22 May 2014
A recent court judgment on an important old building has provided a clear signal that the way Jersey protects its historic environment is fit for purpose.
The listings process, run by Jersey’s Environment Department and Jersey Heritage, identifies and designates important buildings and places in the Island that have special heritage value.
This process was challenged in the Island’s courts and two rulings on issues surrounding Seymour Villa in St Saviour have clearly confirmed that the way the system is currently run is robust.
Decision on heritage value alone
It means that a decision about whether an important Jersey building should be listed must be made on its heritage value alone and should not take account of factors like the state of the building, the cost of repairing it or the planning implications of listing, as some have claimed.
Director of Policy and the Historic Environment at the Department of the Environment, Kevin Pilley said “We welcome this definitive legal ruling on the listing process which confirms that the way the Minister decides whether a building should be protected is fit for purpose.”
The way Jersey identifies and protects its historic character changed in 2011 and has been supported by a two-year survey of all 4,000 of the Island’s potential listed buildings and places.
Special architectural and historic interest
Buildings and structures are assessed to define their significance with great care. Many buildings and places are interesting, but listing identifies only those which are of local and national 'special interest' architecturally, and historically.
The Department of the Environment and Jersey Heritage are working with property owners as part of the process of review and designation.
It’s expected that all relevant Jersey properties and places will be listed by the end of this year which will mean that that all of the Island’s heritage assets will enjoy statutory protection for the first time.