Opening a fireplace beneath the arch

D

dextrous

Having stripped all the plaster off from a room (I'm like that, you know :rolleyes: ), the current opening for the hearth finishes several courses below a curved arch of bricks (it is infilled by "rough brickwork" which if knocked out will leave what I assume to be the original rectangular opening without any need to cut the surrounding brickwork, if you catch my meaning) .

Am I OK to remove these and have the opening up to this arch/keystone, or do I need to go through the irritating bit of getting calcs and BCO approval?
 
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so are talking about a chimney breast?
Is there a lintel above the archway supporting the stack from above?
Why do you think the arch is not the original but a rectangle opening is?
Sorry but just need a bit of clarity to what you have.
 
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The original fireplace would have been built, by the bricklayers, with the high arch. The grate builder would then come along and fill in whilst installing the grate or any other design of fire that was afforded to that room.
 
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Eeh, He were a Grate Builder, were our dad. ;) Cue Hovis music
 

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