Widening Fireplace Opening

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I have just removed a inset gas fire and the chimney sweep is coming next week. I want to install a stove and the existing opening is d17cm w44cm h70cm which seems quite small. There appears to be a gather in front with a metal lid on top, I though it had a small back boiler or something but it must be to control the fire as it's just a void inside.

The lintel appears to be a brick arch at 70cm, but I can also see something further up inside around 140cm but that seems quite high. Can I just remove the gather/infill as you can see the brick wall behind it to get the required depth then knock a brick out either side and then just put a new lintel in? There dosn't seem to be much supporting the sides apart from like a brick wall going half way up and then the breast wall further back which looks single skim.
 

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If you use the diynot search facility & research what you are proposing you'll find that its necessary to have the stove Mfr's installation dimensions before doing any work.
Hopefully the chimney sweep is a HETAS who will sweep and smoke test the flue, and, at least, give you a heads up ref the stove installation?
 
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So it is a brick arch lintel like I thought further up, wow this fireplace must of been huge originally. I presume I could safely make it back to the original size? but a 5kw stove would look lost in it. I think I will add a lintel further down and just extend the sides to my required width.
 

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