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Structural engineer's reports for planning applications

​Structural engineer’s report

Structural engineer’s reports can support your planning application if you’re proposing to convert existing buildings to a new use or demolish existing buildings for replacement. The structural report creates a record of a building or structure that is accurate and clear. It’s to ensure a building can be converted without loss of character or historic significance.

A structural report provides a point in time record of the state of conservation of standing buildings, their principal features of interest and their state of structural integrity. It’ll define further works required to allow proposed change, and confirm the survival of built and historic fabric in the event of such change or conversion. The department will be seeking specific advice on the condition of the building from an understanding of the performance, function and future stability of vernacular materials such as random rubble granite walls and timber roof trusses for example.

This statement of convertibility will be relied upon by the department in reaching an informed decision on any planning application submitted.

Who can write the report

A structural engineer’s report should be written by a professional with an appropriate registration with a recognised professional institute.

Information in the report

The report should begin with a non-technical summary that sets out in plain language a summary of the contents of the report including the information on the local area and any places information has been collected from. This should also offer a clear statement of the findings of the survey work. 
The introductory sections should include the planning proposal, address of the site and who commissioned the report. It should set out who wrote the report and contributed to it, along with their specific qualifications. Each report should have clear stated aims.

The report should contain a basic description of the site, its current land-use, a brief description of the standing buildings and other features of interest. It needs to include a description of the methodology used to reach the conclusions. Baseline statement of the condition of the building or structure will describe the current structural challenges and inadequacies (if any). All listed buildings or places within the site and the broader study area should be described and included in the baseline. An evaluation of the heritage values of the site and building needs to be carried out be a suitably qualified person (IHBC or similar approved).

Each building or site is different so any problems or issues during the survey and assessment need to be noted.

The report should contain a concise description of the proposed development (including drawings and indications of the potential area of change) and the potential impact on the buildings and other features. This will then lead to a statement of the likely impact of the proposals on the standing buildings or structures and when appropriate the architectural or historic special interest of the site. 
If the report deals with the conversion of a building or structure to a new use it should describe the structural interventions required to carry out the work, including any partial re-building required. The conclusion must state whether the building can be converted.

In the case of demolition for replacement the structural condition of the existing building needs to justify why demolition is required, and state why a building cannot be renovated.

As the report will be relied upon to prove convertibility or replacement in reaching planning decisions the report should specifically and clearly conclude whether the structure will survive the proposed work, or won’t be able to be retained.

The report should be illustrated with both photographs with supporting key plans and illustrations to the usual standard denoting a scale and north point.  Each important feature of the site and building should be noted, reference numbers given for listed assets and all reference material noted, such as historic maps or historical documents with the archive reference numbers, the date and title of the source.

Publication of reports for heritage sites

It’s important to share the information we hold about the Island’s heritage. Once a report has been produced this adds to our understanding of heritage in Jersey. The greater level of understanding all practitioners, owners and historic specialists on the Island have of the historic environment the more likely it is that we manage future changes and the care of our historic environment in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

The publication of reports as part of both planning applications and within the heritage environment record ensures that there is a consistent approach to managing our heritage with the ultimate aim to hand on a carefully conserved historic environment in viable uses to future generations.

Listed buildings and places

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