I had a call this morning asking what an Architectural Conservation Area is - they have found their house to be located in one after a recent plan review. The answer is simply
Architectural Conservation Areas aim to protect the special character of places, areas, groups of structures or townscapes that:
a. have special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest or value, or
b. that contributes to the appreciation of protected structures, by the introduction of Architectural Conservation Areas.
The purpose of an Architectural Conservation Area designation is to protect and enhance the special character of the A.C.A and to ensure that all proposed developments are carried out in a manner sympathetic to the special character of the area.
The basis for ACAs is set out in the Planning and Development Act 2000 and most recent Development Plans now contain one or more ACAs.