Commercial Consultation

Professional Clients

Sunni L. Goodson routinely offers her specialisation in conservation and heritage to engineers, surveyors, designers and architecture firms, as well as to local authorities and heritage-based organisations on a variety of projects ranging from residential to retail, commercial and urban design. Please see below for examples of services offered, or contact Sunni directly to discuss the particulars of your project or development.

Conservation Reports and Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments are required for both Section 5 applications as well as Planning Applications as appropriate, and very often are included in a Request for Further Information from the local authority. They require a thorough site visit to understand and document the building or site, varying degrees of archival research and acquisition of historic mapping. The reports entail a history and development of the building as well as a Statement of Significance to demonstrate an understanding of the building fabric. This is followed by a detailed Architectural Description, and most often a condition assessment and recommendations for repair. In both instances the proposed development will be set out, followed by an assessment of the impact and appropriateness of the works, and mitigation works where required. A thorough photographic is also required.

Impact Assessments may also be required for new build or works within an ACA or which may impact a Protected Structure to make the local authority aware of the careful thought and planning that has gone into the development proposals, and provide evidence of mitigating works or efforts to ensure the appropriateness of the proposal. Sunni routinely completes Conservation Reports and Impact Assessments for surveyors and architects without in-house conservation expertise.

A local authority may, instead of issuing a decision to grant or refuse permission to a planning application, respond to the applicant with a Request for Further Information, sometimes referred to as an RFI or AI (Additional Information). This is to gather more information in order make a decision, or may entail directives to alter the proposed scheme to satisfy any concerns on the part of the local authority. At this time the applicant may also make minor amendments to the application if it is felt that doing so would assuage any further concern. In the event of a grant of permission, conservation-related conditions may be attached. Often these conditions require detailed repair methodologies to be agreed with the Conservation Officer prior to commencement, an inventory of historic building fabric to be completed, or a conservation professional to oversee works on site. Sunni has fulfilled these tasks for many planning applications, and has a keen awareness of the level of detail and information sought by the local authority. Her breadth of experience has also seen her accepted in lieu of a Grade 1 conservation architect on projects which require on-site conservation management.

In the event of a refusal of permission, it is necessary to think objectively and to determine the validity of such objections, or whether a suitable compromise may be found. In the event that the decision is to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, a carefully formulated and clearly written argument is required, with input from suitable specialists. Sunni is well-versed in the protocol of such cases and seeks to balance the needs of the historic environment and its patrons with the benefit of change and growth. Sunni is also experienced in providing expert testimony at An Bord Pleanála Oral Hearings. Should you feel an appeal on a planning application may be warranted, contact Sunni today to discuss the particulars of the application, its impact and the parameters which dictate the parties who may make an observation or appeal.

Architectural recording and inventories are sometimes required by planning conditions for large complexes or sites of particular importance or, increasingly in recent years, to document the condition/appearance of a residential or commercial building prior to or after works completion. Enabling or opening up works are also required by the local authority at times to determine the extent of hidden or concealed historic fabric prior to assessing a planning application.

Drawing on her experience in a private architectural firm as well as as an architectural surveyor for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Sunni offers full measured surveys of existing buildings as well as architectural inventories. Inventories include a thorough architectural description capturing the plan, style, materials, features, joinery profiles, finishes, and other salient aspects of a historic building. Inventories are also accompanied by a detailed Photographic Record of the building, to record specific details which a written description may not convey with sufficient accuracy. Where necessary, Sunni combines these complementary services to provide colour-coded or annotated drawings to provide a comprehensive document of a building’s extant fabric.

Both Conservation Plans and Masterplans may be applicable to small-scale or ubiquitous building typologies, but are most often implemented for highly significant or large-scale historic sites respectively, such as country estates or as in Sunni’s experience with Dublin’s oldest house, No. 9/9A Aungier Street. They are protective and feasibility documents which closely study the property’s history, significance, vulnerabilities, assets and needs, and plan for their maintenance and support in the long-term, usually in the context of proposed development. Quite often the local authority or the Department of the Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht will require such a document at planning stage or as a condition of planning permission to avoid the negative, cumulative impacts of piecemeal development or inappropriate interventions. Economic and business plans enter into both Conservation Plans and Masterplans. For more information, contact Sunni directly.

Sunni’s depth of experience has yielded a detailed appreciation for the success of multidisciplinary research and investigation. She is adept at utilising Ireland’s vast primary research repositories including title deeds, parish records, city directories, valuations records, cartographic evidence and photographic archives, as well as secondary research and publications to develop a detailed understanding of a building’s origins, occupant and use history.

Furthermore, she offers significant skills in building investigation, utilising a keen eye for period detail, evidence of alterations and combining this evidence with archival research and measured surveys to set out a building’s evolution and history, as well as the date of various features and spaces. Sunni also has worked on extensive projects utilising materials analysis including paint, plaster and wallpaper studies as well as dendrochronology to develop a complete record of a building’s development and significance and is able to leverage her experience and professional contacts to yield significant information about historic sites.

A detailed condition assessment and repair recommendations are required of Section 5 applications as well as Planning Applications as part of the associated Conservation Report or Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment. This should include the causes of damage as well as a general approach to repairs and a method statement for repair of each element.

For both small scale repair projects not subject to planning permission as well as for Tender purposes for larger-scale works, a detailed repair specification is required to direct the contractor as to the extent, scope and methodology of repair, including materials specifications. Sunni also provides detailed Schedules of Works and Specification documents for Tender and Contract, incorporating new development or works in addition to repairs. Contact Sunni today to discuss how her expertise can be applied to your project to achieve optimal practical and planning outcomes.

Notification and/or consent from the Minister for the Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht is required for works to or around a Monument. Sunni L. Goodson has a depth of experience in liaising with the DoAHG and is well-versed in the required documentation as well as the parameters of Notification/Consent, and offers her established professional relationship with the relevant authorities to your project.

Under the Planning & Development Act 2000, the onus is on owners of Protected Structures to ensure the maintenance and care of these buildings. However, where damage is sustained to the building either through natural accident (storm damage, etc.) or through the neglect of a previous owner which threatens the condition of the building and/or represents a health and safety threat to the public, the local authority can issue an Enforcement or Endangerment notice that requires stabilisation or repair works to be undertaken imminently to prevent further damage or loss. In such cases, it is often possible that the details of such works and any permissions can be obtained through engaging a conservation professional to engage with the local authority via an Emergency Works letter. This process often requires a site visit(s) to the property by your consultant, accompanied by representatives of the local authority, to agree the immediate needs and a limited, focused scope of works to be included in the Emergency Works. The documentation submitted by your consultant to the local authority will set out the impetus for the works and agree a method statement and all other parameters for repair.

In Sunni’s extensive experience, she has been involved in a multitude of projects where the advice and input of an experienced conservation professional was required by the local authority in order to guide non-conservation architects and other building professionals in the most appropriate design for new development. This has included the scale, massing, siting and materials of new build within Architectural Conservation Areas, as well as the decorative design of security gates on Protected Structures, appropriate shop front design, and other elements. Sunni’s nuanced knowledge of architectural history coupled with an understanding of the complex needs and sensitivities of the built environment and a keen creative sense have afforded her the opportunity to positively impact each project. She would be delighted to offer her expertise to your client’s project to ensure a smooth and successful planning outcome.

Environmental Impact Assessments are required by EU directive for certain types of proposed developments which exceed a certain size or scope, or which the local authority deems to have the potential for significant impacts on the environment. In addition to biodiversity and ecological aspects of the environment, the impact on built, landscape or cultural heritage must also be assessed as part of the planning application process.

As required by EU directive, the sum total of impacts, including long-term use, access, effects on the local economy, and other secondary factors must be considered alongside the immediate impacts of the development works themselves. Various guidelines such as the “Framework and Principles for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage” and “Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities” must be utilised and referenced wherever applicable. Sunni’s wealth of diverse experience, including in the multidisciplinary approach required of the €44 million whiskey distillery development at Slane Castle, has wrought the necessary skills and expertise with which to make a full and objective assessment of the impacts of large-scale development on both intangible and tangible heritage.

Sunni’s diverse experience has yielded an understanding of conservation, heritage, planning and the public realm at both the macro and micro levels. Both Development and Local Area Plans as well as Character Area Appraisals depend on this type of appreciation of the complex relationship between the public and private sectors and for the local authority’s overarching goals and vision for the area. With past projects ranging from residential refurbishment to agro-industrial developments, national grant scheme reviews to non-profit heritage matrices, Sunni offers her experience to local authority or State initiatives, studies and publications.

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Sunni would be delighted to offer her wealth of diverse experience to your heritage or conservation needs.

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