Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Michael D. Higgins


150 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she has or will make a recommendation to Sligo Corporation to include the Harper Campbell heritage building, Union Place, Sligo, in its list of protected structures in accordance with the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999; if she has received a recommendation from the Heritage Council with regard to this building; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10364/00]

The protection of the architectural heritage is primarily a matter for the planning authorities. My role is to provide advice to planning authorities in the exercise of their functions. This is reinforced in the recently enacted Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999. Under section 4 of this Act I may recommend to a planning authority that specific structures be included in its record of protected structures.

A planning authority must have regard, under the Act, to any recommendation made by me. However, a decision may be made not to comply with a recommendation, provided that an explanation is made outlining the reasons why inclusion in the record of protected structures is considered inappropriate.

I can confirm that I have received a request from the Heritage Council that the Harper Campbell Warehouse be designated a heritage building under section 10 of the Heritage Act, 1995.

I am advised that Sligo Corporation plans to demolish the building because it considers that it is in an unstable condition. I am further advised that the building is located along the proposed route of the Sligo town inner relief road.

I am giving careful consideration to the complex issues involved in this case and will make a decision on the appropriate course of action to follow as soon as possible.