Government officials have declined to reveal why the Jersey Bowling Club can now be moved to Warwick Farm, when in July the move was called off.
Earlier this week the Government announced that shifting the island’s oldest bowls club to the site of Jersey Hemp was back on, as part of the £804m project to build a new hospital at Overdale, with a new access road through the club’s current home.
That news reversed a previous announcement in July, that the move was off. When asked to explain the change by Express, officials would only say: "Over the past year there have been extensive efforts to identify an alternative site for Jersey Bowling Club, which needs to relocate to allow Our Hospital to proceed.
"A new location had to be able to provide a brand new pavilion and facilities for the club, as well as being in a similar location to reflect the membership of the club.
"A significant number of sites have been considered and Warwick Farm has now been identified as the site that will, subject to planning permission, deliver the right facilities. Warwick Farm is in Government ownership, provides a suitable location and is large enough for the club."
When asked what impact this would have on Jersey Hemp's current operations at the site, a spokesperson simply stated: "We are working with Jersey Hemp to try and accommodate their operation and the bowling club at Warwick Farm – that’s all we can add."
Pictured: The impact on Jersey Hemp remains unclear.
If the Our Hospital planning application gets approved, Westmount Road will be realigned to make it shallower, wider and straighter, which will take it through the 111-year-old club’s green and pavilion.
Earlier this year, the Club was due to be moving to Warwick Farm, but it seemed in July that move had fallen through, with the Assistant Minister for Sport, Deputy Hugh Raymond, saying: “It was the amount of space the club needed at the entrance, including the size of the car parking and clubhouse; it just wasn’t practical."
Speaking back in February, club stalwart and past-President Jean Lowery told Express that members had accepted that, after more than a century of overlooking People’s Park, the club was likely to move.
“We are confident that Warwick Farm will be a good home,” she said. “It is on a flat site and not too far away for members. It will also have a car park, a clubhouse, a workshop and gardens - basically everything that we have now, but more modern.
“We don’t want to go - Westmount is a place of great memories for many members, but we are right underneath the hairpin so there is a reluctant acceptance that we have to.”
The hospital planning application will go to a full planning inquiry, with the Environment Minister due to have the final say in June next year.
CLICK HERE to see the plans.
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Aren't they words you rarely associate with Jersey politics.....