If you have been asked by the States of Guernsey Environment Department to prepare a Statement of Significance then we can assist with this.
In May 2011 the Environment Department began to advise local Architects, and others, that this report would become a necessary part of the application process when dealing with works to protected buildings or protected monuments.
The thinking behind this document is not new within international conservation circles but it is relatively new to Guernsey. And it is now firmly established, within those international conservation circles, that good conservation practice places a strong emphasis on understanding the significance of an historic building before making any changes.
The purpose of the Statement of Significance is to ensure that the Owner and his Agent have a complete understanding about the property (or object, in the case of a protected monument) and what makes it important in other words, Why is it protected?
The Statement can then be used and it has to be impartial as an invaluable tool for informing any design or modification proposals and to support and inform an application for Planning Permission.
We are advised by the Planning Department that the level of information should be measurable to the proposed level of intervention, i.e. substantial re-roofing of a parish church or extending a 16th C farmhouse would require in depth understanding compared to, say, an application to change some windows or carry out minor repair work such as re-pointing.
A certain amount of research will be required and in preparing a study of the building we will consider maps and photographs, as well as written evidence, and the physical evidence within and around the building/site. We will put the building in to context in relation to Guernsey and sometimes beyond.
We will consider and describe the building and its architectural elements, including the windows, doors, roofs, walls, interiors, plan form, circulation, fabric, materials, relationship of spaces, technology, setting/landscaping, craft skills and quality. Who lived in the building? Who designed it? Who built it? Was it used for something important? Is there any archaeological interest?
All of these are questions which may need to be considered so that an evaluation process can be made what is important, how important it is and why it is important. CCD Architects have prepared several detailed Statements of Significance on successful planning applications and are pleased to be able to offer this service at any level of proposal.