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Plans for 37 affordable homes in St John get green light

Plans for 37 affordable homes in St John get green light

Friday 17 May 2024

Plans for 37 affordable homes in St John get green light

Friday 17 May 2024


Plans for an estate consisting of 37 affordable homes in St John were approved yesterday despite strong pushback from Sion Village residents.

Original plans included 38 properties, but one three-bed unit was removed due to “ecological and sustainability” reasons.

Ben Cairney, CEO of developer Ashbe, hailed the unanimous decision from the planning committee as “fantastic news for all islanders”.

The approval comes despite strong pushback from Sion Village residents who commented publicly on the application, saying there was “real potential to significantly and permanently harm the setting and character of Sion Village”.

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Pictured: The home designs. (Ashbe Construction/Mac Architects)

Concerns were also raised about conservation, traffic, wildlife – and the fact the estate allows one parking space per house.

The development adjacent to Grande Route de St Jean and next to the Sion Methodist Church is the first to be approved on sites that were earmarked for affordable homes in the Bridging Island Plan.

This means the properties will be eligible for an assisted-purchase scheme.

The plans comprise three two-bedroom, 31 three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom homes with parking, gardens, plus new vehicle and pedestrian access.

The estate could could be move-ready within two years.

Almost a third of the site will be given to the parish and dedicated to public use, and the communal open space could feature a pétanque court, orchard, rain garden, herb garden and playground for older children.

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Pictured: Ben Cairney, CEO of developer Ashbe, hailed the unanimous decision from the planning committee as “fantastic news for all islanders”.

The plans were amended to remove one three-bed unit and enhance boundary landscaping, due to “ecological and sustainability” reasons, Mr Cairney said.

Mr Cairney previously explained that architects had to make changes following the delayed release of supplementary planning guidance in November, which meant that parking requirements had to be “greatly” reduced from two to one per dwelling, with additional space used for additional landscaping and visitor parking.

Speaking to Express, he said: “It’s fantastic news for the island and for all islanders, and something we’ve been working on really closely with the planning department and policy makers for around 18 months.

“Approving developments on these rezoned sites is a really important part of building more affordable homes for islanders.”

He added that parking met the new residential space standards.

Mr Cairney said that plans were in the pipeline for other rezoned sites, adding that more developments were “really needed”.

He added that he hoped to have spades in the ground in St John as soon as three to four months’ from now, and the development completed in early 2026.

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Swell of support for "much needed" new homes plan

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