Reply To: Irish say no to PVC windows

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That’s sad about the Step Inn. PVC window insertion in old buildings is still happening a lot despite the strengthened architectural heritage protection afforded by the Plan. & and Dev. Act 2000 and supposed greater public awareness of heritage etc.

Is the Step Inn a Protected Structure? I don’t have the Dunlaoghaire/Rathdown Development Plan to hand to check if it is. If it’s not, there’s not much can be done about the window replacement. If it is a Protected Structure, then the PVC window insertion is an unauthorised development and a complaint can be made to DL/R Council’s Enforcement Dept. An inspection will be made by an Enforcement Officer confirming the recent PVC insertion and a notice will be served on the owner instructing him/her to make good the unauthorised development (i. e. reinstate sashes). The owner has the option to apply for retention of the development (this is what happened in the case of Hanlon’s pub, mentioned at the start of the thread). But it won’t be given for PVC windows in a Protected Structure (After being refused retention by DCC, Hanlon’s wasted 600 Euro on a first party appeal to An Bord Pleanala – making subjective arguments as to why they should be allowed to keep the PVC – but were of course refused).

The only hope for The Step Inn if it’s not a Protected Structure is that, because it’s a landmark old building in the middle of Stepaside, it will become protected sooner or later. The Council can’t then insist on immediate reinstatement of sashes, but next time the Inn applies to do other work, they can be compelled to restore the sashes by planning permission condition. Or they might even want to do it themselves! (though not the current owner by the sound of things)

The information on protection of listed buildings in most current Development Plans is obsolete now because it’s been superseded by the Protected Structure (and ACA) system of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Though the list of “Listed Buildings” in the back of Dev Plans are the ones that are now Protected Structures (listed buildings automatically became P.S.s at the time of the Act).

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