28 January 2010
Islanders are being asked for their views on proposals for a new heritage protection system for Jersey.
The system, which is being put forward by the Planning and Environment Minister, Senator Freddie Cohen, is based on a new single form of heritage protection for historic buildings and places – to be known as Listed buildings – replacing the existing 2 tier system of Sites of Special Interest (SSI) and Buildings of Local Interest (BLI). It is also proposed to introduce protection for groups of buildings and places with a particular architectural and historic character that will be designated as Conservation Areas.
All the Minister’s proposed changes to the Island’s heritage protection system are set out in a White Paper which is open for public scrutiny and comment over the next six weeks. The new system will simplify how the historic environment is identified, making clear what is protected and why; and it will ensure that the process of protection is open, clear, fair and robust. The new system will introduce four non-statutory grades of Listed building designation.
Senator Cohen said: “The current protection regime, based on two types of designations for historic buildings, - in the form of Sites of Special Interest and Buildings of Local Interest - has evolved over time but it lacks the necessary flexibility to ensure that what is special about Jersey’s heritage can be protected. It is appropriate and opportune to review it.
“I propose to introduce a much clearer, simpler system, based on one form of designation – a Listed building – with four grades. This will ensure that the best of our historic environment is protected but will also allow greater flexibility for buildings of lesser importance, while still ensuring that their architectural and historic character and interest is identified and appropriately protected.”
The proposed review of the heritage protection system will be complemented by a comprehensive review and re-survey of all of the buildings and sites currently protected. This will ensure that there is a high and consistent standard for buildings and places to be Listed. The re-survey will begin in 2010 and is likely to take at least two years to complete.
Senator Cohen welcomes the views of all Islanders on these proposals, in particular owners and occupiers of historic properties, as well as groups and individuals with an interest in Jersey’s historic environment.
The consultation can be viewed online and printed copies are available from the Planning and Environment Department at South Hill.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 12 March 2010. Comments can be submitted online or in writing.