to the character and special interest of a protected structure are considered protected.



Link to Cavan County Development Plan 2022 - 2028

What is the curtilage?

Curtilage is not defined by legislation, but as set out in the Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines it can be taken to be the parcel of land immediately associated with that structure and which is (or was) in use for the purposes of the structure.
The extent of the curtilage will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Carrying out works to a Protected Structure

Certain works that are normally considered exempted development may require planning permission when carried out to a protected structure. When carrying out works to a protected structure, the planning authority must be contacted to determine if they require planning permission.

Declarations - Section 57

Under Section 57 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, (as amended by the 2002 Act), an owner or occupier of a protected structure may 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 a protected structure. Within twelve weeks of receiving a request, the Planning Authority is required to issue a declaration. No fee is required in this case. Download the Section 57 application form here.

  • A register of Declarations is kept for public display by the Planning Authority

  • The record on public display will contain general information regarding the structure and list the items which will and will not require planning permission

  • A Declaration can cover the entire building or relate to specific items of change that the owner may be considering


Works that will require Planning Permission

Where clarification is required contact the Planning Authority


Sample external works

  • Roofs - Works resulting in damage to or removal of chimneys, existing slates and rainwater goods.

  • Walls - Removal of render, repointing or capping with unsuitable materials.

  • Openings - Alterations to structural openings, replacement of original or early surviving doors or windows.

  • Extensions - The building of any new extensions.


Sample internal works

  • Removal of or damage to internal joinery, plasterwork or fireplaces

  • New openings between rooms

  • Alterations to the layout or form of stairwells

  • Installation of internal mechanical services - re-wiring, re-plumbing

  • Installation of dry-lining

  • Formation of ramps and the provision of universal access

  • Alteration of floor levels and / or the insertion of suspended ceilings

Works that will not require Planning Permission

Where clarification is required contact the Planning Authority.

  • Repair and maintenance works carried out in accordance with the 'Conservation Guidelines' by the Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government

  • Repairs to roof, re-fixing loose slates with existing where possible and using good quality natural slate where required

  • Repair of existing windows or joinery, retaining as much of the original fabric as possible

  • The application of paint or wallpaper and the repair of damaged plasterwork in compatible materials to match existing

  • Minor alterations to services

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