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Proposals to relax planning restrictions

06 April 2018

​The Environment Minister is proposing changes to Jersey’s planning law that will let people do more to their listed buildings without applying for planning permission.

Details of the proposed changes to ‘permitted development’ have been released, and final changes will be adopted after consultation with heritage groups and owners of listed buildings.

Deputy Steve Luce said: “During my term of office I have sought to expand what people can do to their homes, buildings and land without the need for planning permission. Some of this has been straightforward and I have already changed the rules to reduce the need for people to apply for planning permission for some less contentious areas of regulation, following consultation in 2016.”

“Views on rules affecting historic buildings were, however, a little more complex. People recognised the need to protect listed buildings, but there was also a desire to provide more flexibility, so people can do more to listed buildings without needing planning permission, particularly when the buildings are their homes.

"I have been working on a series of proposals which strike a balance between appropriate regulation and freedom to make changes. Before these are progressed further I want to find out what people think. I’ve instructed officers to consult on them when it is appropriate to do so.”

The proposed changes mainly relate to work affecting people’s homes if they live in listed buildings.

These would enable the following changes to listed buildings without planning permission:

  • the installation of play equipment, subject to size and siting constraints
  • the installation of sheds, stores or outbuildings, subject to size and siting constraints
  • the installation of gates or fences, subject to size and siting constraints
  • the installation of patios, decking, hardstanding or raised planters, subject to area constraints
  • the painting of external render, subject to the use of an appropriate product and colour
  • the installation of a domestic satellite dish or security camera, subject to location constraints
  • the replacement of pitched roofs with clay or tiles
  • carrying out minor repairs, subject to the use of appropriate materials
  • the installation, alteration or replacement of rainwater goods, subject to the use of appropriate materials
  • the installation of solar panels; air and ground source heating systems, subject to siting constraints
  • minor engineering work associated with boreholes, drains and other services, except where the site is of archaeological interest
  • the demolition of domestic structures, where it doesn’t affect the special interest of a listed building

Consultation on these proposed changes will be begin as soon as possible after the forthcoming election.

The next Environment Minister will decide what changes to make to the rules on planning permission for listed buildings, in light of the outcome from consultation.

Additional information

  • Jersey has been a signatory to the Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (Granada, October 1985) since 1988, and is required to protect the architectural and historical character of its heritage buildings. Because of this many permitted development rights are removed from listed buildings and places meaning that planning permission is required to undertake most work that affects them.
  • The Minister for the Environment launched a public consultation to review permitted development rights i.e. what people can do to their home, garden or business without applying for planning permission, in the summer of 2016. This was the second phase of his changes to explore whether the need to apply for planning permission could be further reduced and included consultation on the rules governing work to listed buildings.
  • On the subject of changes to listed building and places, there was generally a mixed response; those that felt strongly we should be preserving and protecting our historical and architectural assets through a managed application process, and those that felt private individuals should be able to do more with their own homes without government interference. On the whole, people recognised that listed buildings and places are important but they want to see more flexibility in how changes to these buildings are handled.
  • The ‘My Jersey’ consultation, undertaken in 2016, revealed that 75% of respondents thought that Jersey’s historic buildings and heritage sites were valued and protected and Jersey’s current progress was rated as about 5 (where 0 is poor and 7 is excellent). 42% of respondents thought Jersey’s long-term ambition should be a 6 out of 7.
  • Of the 500-600 applications that are received each year affecting listed buildings, it is only a small proportion of these that are required to be made solely as result of the removal of permitted development rights: for example, in 2016 only 46 replacement window applications were made representing under 10% of the total number of applications affecting LBPs. Most applications affecting LBPs involve proposals which amount to development requiring planning permission over and above the thresholds for permitted development.
  • Of the applications made in 2016 affecting listed buildings, 84% were approved; 9% were refused; and 7% were withdrawn

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