The official website for the States of Alderney

Policy and Law

Planning Applications are determined by the Building and Development Control Committee, using the following Law, Policy Documents and Land Use Plan.

  • Building and Development Control Law (2002)

  • The Land Use Plan 2017

    • The Land Use Plan 2017 provides a framework to deliver sustainable growth and protect the rich natural and built environment and heritage and was adopted by the States of Alderney on 14 March 2018.

    • Alderney has a unique environment, including a diverse and fragile island ecosystem and a human history spanning thousands of years. The Land Use Plan will also ensures appropriate protection through planning policy.

    • requires Development Frameworks to be approved for certain sites to guide developers and other interested parties when considering development within certain specified areas or circumstances. The purpose of a Development Framework is to provide an interpretation of policy principles in the Island Development Plan which identifies the constraints and opportunities presented by a particular site or area and the type of development expected and encouraged by the Authority.

    • The Island Development Plan (IDP) sets out the land planning policies for the whole of Guernsey in a single document and was adopted by the States of Guernsey on the 2nd November 2016.

    • pdf icon The Land Use Plan (2017) [18Mb] 

    • pdf icon Easy to Use Alderney Land Use Plan 2017 [19Mb]

  • Historic Buildings, Ancient Monuments & Conservation Areas

    • Historic buildings and ancient monuments are a precious and finite resource and are powerful reminders of the traditions, work and way of life of earlier generations. Those buildings that are special enough are placed on the protected buildings list for their 'special historic, architectural, traditional or other interest'.

    • Conservation Area designation is a means of recognising the importance of the quality of the area as a whole and its setting, as well as protecting all the elements that make up the area. There are 7 Conservation Areas designated in the Land Use Plan.

    • pdf icon Historic Building List Jan 2019 [92kb]

    • pdf icon Historic Building and Ancient Monument Register 2017 [20Mb]

  • Statutory Guidance

  • Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG)

  • Stables and Field Shelters Policy

    • The keeping of horses for recreation purposes has become increasingly popular in recent years leading to a consequent increase in planning applications for stables and field shelters.

    • Compliance with the guidelines contained in this Policy Document does not guarantee that planning permission will be forthcoming - other material considerations will be taken into account and each case determined on its merits.
      These guidelines are intended for people who want to build stables because of their private equestrian leisure interest and require planning permission from the BDCC.

    • The Committee will expect planning applications to comply with the following guidelines where relevant: 

    • Siting, size and design

      (a) New buildings must be as inconspicuous as is possible to minimise the impact they may have on the landscape. Careful siting, in a well screened location, can reduce the impact. Ideally, new development should link in with any existing buildings to make it as unobtrusive as possible.

      (b) Design of new development should always avoid siting buildings in an elevated position on the open skyline where they will appear the most prominent. Using natural folds in the landscape or surrounding groups of trees can render new buildings inconspicuous. The planting of suitable trees may provide shelter and also help to disguise new buildings.

      (c) Detailed consideration must be given to materials, colour and landscaping.

      (d) Where existing buildings within the application site or the applicant's ownership are suitable for equestrian use, but are vacant or not being used for this purpose, the applicant will be required to fully justify the creation of a new facility. Consideration must be given to the adaptation or conversion of existing buildings before new build.

      (e) The size and number of horses to be accommodated and the area of land available for grazing will be considered in reaching a decision on acceptable dimensions for new buildings.

      (f) Consideration must be given to storage within the proposed building. This is necessary to avoid clutter in the landscape, unacceptable visual intrusion and environmental impacts.

      (g) Proposed buildings should be at least 30m from any unrelated residential building, to avoid impacts on residential amenity from smells, noise and nuisance.

      (h) Planning permission granted for the erection of stables in proximity to residential properties is likely to be on a temporary basis in order to assess the affects of the development on the area. The renewal of such permissions will depend upon whether nuisances have been experienced by neighbours.

      (i) Hedges or post and rail fencing are considered to be best in visual terms for fencing and field boundary treatments.

      Additional guidance for applications in the Designated Area (Greenbelt)
      Applications for stables / horse shelters in the Designated Area (Greenbelt), must demonstrate that the proposed development is essential for the keeping of horses, genuinely required and small in scale. It is also expected that stables & shelters will be of non-permanent construction, of timber structure, in order that they may be easily removed when no longer required.

  • Windows Policy

    • The special character of historic buildings derives not only from their general form and style, but also from the smallest detail. Windows are an important element in the character of old houses and buildings. 

      Applications for window and door replacement of buildings on the Register of Historic Buildings and within the Conservation Areas will be assessed having regard to Sections 8 and 9 of the Building and Development Control (Alderney) Law 2002.

      The policy is based upon the following criteria:

      "The Committee shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building and any features of special historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest which it possesses."

      Registered Buildings

    • The BDCC will encourage the repair and retention, wherever possible, of original windows and doors.

    • The BDCC will encourage the use of traditional materials, wherever possible.

    • Any replacement or alteration of original windows and doors should be on an identical basis. Any previously altered windows or doors should be of a type appropriate to the age and character of the building.

    • The use of non-traditional materials will not normally be accepted.

    • Conservation Areas.

      Within the Conservation Area the replacement of windows and doors of buildings should be appropriate, in terms of material, design, detailing and finish to the age and character of the building and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Alternative materials may be acceptable in the following instances: -

    • On buildings built after 1950. 

    • Where the front façade of the building is more than 3m away from a public highway.

    • Where the windows or doors to be replaced are already of a non-timber construction.

    • Where the replacement window or door is appropriate in design, detailing and finish to the age and character of the building and the character and appearance of the conservation area.  This may include so called 'heritage style' uPVC sashes, particularly those with a timber effect.

    • In all the above cases, the replacement windows and doors should be appropriate, in terms of design, detailing and finish, to the age and character of the building and the character and appearance of the conservation area. Where alternative materials are permitted, the form and design should match as closely as possible a traditional window in all respects, with particular attention being given to the following: -

      Dimensions - The sizes of sections (including the frames) in the new windows should closely match those of the original window. 

      Horns - These should only appear where appropriate and if possible replicate the existing detailing.

      Opening mechanism - Sashes will slide vertically to open and can be fixed with weights or spring balances. 

      Glazing bars - These should be kept slender to match the thickness of the original.  Glazing bars fixed between two panes of glass or with a flat profile placed onto the glass will not be acceptable. Externally beads should be wedge shaped to match as closely as possible to putty.

      Glazing - In the case of double glazing, glazing bars will be required as above.

      There are numerous alternatives to replacing windows with uPVC or double glazed units, all of which can make a substantial difference to the energy efficiency of the property.

  • Running a Business from Home

    • It may be possible to run a business from your home without the need to obtain planning permission. However, it is always wise to contact the Planning Department first for advice
      and guidance. This information sheet offers some basic advice about whether or not permission is needed.

      There is no clear-cut answer. The Planning Department will need to know more details about the size and location of your property and the particular business activity in order to give you an answer.

      As a general rule:

      (a) Planning permission will be required if the house is no longer mainly residential in character and use; and

      (b) Planning permission will not be required if the house continues to be used mainly as a home.

      The following questions are often asked:

      Do I need planning permission?

      (a) To use a room as a personal office?

      (b) To use a room as a hairdressers?

      (c) To use a room for dressmaking?

      (d) To give music or language tuition?

      (e) To repair cars and/or store goods associated with a business?

      (f) To run a child-minding business or a playgroup?

      A change in character or use will probably arise and permission will be required if the
      answer to any of the following questions is YES:

      (b) Will your home cease to be used mainly as a place to live?

      (c) Will your business cause a noticeable increase in traffic or people calling?

      (d) Will your business disturb your neighbours at unreasonable hours or be noisy or smelly?

      (e) Will the business involve activities which are unusual in a residential area?

      (f) Will it involve people outside your household coming to work at your house?

      It is possible that a low key use which does not need planning permission today may intensify in the future. If this happens the answers to some of the above questions may change and planning permission may then be required.

      This does not mean a business would be breaking the 'planning laws' or that enforcement action would automatically follow. It would be possible to apply for retrospective permission, and planning permission may be granted, but it is likely that certain conditions on the use would be imposed.

      If permission is refused, the Department would discuss with you the various options such as:

      (a) Reducing the overall level of business to an appropriate level;

      (b) The discontinuance of particular parts of the business which may be causing problems;

      (c) The relocation of your business to other premises.

      As a last resort the Committee could take enforcement action, if a business is causing serious problems, for example to a neighbour's amenity or to road safety. However, this would only occur after investigating the options above.

  • Scaffolding Policy

    • Please be advised of the restricted dates for scaffolding and/or similar obstructions in the following areas:-

      (a) Victoria Street

      (b) High Street & Lower High Street

      (c) Ollivier Street

      (d) QEII Street

      (e) Les Rocquettes

      (f) Butes Road

      These restrictions will apply from 1 June to 15 September each year

  • Tree Policy

    • The main value of trees in planning terms is visual amenity.  Trees screen unsightly structures and activities, give privacy, soften the hard lines of buildings, and bring colour and contrast into the built-up area.  They also reduce carbon dioxide levels, filter and absorb pollution, absorb noise, produce oxygen, and encourage wildlife. 

    • On Alderney, it is against the Law to destroy a tree.  Anyone wanting to remove a tree is required to apply to the Building and Development Control Committee for permission to do so. 

    • The States is concerned about the potential loss of trees anywhere on the Island but especially around the built areas.  It actively encourages an increase in the number of trees on the Island, in particular those which are native species.    If a tree is permitted to be removed, the Building and Development Control Committee will generally wish to see it replaced either with a native species appropriate to the location, or with planting or landscaping, to mitigate for the loss of the tree's effect. 

    • Applications for the removal of tree(s) will be assessed according to the following criteria: 

    • ⇒   Amenity value  
      The importance of the tree in the landscape; its prominence in relation to landform and buildings;  the presence of other trees;  public visibility.

    • ⇒   The condition, age and form of the tree  
      The removal of trees which are diseased, dying or nearing the end of their life expectancy are likely to be accepted.

    • ⇒   The suitability of the tree to its location  
      Factors such as whether a tree has become too large for its situation and the effect of the tree on adjacent buildings will be taken into consideration.

    • ⇒   Historic or rarity value  
      Significant historical or commemorative importance or whether the tree is of great rarity on the Island will be taken into consideration.

    • pdf icon Tree Policy [490kb]