Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby PVC King » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:54 pm

In fairness to what he said he said it would be cheaper to knock it and rebuild than retrofit damp proofing systems, use period materials etc; it is up to any individual to chose period over new even though period usually has a higher price but depreciates a lot more gracefully.


What I don't get is why if you want to do something that is obviously a major project why you won't simply pop down to the planning office and have a chat; no doubt most planners in local authorites are trying to justify their existance at the mo; you would be very very welcome.......
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:40 pm

PVC King wrote:Simon
When you get advice of that quality free; do not look a gift horse in the mouth. There have been enough people wiped out taking chances in recent years, unless you can fund the entire project from cash and can afford to lose it;


I totally appreciate the advice, and it has been very helpful. I'm just very frustrated with the idea that the council may well say no to me and condemn yet another of our cottages to dereliction.. I'm equally frustrated by some of the professionals on this thread, who many may go to for advice on these issues, expressing such an apathetic attitude toward the destruction of our rural heritage and showing such blind allegiance to an obviously flawed system...

PVC King wrote:What I don't get is why if you want to do something that is obviously a major project why you won't simply pop down to the planning office and have a chat; no doubt most planners in local authorites are trying to justify their existance at the mo; you would be very very welcome.......

I was thinking along the same lines myself, these people must be desperate for business to justify their numbers... So I'm expecting very happy faces.. I'm actually engaging with the local council at the moment on this issue, so do intend on keeping this all above board and hope to organise a pre-planning meeting in the coming months when I have some Idea where I stand..
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby vca » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:17 pm

vca wrote:The best advice I can give you is that you seek professional advice from a qualified and registered architect in order that the exact circumstances at your parents' site can be established. Check out http://www.riai.ie for architects in your area. It is likely that an initial site visit / assessment will cost very little if anything at all.

A lot has changed since the original planning application was made 15 years ago and the planning authority may now look favourably on the re-use and sensitive restoration of the old farmhouse.

Here is a link to the County Kildare Development Plan 2011-2017 Housing Policy and if you read section 4.12.1 it gives some idea of the considerations of the Planning Authorities on this issue.

http://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/Planning/DevelopmentPlans/PreparationoftheDraftCountyDevelopmentPlan2011-2017/DraftCountyDevelopmentPlan2011-2017/LinkToDocument,22016,en.pdf


Simon.D

You got a lot of great and free advice above (my own comment quoted) that is commensurate with your own objectives. I do not understand why you are now turning around and lambasting the very same people who were trying to help and guide you.

Do you mind me asking you what age are you? You are probably quite young if you are living at home with the Mammy on the farm and maybe you still have a lot to learn.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:45 pm

vca wrote:Simon.D
You got a lot of great and free advice above (my own comment quoted) that is commensurate with your own objectives. I do not understand why you are now turning around and lambasting the very same people who were trying to help and guide you.

I think lambasting is a bit strong a word, I suppose I'm just trying to return the favour and guide those on this thread who seem have little respect for the old buildings that "litter" our landscape and somewhat tackle the bulldoze mentality that is absolutely rife in this country, in major contrast to our british neighbours... (that, and I just like arguing)

vca wrote:Do you mind me asking you what age are you? You are probably quite young if you are living at home with the Mammy on the farm and maybe you still have a lot to learn.

We all have lots to learn, which is why I ventured on to this forum in the first place... But I'm on the good side of thirty if that helps you any...

Just to say, I really do appreciate the help, especially that paragraph in the linked document... So Thanks!
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby onq » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:26 am

Even fifteen years ago, local authorities had officers concerned with conservation.

If this building had any merit it would have been listed.

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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby tommyt » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:49 am

Shite shall surely settle this spat? what size are the percolation areas required for the existing and restored build?
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:34 am

Absolutely.

Simon, have a word with Kildare's conservation officer Peter Black. The conservation officer's opinion re the significance of the structure will be key to the planning authority making any decision to 'recommission' the house on the basis of architectural heritage merit. Mud, and partial mud, houses are very typical of Kildare and Leinster counties and are generally deemed to be of significance, particularly if your house is of the scale you are suggesting it is. I don't understand your waryness about getting it protected - either you want to do it right or you don't.

onq, nothing could be further from the truth in relation to a comprehensive record of architectural heritage. Every county, not withstanding the NIAH surveys - which were also limited in scope in the initial years - and especially in the case of vernacular dwellings, has an incomplete record of architectural heritage. Nothing should be taken for granted in this respect. Also, I often get the impression from your otherwise well-informed posts, that appointing a conservation architect to an historic structure solves one's problems. The regularly implied logic that the architect deals with their bit and the conservation architect deals with theirs, and never the twain shall meet, is a most uncomfortable concept and has been at the root cause of every conservation disaster in this country over the past decade. Secondly, conservation architecture in Ireland is still in its infancy - if anything, the growing numbers of Grade IIIs on the market of late to boost practices' profiles is of distinct concern in such a youthful sector - exposing historic structures to ill-informed works with an official stamp of approval. Still, let's be positive and view it as a stepping stone to a broader awareness.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:50 am

GrahamH wrote:Absolutely.

Simon, have a word with Kildare's conservation officer Peter Black. The conservation officer's opinion re the significance of the structure will be key to the planning authority making any decision to 'recommission' the house on the basis of architectural heritage merit. Mud, and partial mud, houses are very typical of Kildare and Leinster counties and are generally deemed to be of significance, particularly if your house is of the scale you are suggesting it is. I don't understand your waryness about getting it protected - either you want to do it right or you don't.


Thanks for that Graham.. Thats more or less what I was hoping, i.e. that a significant weight may be given, in acessing eligibility for permission, to heritage value, if I get the right people on side...

I've attached some photos which I think highlight this value... I've also attached an illustration showing the purpose of the jamb wall in supporting a large canopy style chimney made of wattle and daub, a feature I am hoping to recreate as can be seen in my own drawings of the house which are also attached...
Attachments
House.jpg
House.jpg (14 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
House2.jpg
House2.jpg (18.41 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
osi6- 1830.jpeg
osi6- 1830.jpeg (15.54 KiB) Viewed 3926 times
osi25-1910.jpeg
osi25-1910.jpeg (13.37 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
osi-2005.jpeg
osi-2005.jpeg (19.99 KiB) Viewed 3926 times
stonejambwall.jpg
stonejambwall.jpg (57.11 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
the mud.jpg
the mud.jpg (70.43 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
yard.jpg
yard.jpg (60.38 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
hearthdrawing.jpg
hearthdrawing.jpg (66.23 KiB) Viewed 3925 times
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby Tayto » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:00 pm

simon.d wrote:.................. Also, could it be classed as an agricultural building seeing as it's positioned on a working farm? i.e. I could be restoring the farmhouse to be a fancy chicken coop...Could that block demolition if it came to it? Does the agricultural aspect throw up any planning oppurtunities? (sic)


Please note that the relevant structure has been under consideration and described by Simon.d as :

1. A decommissioned farmhouse.
2. An agricultural outbuilding.
3. A fancy chicken coop.
4. A structure of such local and/or national architectural and historic significance that it is worthy of restoration and conservation with the full support of the architectural, planning and conservation authority,

Why don't you just go and pay someone to make a planning submission?
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:29 pm

Tayto wrote:Please note that the relevant structure has been under consideration and described by Simon.d as :

1. A decommissioned farmhouse.
2. An agricultural outbuilding.
3. A fancy chicken coop.
4. A structure of such local and/or national architectural and historic significance that it is worthy of restoration and conservation with the full support of the architectural, planning and conservation authority,

Why don't you just go and pay someone to make a planning submission?


Tayto - a crisp response as always.

sorry

I agree wholeheartedly FWIW

This, however, is a site that everyone should read regardless

http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/Resources/DOEHLGPublications/#d.en.137
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby pandaz7 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:59 pm

Can I ask why your parents didnt restore this building in the first place rather than build the big brash new house beside it?

Given that you say that we dont appreciate our built heritage surely its the attitude of people like them that is the problem here? When they applied for a "replacement" dwelling were they not then consigning this building to the scrapheap? Are they not the people you should be blaming rather than the local authority?
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:06 pm

pandaz7 wrote:Given that you say that we dont appreciate our built heritage surely its the attitude of people like them that is the problem here? When they applied for a "replacement" dwelling were they not then consigning this building to the scrapheap? Are they not the people you should be blaming rather than the local authority?


I agree that they are indeed apportioned some part of the blame here, though the buck does stop with the council me thinks.. I'm actually very glad they didn't go near the house as to be quite frank they would have made a mess out of it as both themselves and the professionals guiding them at time would have been clueless when confronted with clay walls and quite probably would have went with the decision to knock and rebuild with materials they were more comfortable ..
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby pandaz7 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:39 pm

I have a lot of smypathy with what you want to do, and your motives are good, but at the same time your parents basically applied to decomission this house and as a result get the benefit of a replacement dwelling, not an additional house. How can you now complain that the old house cant be brought to life? That ship has sailed; the opportunity has passed. How can the planners make an exception for your individual case? Every farmer in the country that got a replacement dwelling passed would be wanting to overhaul the old homestead that now has calves in it, leading to yet more unsustainable development. You cant have your cake and eat it.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:41 am

pandaz7 wrote:How can you now complain that the old house cant be brought to life? That ship has sailed; the opportunity has passed. How can the planners make an exception for your individual case?


I would hope planners would make exceptions in all similar cases to mine, whereby the decision determines whether a vernacular dwelling house is restored or left to fall into absolute disrepair... I think a decision formed simply on the basis you've outlined above is more a case of biting off your nose to spite your face...
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby teak » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:37 pm

Your situation is not dissimilar to many others, where a new house has been
built with the planners' proviso that the old house (sometimes also "condemned" for
ease of obtaining the permission for the new house) not be used as a dwelling again.
Lately, I saw such an old ruin on about half an acre and about 30 yds north of the new
one :mad: actually for sale at €200,000 with the implied suggestion that PP would be
no bother . . .
Incredibly, PP was restored to the old house. Reading the planning file, the architect
representing the present owner (and son of its original & now dceased owner) said that
the derelict house was part of an existing rural cluster and was well shrouded by its
surrounding trees.

But to your situation:-

You have one trump, at least, in that you are the son of the farm owner.
This - notwithstanding your having another off-farm job - will allow you to claim to be
a part-time farmer on your parents' farm.
This makes it very important to be close to the work, particularly if you have cows
calving or sows having banbhs. Obviously, it allows you to connect TV cameras in the byres
to a monitor in your bedroom -- saving you the bother of dressing and going out numerous
times during those nights when an animal is close to her time.

Clearly, there are other non-architectural points that ought count in your favour too.
For example, it is always desirable that parents have one of their family living close to
them as they advance in years.
And you are by now an established member of that townland community.

But getting this permission is still not going to be a job that you can do yourself.
And, no matter how much in love with the old house you are, be under no illusion about
trying to make it into a livable home.
It would really have helped had you sketched up the situation so that better judgements
could have been made by the architects here on the forum.
I'm assuming that the old house is ~ 20' on the gable width and one room deep.
You must realise that between the need for structural integrity, weathering protection and
proper insulation it may well be easier/cheaper/offer more internal design options to knock
the old structure and rebuild using a vernacular form.

But what you really need here is a capable architect, one who has a name for covering all
the possible planners' objections.
Hope it goes well for you.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:48 pm

teak wrote:It would really have helped had you sketched up the situation so that better judgements
could have been made by the architects here on the forum.
I'm assuming that the old house is ~ 20' on the gable width and one room deep.


Gable width is a bit over 5m, and one room deep all the way along.. I've attached some images of my proposed layout resulting in a two (dormer) bedroom, one bathroom, TV room, living/dining room, kitchen, utility.

Image
Image

teak wrote:I'm assuming that the old house is ~ 20' on the gable width and one room deep.
You must realise that between the need for structural integrity, weathering protection and
proper insulation it may well be easier/cheaper/offer more internal design options to knock
the old structure and rebuild using a vernacular form.


I agree that it may well be easier and cheaper to knock and rebuild, but I'd much prefer to repair the building, even to use it as a shed, than knock it, I've access to plenty of greenfield sites on which I could potentially get pp & build so knocking is not an option nor requirement.. The existing layout does massively compromise my design options, but I think this compromise is what retains character, and I therefore want to change as little as possible... The structure needs repair in certain places, and I may need to compromise in how I go about repairing it, and whether or not I may need to reinforce (i.e. with wood, limecrete etc) - again reparation of the cob structure is my ideal here, and I have someone lined up with experience in this respect, though reinforment may be necessary. The walls themselves I don't think need much insulation (being made of cob), though I am considering a hempcrete coat or something similar.. Flooring I hope to use an underlayer of coated Leca for insulation, and in the roof glass wool may be along the lines of what I'm looking for... Roofing I hope to use slate, while the external walls will be lime plastered and whitewashed.... Cost is definitely an issue using these unconventional methods, and I've yet to properly cost the project, ideally 80,000 or so to get it done, though I'm probably being very, very optimistic, though I plan to do much of the labour myself which hopefully will make this loose budget somewhat realisable ..

teak wrote:But what you really need here is a capable architect, one who has a name for covering all
the possible planners' objections.
Hope it goes well for you.


Thanks again for the advice, you're helping me learn the planning lingo... From a design point of view I don't see the need for an architect, as I'm running with the philosophy of doing as little as possible to the existing structure/layout, such that a maximum amount of character is retained, and see it more as a repair excercise than anything else, and fitting in my mod-cons around this.. I do agree however that I probably do need the help of an architect in getting planning permission, and will be contacting professionals to aid in this process..
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby teak » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:07 pm

From a design point of view I don't see the need for an architect,

Oh, yes you do need an architect !

Are you au fait with all the building codes ?
Do you know for sure that rebuilding directly upon a house that is most likely
off-square by 1' or more (most 50' long houses that age are) will be permitted ?
Do you really know that the spatial vision you want is acceptable building-codewise ?
Most planning officers are from an engineering background and would love to
trip you up on these details and smack you down like an uppity cat.

But aside from all that a good architect will not want to change your vision --
but rather enhance and improve it with a range of options.
And you can hardly expect an architect to successfully present and argue your application
before a planning officer when he/she has had no input whatever into it.

I accept that the choice of architect is something you must do carefully.
You need respect for your own vision and a genuine knowledge and interest in rural
vernacular form, how to work within its constraints and still produce a proper home.

That said, you have much going for you here I think.

1. Local applicant.
2. Need to live close to parents.
3. Part-time farmer >> need to live close to farmyard.
4. Rebuilt house would be within existing cluster of buildings >> no new blot on landscape.
5. Little additional landscaping needed.
6. Applicant wishes to preserve as faithfully as possible a traditional house form.
7. Any enlargement to original dwelling space, e.g. turf-shed to sun-lounge, would be largely
within existing buildings' scale.
8. Applicant prepared to make all sewage treatment arrangements that are desirable
for such a dwelling in such a rural setting.

But do not kid yourself into thinking that you'll pull this one off on your own.
This is not Grand Designs.
This is more like Petty Begrudgery, here in our planning offices.
And we all need a good professional with us to get our FPP.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:43 pm

teak wrote:From a design point of view I don't see the need for an architect,

Oh, yes you do need an architect !

Are you au fait with all the building codes ?
Do you know for sure that rebuilding directly upon a house that is most likely
off-square by 1' or more (most 50' long houses that age are) will be permitted ?
Do you really know that the spatial vision you want is acceptable building-codewise ?
Most planning officers are from an engineering background and would love to
trip you up on these details and smack you down like an uppity cat.

But aside from all that a good architect will not want to change your vision --
but rather enhance and improve it with a range of options.
And you can hardly expect an architect to successfully present and argue your application
before a planning officer when he/she has had no input whatever into it.

I accept that the choice of architect is something you must do carefully.
You need respect for your own vision and a genuine knowledge and interest in rural
vernacular form, how to work within its constraints and still produce a proper home.


You're doing quite the job convincing me here! And I'm coming round to the idea that I may need to get an architect more intimately involved in the project... Excluding the project managment aspects of the build, what sort of price should it cost to get from where I am to FPP? Also where can I find architects who both like and are comfortable with old mud buildings?

teak wrote:1. Local applicant.
2. Need to live close to parents.
3. Part-time farmer >> need to live close to farmyard.
4. Rebuilt house would be within existing cluster of buildings >> no new blot on landscape.
5. Little additional landscaping needed.
6. Applicant wishes to preserve as faithfully as possible a traditional house form.
7. Any enlargement to original dwelling space, e.g. turf-shed to sun-lounge, would be largely
within existing buildings' scale.
8. Applicant prepared to make all sewage treatment arrangements that are desirable
for such a dwelling in such a rural setting.


Thanks for the list...
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby teak » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:31 pm

On the money cost to FPP it is something that you can ask them during
your preliminary discussions with the architects.
My own experience is with revamping 1950s farmhouse layouts and with
modern designed homes.

Where can I find architects who both like and are comfortable with old mud buildings?

A number of approaches to this.
1. Officially :-
(a) Call RIAI & other architecture organisations, ask for names of
professionals in your immediate area (county and neighbouring counties)
who have declared interest/expertise/experience with this type of work.
Only one I have heard of is a comprehensive nationwide practice, ACP.
They do a share of big restorations, e.g. mediaeval churches.
But as these are based in Co Limerick, I do not know if this would suit you.
ACP : tel 061 386555.

(b) Contact people who have a deep knowledge and academic interest in
vernacular buildings - many may be from an archaeological, historical,
sociological background - then ask them for examples near you.
Motor around to see these houses.
If impressed, seek names of designer involved.

(c) Enquire - or ask someone else to - at the local Planning Office.
(At this stage have him/her say nothing about need for planning permission !)
Just pose it as a search for suitable architects and builders for a restoration.
Unusual planning applications ought be remembered by the planning staff.

2. Unofficially - Ask small builders nearby if they've heard of similar jobs.
If yes, find similar jobs, find builder and architect involved.
Take drives around the countryside and maybe you'll see one for yourself.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby onq » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:48 pm

simon.d wrote:Also where can I find architects who both like and are comfortable with old mud buildings?


Egypt.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:48 pm

Thanks for that teak..

An exerpt from a document publised on environ.ie: "Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities"

"Because earth walling was traditionally covered with
lime-based roughcast or limewash coatings and
sometimes a stone facing, the construction of these
buildings may not always be readily identifiable.
Their increasing rarity means that the preservation
and maintenance of the surviving examples is
extremely important.
"
http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/H ... 209,en.pdf

What type of standing would this document have in the eyes of a planner?
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby teak » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:41 pm

It is something to have that.
But you'd be better to start with your county's official Development Plan.
You can get a copy of this - or its draft version - from your local authority.
That should have criteria for buildings worthy of conservation status.
If the Dept of Env's criteria override this or are to augment the LA criteria,
this I am not sure of - this may be another question for an architect.
I wonder if a call or two to the Dept of Heritage would be worthwhile.
This matter is down their way in a sense. Although they are largely more
concerned with bigger buildings, they do have the people there who have
the knowledge on this sort of thing.
I assume that you've poked each of the walls of the old house to see the type
of construction in it ? Take plenty of detailed photos on a digital camera so
you can add in labels for the various layers, etc.
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:08 am

teak wrote:I assume that you've poked each of the walls of the old house to see the type
of construction in it ? Take plenty of detailed photos on a digital camera so
you can add in labels for the various layers, etc.


The layers are very easy to identify, having stripped it back, and the central two rooms around the "lobby entry" is all clay with (some) brick/stone facing on the external side, with hipped gables (original thatch & roof structure still intact under corrugated sheeting) as can be made out in my sketch below..

The left hand (full gable) extension, including the lean-too portion, is stone and dates from pre 1910 osi and probably correlates with the construction of some of the stone outbuildings (very same structural design) & stone jamb wall (though that could be earlier).. There is also right hand addition of cement blockwork and dates from the late 70's (assuming the bits of newspaper I found blocking up draught holes relate to this addition). This 70's rennovation possibly also included the construction of a conventional chimney with range and central heating, and a square flat roofed kitchen off the orignal front door (both knocked in my sketch above). So at least two major rennovations added to the previously existing clay structure over the last hundred years or so.
Image
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:52 am

teak wrote:It is something to have that.
But you'd be better to start with your county's official Development Plan.
You can get a copy of this - or its draft version - from your local authority.
That should have criteria for buildings worthy of conservation status.



Here's an exerpt from my counties 2011 - 2017 development plan (waterford):
http://www.waterfordcoco.ie/en/services ... vation.pdf

Objective BH 1
It is an objective of the Council to identify structures of vernacular architecture and protect such structures in a manner that allows for sensitive evolution of an area.

Policy BH 6
It is the policy of the Council to encourage the protection, appreciation, retention and appropriate revitalization of the vernacular built heritage of the County. The settings and features of vernacular buildings shall also be respected.

Policy BH 7
It is the policy of the Council to promote and retain original building fabric such as lime mortar slate, thatch, timber sash windows, render and joinery details such as doorways and bargeboards. Where traditional features such as sliding sash windows have been removed, their reinstatement shall be encouraged.


So they seem on-side...
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Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby teak » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:58 am

Yes, that is promising.
But never forget that the onus is on you to prove that it is a
sufficiently important vernacular house to warrant preservation.
I doubt if the planning ofice would have appropriate experience
to judge this.
And neither will they accept all your gathered evidence since you
are - I assume ? - just an amateur in this area.
A report signed by someone appropriately qualified is needed for
passage of 'vernacular structure' status to your house.
Cost-effectively, of course !
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