A number of buildings have recently been added to the Protected Buildings List. The Development and Planning Authority (the DPA) is required by Law to prepare and maintain the List and to keep it under review. The DPA has been carrying out a review since 2012 to determine whether buildings should remain on the List and whether any other buildings should be added. Your building will have been added to the List as part of that review.

Buildings on the List are those with special interest, the preservation of whose character is, in the DPA's opinion, a matter of public importance. Protection is required as such buildings are a precious and limited resource and are powerful reminders of the traditions, work and way of life of earlier generations.

A building may be seen as having special interest for a number of reasons including the building's age, architecture, history, historical associations and demonstration of traditional crafts and skills.

The DPA will have carried out an assessment of your building against published criteria and concluded that it has sufficient special interest. If only part of a building has special interest, only that part should be protected.

Now that your building is a Protected Building, it does not mean that it cannot be changed in any way, but it does mean that the requirements for planning permission are more stringent than for a non-protected building. You must obtain planning permission for any alterations, extensions or changes, including some repairs. Any changes should preserve or enhance the special characteristics of the building.

If you do not agree that your building should be on the List, you have a right of appeal to the Planning Tribunal, but you have to act quickly as such appeals have to be made within 28 days of the notification of the DPA's decision.

If you are unsure whether your building should be added to the List, then you should seek professional advice as soon as possible.