It is ‘likely’ that the Jersey Bowls Club will be able to stay on Westmount Road and the road will not be straightened and widened, if the recommendations of the Infrastructure Minister's hospital review are accepted.
Under the Our Hospital plans, £15.5m of its £804.5m budget was to be spent on making the road easier for ambulances, buses and other vehicles accessing the ‘health campus’ at the top of the hill.
Around £30m has also been spent buying properties and land around the Overdale site.
But today, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Tom Binet said that up to £50m could be saved "by the reduced need for new road infrastructure and land acquisitions".
Our Hospital plans included changing the alignment of Westmount Road through the home of the Jersey Bowling Club and removing a section of ‘Gallows Hill’ at its southern hairpin.
It would also involve the removal of trees to create an ‘active travel’ corridor for cyclists and pedestrians, taking away the car park bordering the bottom of the People’s Park, extending the roundabout by the old Inn on the Park and other changes.
The Our Hospital team said that more trees would eventually be planted than removed.
Pictured: Jersey Bowling Club may now no longer need to move to Warwick Farm on Queen's Road.
Much of the land around the road is owned by the Parish of St. Helier, which rejected an offer from the Our Hospital project team to buy it for £6.5m.
The Government then initiated compulsory purchase proceedings, giving notification of a final order just before the June election; however, outgoing Chief Minister John Le Fondré later said he would not enact it, leaving the decision to the next Environment Minister.
The Jersey Bowling Club was due to move to Warwick Farm, where the Government had submitted plans for a new clubhouse and green.
However, Deputy Tom Binet – who led the hospital review – said that there was a "likelihood" that that the road changes would not be needed.
However, told the States on Tuesday that it was too soon to make a definitive decision and he would aim to lodge a proposition setting out his final plans before Christmas, for debate early next year.
Constable Simon Crowcroft said that there were a lot of ‘stakeholders who were clearly concerned’ about the threat to St. Helier, its trees, parks, parking spaces and bowling club’.
Deputy Binet said he appreciated these concerns, but he could not commit to anything "quite yet".
He later said that property and houses bought by the Government around Overdale for the Our Hospital health campus could be turned into keyworker accommodation, housing or put to other uses.
These include 14 houses close to Westmount Road, two fields and the former headquarters of Jersey Water. He added that the proposed bowling green at Warwick Farm might also be used for housing but it added that it was not his decision.
“All this has yet to be decided and will all be subject to further work,” he said, adding that the fate of existing buildings at Overdale – including the Sir William Knott Centre and Samarès Ward – would also be decided at a later stage.
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