St Peter Port is acknowledged to have one of the finest urban environments in the British Isles. Tall narrow gabled warehouses by the sea, the medieval street pattern within the old Barrieres de Ville, rows of elegant Regency and Georgian houses, and Victorian Villas, all combine to play a vital part in the creation of its unique urban form.
The Bridge also has strong yet distinctly different character. The character of the Bridge is derived from its industrial Heritage, which contrasts the scale and form of an industrial Port with charming harbour scenes and tightly arranged rows of cottages.
In order to conserve and enhance their special character and identity, the Town and the Bridge are the focus of conservation areas. Conservation areas form an important physical record of the architectural development and historical growth of an area. They are an irreplaceable cultural and economic resource that contribute to the distinctive character and unique quality of Guernsey and therefore must be protected.
The intention is not to prevent new development. It is, however, intended to respect architectural details and other features, such as walls and railings, street furniture, and trees, where these contribute to the special character of the area. In addition, street patterns, building lines, roof profiles, ground surfaces and spaces are important to the character of a conservation area. Due regard should be paid to all of these characteristics in the design of new development and the retention or sensitive adaptation of existing features. There will usually be considerable scope for the architectural interpretation within these parameters.
In due course the committee will publish Conservation Area Character assessments setting out an analysis of the character and special qualities of each area.