Over 1,300 historic structures in Dublin left unprotected due to council delay in protecting them

Just 49 structures were added to the record in Dublin city between 2014 and 2017.

Hundreds of historic structures across Dublin could be under threat because of a delay in assessing their suitability to be included on the Record of Protected Structures.

A meeting of Dublin City Council's Planning and Property Development SPC this evening will hear that more than structures are awaiting assessment by the council's Conservation Section - writes dublinlive.ie.

The Record of Protected Structures includes structures - for example buildings, statues, or bridges - which have architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, social, scientific or technical importance.

Almost 8,700 structures are on the record in Dublin City, including Trinity College and the GPO, while the three Dublin county councils have around 3,290 structures combined on their records.

However, between 2014 and 2017, only 49 structures were added to the record in Dublin city, 19 of which were recommended by the Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.

According to John O'Hara, a planning officer with Dublin City Council, just two officers work for the Conservation Research section, which is responsible for assessing structures.

Mr O'Hara said the work of the two officers - one of whom is employed part-time - prioritises the assessment of exemptions surrounding protected structures, giving general conservation advice, and the management of grant schemes.

He added: "The assessment of additions to and deletions from the RPS are undertaken in the time remaining or are undertaken by conservation consultants in a number of instances, under the supervision of the Conservation Research Officers."

To help alleviate the backlog, Mr O'Hara suggesting that batches of structures awaiting assessment could be brought forward in the next City Development Plan.

He said: "These could be proposed for addition on an area basis (postal code and Area Committee) under the review of the existing Development Plan, which will commence in 2020."

Alternatively, Mr O'Hara suggested that large numbers of assessment reports could be processed by architectural consultants instead.

However, he admitted this option would be constrained by the small size, operation capacities and budgetary considerations of conservation consultancy firms.

The council will discuss measures to alleviate the backlog this evening.

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