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Written Answers - Architectural Heritage

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 322.  Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  in view of recent reports that many historic buildings in Dublin are in danger of falling into dereliction due to funding cuts, the actions are being taken to remedy this deterioration; if he will provide a list of the buildings at risk and the repairs that are needed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23745/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan My Department is responsible for the legislative framework, general policy development and promotional awareness of Ireland’s built heritage. My Department also provides some limited funding for the built heritage directly or through the OPW and local Government. Some €2,005,000 has been provided in this year’s Estimates for built heritage capital. My Department provides funding to the Heritage Council which in turn supports many heritage projects throughout the country. My Department is providing a total of €4,811,000 of Exchequer Funding for the Heritage Council in 2012, together with €1,500,000 from my Department’s share of the Environment Fund. Under the architectural heritage provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000, each planning authority is required to include in its development plan a Record of Protected Structures. Details of the buildings in Dublin included in this Record would be available from Dublin City Council.

In relation to protected structures, section 59 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides for a planning authority to serve notice to require works to be carried out in relation to endangerment of such structures. On the basis of information provided by Dublin City Council, 16 notices were served in 2008, 17 in 2009, two in 2010 and eight in 2011. It should be noted that my Department does not maintain a list of buildings at risk. In 2011, my Department set up an Expert Advisory Committee representing key stakeholders to review the operation of Part IV (Architectural Heritage) of the Planning and Development Act 2000. This review includes an examination of how the legislation is operating in practice regarding the protection and management of architectural heritage from a central and local government perspective and the need, in the light of current economic circumstances, to consider alternative ways of supporting the conservation of protected structures.

[419]In the context of the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015, my Department is developing various policy actions which can contribute to the protection and appropriate reuse of our built heritage and seek to deal with ongoing strategic objectives indirectly affecting our architectural heritage, such as climate change, adaptive reuse for historic properties and a forward plan-led approach to cultural heritage and urban design in our towns and cities. The scope to provide additional funding for the protection, conservation and development of the State’s built heritage is constrained by the current national economic difficulties and the significant reduction in the public finances. However, my Department will continue to provide funding for the protection, conservation and development of our built heritage, in so far as resources allow.

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