Conservation areas have existed in the UK for over 50 years but now Jersey’s Government are following suit, having recently published a new framework to help enhance the ‘distinctive character’ of local areas.
The framework sets out how a place of ‘architectural or historic interest’, such as Gorey Village or Rozel Harbour, could be identified, assessed and formally designated as a conservation area.
The document was published by the Environment Minister, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, and follows a public consultation earlier this year.
Deputy Renouf said: ‘Up until this point we have been able to protect specific buildings and places, but these updates to the law will mean we can better protect whole areas of architectural or historic interest.
‘It’s about enhancing the distinctive character of local areas, ensuring careful consideration is given to the design of any new building schemes there, and helping to ensure they are places that Islanders are proud of.’
Changes to the Planning and Building Law were made at the end of the last term of Government, giving the Environment Minister the legal power to designate such areas.
He hopes that the first conservation area will be assigned in 2023, and the bridging Island Plan states that at least four areas will be designated by 2025.
The scheme is designed to ensure that historic or architecturally important areas are given special protection and that any development within them adheres to stricter rules.
The first conservation areas that will be assessed are:
- St Aubin
- The historic areas of St Helier
- Areas around the Parish churches of Grouville, St Lawrence, St Martin, Trinity, St Ouen, St Peter and St Clement
- Gorey Village and Pier
- Rozel Harbour
The minister also released feedback from the public consultation, which ran in March and April.
It found that 88% of respondents supported the idea of conservation areas in Jersey, 84% supported the proposed designation process, and 60% thought St Helier should not be prioritised for the designation.
The Government also received responses from Jersey Heritage, the National Trust for Jersey, the Société Jersiaise and the Land Resource Management team.
Deputy Renouf said: ‘Having reviewed the consultation responses, work is now underway to develop the secondary legislation that will allow us to designate the first conservation area and then manage change within it.’