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Another property with Queen’s Planning approval billed £30k by States

Another property with Queen’s Planning approval billed £30k by States

Friday 11 August 2017

Another property with Queen’s Planning approval billed £30k by States

Friday 11 August 2017

Yet another case has emerged of coastal homeowners being billed for Foreshore encroachments despite receiving the stamp of approval from the Queen’s own representative.

Petit Chateau de La Mer Association, which represents four apartments opposite the Ommaroo Hotel in the Havre des Pas area, was made to pay nearly £30,000 including legal fees to the States of Jersey in June on the basis that part of the property – including steps leading to the beach – rested on land that was now in Public ownership since being gifted by the Queen in 2015.

The piece of land in question was the ill-defined Foreshore – a strip of land bordering the Island between low and high tide.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) cited a terrace, parking space and steps leading to the beach among the encroachments of the Public’s acquired land. But information released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) law has now revealed that the steps were signed off by Her Majesty’s Receiver General PR Lewin, who was responsible for administrating Crown land, in 2009.

Pictured: Petit Chateau de la Mer was said to have rested on Public land (the shaded area).

Despite this, the association of homeowners was forced to pay £22,500 to the States simply to let the encroachments remain. The contract passed before the Royal Court and viewed by Express showed, however, that the payment gives them no protection from having those aspects of the property adjusted or torn down at any time by DfI at the association’s own expense. It also said that DfI would not be liable for any reductions in the property’s value.

It’s the second case to emerge in a week in which DfI have billed islanders for Crown-approved beach steps.

On Tuesday, Express revealed that local chartered surveyor Julian Mallinson was forced to pay £19,500 for Foreshore breaches – including £3,000 alone for his eight-step wooden staircase – or face losing the sale of his Brise de Mer apartment complex. Meanwhile, Alan Luce claimed last month that he had been “bullied” out of nearly £30,000 when he tried to sell his Greve d’Azette home.


Pictured: Petit Chateau de la Mer's steps leading to the beach as pictured on the 2009 Planning application and stamped by HM Receiver General. 

The pair – alongside St Clement politician Deputy Simon Brée – are now calling for transparency from DfI over how they are targeting homeowners. They believe that all encroaching properties should be contacted without delay to resolve the issue. To do otherwise, Mr Luce suggested, would be “tantamount to extortion.”

So far, the States have collected more than £70,000 from what has been dubbed on social media as a “Backdated Foreshore Infringement Tax (BFIT)”. That total could soon be set to hit six figures, however, as a number of contracts are still under negotiation. 

DfI are still yet to respond to further questioning from Express, but defended their actions in an earlier comment, claiming that, “…there is a need to protect the Public’s interest as a landowner.”

They are expected to release a statement shortly, but it remains unclear whether it will aim to rebut current concerns or outline a detailed Foreshore policy for the future.


Q&A: Everything you need to know about the Foreshore issue

In-depth: The man who paid £30k to the States just to sell his house 

Sea wall row: States rake in £70k in just 12 months

Sea wall row: Queen-approved wooden staircase formed part of £20k States bill

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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 Nick Walker on
This is extraordinary behaviour by faceless civil servants attacking home owners at their only vulnerable point. When they want to sell.
It is the most disgusting action.
Which politicians are behind these actions that at reprehensible.

Pay back the moneies taken to date now.

Rethink this nonsense.

Debate it in the States

Advise home owners that future Foreshore infringements will not be tolerated.

Cancel the BFIT.
Backdated foreshore infringement tax.
Posted by John Henwood on
When you reported the first case I assumed it was an isolated matter and that special circumstances might exist. Now it begins to appear as if the Infrastructure Department, through Jersey Property Holdings, is in effect saying, "I don't care what her Majesty's representative said, it's our land now and we're going to extract as much as we can." This is an example of amending the result after the game has finished. The Minister must be made to answer the questions that surround this matter. Could this be yet another ministerial cock up from an accident prone Minister? It's certainly a public relations own goal.
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