Building Conservation
31.01.19 |

Want to knock though to make a larger kitchen? Add an en-suite? Open up a granite fireplace?

Antony Gibb runs through what you need to do to alter the interior of your listed property.

Over the last couple of years all listed buildings in Jersey have been re-graded.  I regularly hear people say that they think that only the front of their building is listed, or the main stairs, but not the rest. Except in the case of buildings listed Grade 4 – the only case where the outside only is covered –  all parts of a listed building are now listed, inside and out, just as they are in the UK.

What, you mean the kitchen my parents put in in 1985 is listed?!

Yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change it. The point of buildings being listed is to protect their ‘special significance’. If your parents kitchen is not part of that special significance – like an early 19th C staircase would be – then of course you can change it, but you do need to apply for permission to do so.

What if I want to open up a large 17th C fireplace by taking away the Victorian one in front?

All buildings change during their lives. Smaller Georgian and Victorian fireplaces were built in front of large, drafty and smoky open fires because they worked better. Other things became unfashionable: 16th & 17th C painted plank walls were first covered with wall-paper and later covered with lath and plaster, perhaps on one side only.

What you don’t want is to expose one interesting part at the expense of another – it’s a balance. Not that it’s easy to decide which takes precedence. Generally the quality of the fittings in a building will determine whether they should be kept or not.

What about knocking through to make a large kitchen-living space?

New openings are accepted as a way to make a building work better. But again, you wouldn’t want to knock a hole in a wall with a mediaeval wall painting on it, so take care to assess what you’re proposing.

If you’d like to discuss changing your property, get in touch. We can advise on what is likely to be acceptable with Planning, can prepare Heritage Impact Statements and can submit applications for alterations to listed and historic buildings.