2.7 Conservation and the Historic Environment
2.7.1i Fethard has a strong architectural history, beginning with the Anglo-Norman invasion, and the first settlement in the 1200s. The town has a long ecclesiastical history as well as a strong market tradition. Each building expresses the spirit of its age and forms an important link in the chain of architectural and social development of the town.
2.7.1ii The Council will seek to protect Fethard’s architectural and historic heritage through listing important structures, designation of a conservation area and through the development control process.
2.7.1iii The conservation and renewal of the built environment is a major function of the Plan. The town of Fethard possesses a large number of buildings, structures and sites of architectural, and/or historic importance. The town also contains areas of great natural beauty and amenity, a Conservation Area, Areas of Archaeological Potential, a river and protected views. Strict controls will be imposed over new development in these areas.
Policy ENV.1: Conservation Area
It is the policy of the Council that the central area (Map 2) having particular architectural and environmental qualities which derive from the unique layout, design, unity of character and the mellowing of time be designated a conservation area. Within the Conservation Area the Council will have regard to:
2.7.2i The physical quality and character of Fethard’s Conservation Area is derived from the significant amount of medieval buildings and structures remaining in the town, the grouping of buildings forming the square, and the overall pattern which can be defined as ‘townscape value’. The quality of the townscape can be harmed if individual buildings fall into disrepair or where successive alterations which may result in a loss of architectural character. An example of architectural detail being lost is the removal of original sash windows and replacement with PVC.
2.7.2ii The Council has statutory powers, which can be used to prevent loss of the character of listed buildings and the conservation area. The Council will, as funds allow, provide ‘grant aid’ to help in the repair of listed buildings and important buildings in the conservation area under the (emerging) Planning and Development (Architectural Heritage) Act 1999.
Policy ENV.2: Views and Prospects
It is the policy of the Council to protect views and prospects of special amenity value or special interest, including:
2.7.3i In the implementation of this policy it is the intention of the Council to;
Policy ENV.3: Listed Buildings
It is the policy of the Council to protect listed buildings by:
Note: structures which are listed in Appendix 2 will not benefit from exempted development rights under the Planning and Development Regulations, 1994. Therefore any alteration, extension or demolition of the building or within the curtilage of the building, will require planning permission.
Policy ENV. 5: Archaeology
It is the policy of the Council to protect, where practical, the town’s archaeological assets.
2.7.5i The Council has noted the contents of the ‘Record of Monuments and Places’ issued by the National Monuments and Historic Properties Services (1997) and the ‘Urban Archaeological Survey for County Tipperary South Riding’ issued by the Office of Public Works as it applies to the town of Fethard. The Council has also noted the contents of the ‘Architectural and Historical Survey of Fethard completed by Tadhg O’Keeffe in 1994.
2.7.5ii The Council will, when considering applications for planning permission for development on or in the vicinity of archaeological sites or monuments, seek the advice of Duchas - The Heritage Service. The Council may also request that archaeological field evaluation takes place as part of the application or before development begins.
Policy ENV.6: Telecommunications Apparatus
It is the policy of the Council in the consideration of proposals for telecommunications masts, antennae and ancillary equipment, to have regard to the following:
Policy ENV.7: Satellite Dishes
It is the policy of the Council to permit domestic satellite dishes except:
2.7.6i Satellite dishes and telecommunications apparatus, if badly sited, can materially harm the character and appearance of historic buildings and important townscapes.
2.7.6ii Some satellite dishes may be erected as exempted development under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Regulations, 1994. Where permission is required the above policy will apply.
Policy ENV. 8: Tree Preservation
It is the policy of the Council to protect mature trees. Development, which requires the felling of such trees will not normally be granted.
2.7.7i Trees form a valuable part of the urban environment. They provide visual amenity, screen unsightly features and add to the diversity of the urban experience.
2.7.7ii The Council may also request that a tree survey is completed as part of a development proposal, to ensure that proposals for development will not damage or result in the loss of trees listed for preservation or of mature hardwoods.
2.7.7iii The Council will make Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) as deemed necessary following inspection and report by a qualified arboriculturist.
Policy ENV.9: Derelict Sites
It is the policy of the Council to implement the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 to prevent or remove injury to amenity arising from dereliction.
Policy ENV.10 Obsolete Areas
It is the policy of the Council to identify and secure the redevelopment of obsolete areas. Such areas include backlands, derelict sites and incidental open spaces which will be identified as opportunity sites for development.
E1. Preserve the places of archaeological, architectural and historic interest and places, which add to the character and appearance of the town. These are set out in Appendix 2.
E2. Preserve the trees set out in Appendix 2.
E3. Seek the removal of unauthorised advertisements, signs, street signs and other structures within the conservation area.
E4. Provide advice and assistance to owners of listed buildings and buildings in conservation area which require renovation or decoration.
E5. Continue to open up access to the town wall as opportunities arise.
E6. The Council will increase the number of urban tress at suitable locations and as funds are made available.