Work to formally review the heritage value of more than 4,500 historic buildings and places in Jersey is underway following a survey of their historic importance. The review is part of a wider improvement to the way in which heritage assets in Jersey are designated and protected.
A number of new buildings have already been listed, including the AA call box in Trinity and the heritage status of others, such as the former Market Tea Rooms in Market Street, has been removed.
Over the last two years a team of specialist historic building surveyors, led by Dr Aylin Orbasli, working with Jersey Heritage, has assessed the heritage value of all Jersey’s existing historic buildings and places, and some new sites which may have heritage value. In the wake of their report, the Environment Department is now formally reviewing all historic sites and places, and listing or delisting accordingly.
The designation process is now underway and will continue until at least the end of 2013 when all of the 4,500 sites will have been formally reviewed. The process is governed by Jersey law and gives owners an opportunity to have their say in the re-designation process, according to Planning and Environment Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel.
“It is important that people understand why their buildings are being proposed for designation and protection. This process of engagement will hopefully encourage a greater appreciation of what is special about a property and promote a sympathetic response to the management and care of buildings and features that are part of the Island’s architectural and cultural identity. Historic buildings and places form the backdrop to our lives and it is important that we take care to identify and protect them accordingly, where they have a special value.”
The Minister added: “A purpose of this review is to ensure that only those buildings and places worthy of designation are identified and protected. It is quite evident, even from the work that we have done so far, that this will mean that some buildings will be removed from the list, either because their heritage value is not sufficient to warrant designation or where the building has changed and/or features have been lost and their heritage value has been unduly compromised.”
As part of a pilot scheme for the listing process, a small number of buildings have been already been reviewed. Two properties have been removed from the list because of the loss or erosion of their historic character – including Eskdale, a mid 19th century house in St Peter, and the former Market Tea Rooms, a shop from around 1820, in Market Street, St Helier. The AA call box in Trinity has been added to the list at the highest level of grade 1 as it is one of no more than thirty surviving boxes in the UK. .
The Department of the Environment will contact all owners of historic buildings and places during the next 12 months or so with information about the proposed changes to the heritage status of their properties and given an opportunity to comment on them. Where ownership details are not known, site notices will be posted.