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FOCUS: Waterfront transformation plans take shape

FOCUS: Waterfront transformation plans take shape

Monday 17 May 2021

FOCUS: Waterfront transformation plans take shape

Monday 17 May 2021


Developers have released more details about how the Waterfront could look, if their proposed overhaul gets the green light.

Jersey Development Company (JDC) first revealed its plans to build more than 1,000 homes, a pool, new green spaces, an amphitheatre and a possible National Gallery among other public amenities last year.

Following public consultation on the initial plans last year, the Government-backed developer has now started a ‘phase two’ consultation and released a more detailed set of plans, showing which elements are most likely to make it into the final scheme.

The plans divide the Waterfront into a number of 'Key Open Spaces'. KOS2 includes the Jardins de la Mer area, while KOS3 covers the leisure complex including Cineworld, Aquasplash and Fitness First, which the JDC bought in 2018, and which will have its next break in the lease in 2027.

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Pictured: The Key Open Spaces that the JDC will be developing as part of the makeover.

The designs are a collaboration between JDC, designers from Gillespies, as well as input from Heta Architects, MS Planning, Waterman Group and WSP. 

Islanders have been invited to view the plans in person or online, and are able to submit their comments on the JDC website before 6 June. A session will be held in the Town Hall tomorrow between 11:30 and 12:30.

All feedback received will be incorporated into new concept designs due for release this summer.

JDC Managing Director Lee Henry said: “The redevelopment of Southwest St. Helier provides an unmissable opportunity to substantially improve the area which we’re very keen for islanders to have.”

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CLICK TO ENLARGE: A breakdown of the new layout, designed to increase connectivity between town and the Waterfront.

He added: “Following a thorough review of the feedback received we will consult again during July, prior to preparing a planning application.”

Here, Express explains how plans have developed over time and breaks down the key features of the latest set of plans...

Open space

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Pictured: Les Jardins de la Mer would be given auditorium seating for spectator events.

One of the key takeaways of the first consultation was that there was a demand for continued open space in the area - in total, the latest concepts would see 4,675m2 of new civic space and 4,800m2 of new fitness and play amenity space.

An increased lawn space along the Les Jardins de la Mer area would form a core part of these plans, allowing for community events like outdoor cinemas and the triathlon. 

Opposite this area, new auditorium-style seating would be built.

Green areas around the entire Waterfront site would also be increased, with 14,500m2 of new planting set to be implemented.

More of this civic space would also be allocated at three ‘plazas’ dotted around the site, as well as a public courtyard and space dubbed as ‘semi-communal private gardens.’

Housing and heights

The proposals tout 1,100 new homes, saying that they all “will have private amenity space such as a balcony or terrace area.”

The plans suggest that six to eight storeys could be built along La Route de la Libération, with higher massing allocated to the corners of blocks, and up to 11 floors.

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Pictured: La Rue de L'Etau's massing heights decrease to 5-8 floors.

The proposals also include a ‘town gateway’ residential building of up to 16 storeys.

This would sit opposite two new office developments proposed for KOS 1, which would be no more than six floors.

The inclusion of these blocks came after many raised concerns about height and the possibility of blocking views in the first round of consultation.

JDC say that the heights of buildings in their latest plans are still "just proposals at this stage subject to consultation.”

Arts and culture

In an accompanying Market Demand Analysis, 795m2 of the area has put into consideration for “a community art and cultural space that could include a National gallery or used flexibly by a variety of different community groups and artists for exhibitions and performances.”

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Pictured: The Civic Plaza would be one of three plazas in the development.

First put forward by Gillespies, the National Art Gallery idea is not yet set in stone - JDC told Express that they are waiting for the outcome of an Arts and Culture consultation from the Government before making a decision.

They added that it would not be a separate building, but rather part of this overall ground floor space.

The analysis further considers 440m2 of the area for an ‘Arthouse Cinema’, which, rather than showing the latest mainstream releases, would focus on more community and Heritage-oriented screenings.

Swimming pools and gyms

Sitting next to Les Jardins de la Mer, the plans envisage a 25m long outdoor pool as a four-lane Lido, accompanied by a pool kiosk, cafe and toilets. 

Just opposite, a small outdoor gym area would also be constructed.

Indoor gyms and swimming pools would be situated in the ‘Leisure Quarter’, where the current Aquasplash and Fitness First facilities are.

The JDC confirmed that this is “the area allocated for incorporating the 2030 St Helier Sports and Wellbeing Hub, inclusive of swimming pool, flumes, gym, etc.”

Playgrounds

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Pictured: The Marina Gardens would be transformed into what the JDC are billing a 'Playhub', and would work in tandem with the Leisure Quarter of the project.

A new playground would sit to the West of the site, sitting where people can enter the area from the Esplanade.  

At the Marina Gardens, an additional playground would also be installed, alongside more lawn space and a pavilion. 

Cafés and community facilities

The Market Demand Analysis outlines the possibility for:

  • two GP practices,
  • a small dental practice,
  • and childcare/nursery provision.

It also suggests that up to six cafes, four restaurants and two bars, as well as a large local convenience store could be added to the plans.

La Route de la Libération

The proposals for La Route de la Libération state that “without a shift towards sustainable transport modes and significant reduction in the island's traffic volumes (>30%), the current provision of six lanes and underpass would need to be retained.”

Although it noted the plans have been designed so as to not rule out changing the road to four lanes should circumstances change, it outlines several ways to improve pedestrian access between town and the Waterfront, including: 

  • a new single phase pedestrian and cycle crossing between the Gloucester Street and Castle Street junctions,
  • a planted central median in road, as well as greening the road with trees,
  • and reducing speeds through pedestrian zones.

CLICK HERE to share your views on the plans.

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Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by David Kingham on
Another barmy idea from those with vested interests, the whole Waterfront projects has been a total mis match since it started back in the 80's, so now we will bung social housing on it, great idea, I think not
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Dreadful ideas. Profit is becoming even more of a driver in Jersey than ever before, to the extent that Government are now considering the utter ruination of the already horrid waterfront development.
The planned density does not provide enjoyable living and spoils St Helier.
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