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New housing sites added to 'Plan A' list as dairy fields saved

New housing sites added to 'Plan A' list as dairy fields saved

Friday 28 January 2022

New housing sites added to 'Plan A' list as dairy fields saved

Friday 28 January 2022


Fields which are part of one of Jersey’s two organic dairy farms have been saved from development – although more land around the island is being proposed for homes.

Independent planning inspectors reviewing the draft three-year ‘Bridging Island Plan’ have published their report, which makes 60 recommendations for change, most of them accepted by the Environment Minister.

This includes making provision to build 1,650 affordable homes instead of the 1,500 originally planned. 600 of these will be built on greenfield sites. 

In total, the updated plan proposed building 4,300 homes, with 2,650 on the open market.

The Minister, Deputy John Young, will now seek to amend his own plan, which is due to be debated by the States Assembly in March.

Members themselves have lodged 60 amendments to plan, meaning that it could have more than 100 in total.

Fields saved

At least one, however, is likely to be quickly settled, as the Minister has accepted the inspectors’ recommendation that three organically farmed fields off Grande Route de Mont à l’Abbé had been earmarked for up 76 homes are removed. 

St. Helier Deputy Mary Le Hegarat had lodged the very first amendment calling for their protection, which Deputy Young will now accept.

Their proposed rezoning had prompted strong resistance from residents and the dairy industry.

Hannah Curnock, one of a number of residents who formed a group to oppose the plans for the fields, said that everyone was delighted at the news.

“We are so pleased that the cows will keep their home and the farmer will remain in business and able to produce organic milk,” she said. “We did a lot of work and 1,000 people signed a petition, so I’m pleased that reason has prevailed.

Hannah Curnock.jpeg

Pictured: Hannah Curnock in one of the fields which will no longer be developed on.

“Our beautiful oak tree and local birds of prey will also get to stay.”

Fields in St. Clement will also be withdrawn as a potential alternative housing site after the proposal was not supported by the inspectors.  

Residents in the parish also vehemently opposed development.

However, while some affordable housing sites have been removed from the plan, others have been added.

These were previously on a 'Plan B list' proposed by the minister in September, in case his Plan A sites were rejected. Other sites were also proposed directly by landowners and their advisers to the planning inspectors, who held a public examination of the plan in November and December.

Following the inspectors' report, the Minister has compiled his final list to present to the States Assembly.

The new 'Plan A' sites:

J1109 Island Plan St. John.jpg

Click to enlarge: J1109 – a field in St. John immediately to the south of Sion Chapel.

H1248 Highview Lane, St. Helier.jpg

Click to enlarge: H1248 – a long field running alongside the back of the former Channel Television studios at La Pouquelaye.

MY563 St Mary.jpg

Click to enlarge: MY563 – a strip of land north of Jardin de Haut between Rue de la Rosière and Rue de la Vallée in St. Mary.

O622 and )623 St Ouen.jpg

Click to enlarge: O622 and O623 – two large fields to the east of Rue de la Croute in St. Ouen.

P558 La Verte Rue St Peter.jpg

Click to enlarge: P558 – to the north of Verte Rue behind Clos de Ruez in St. Peter.

P559 St Peter.jpg

Click to enlarge: P559 – the field behind the already proposed P632 between Verte Rue and Route du Manoir in St. Peter.

S341 Bel Air Lane St Saviour.jpg

Click to enlarge: S341 – on the corner of Bel Air Lane and Deloraine Road in St. Saviour. 

O785 St Ouen.jpg

Click to enlarge: O785 – a field off Rue des Cosnets, on the road leading to Les Landes School, in St. Ouen. This was allocated for affordable homes in the last Island Plan but has not yet been developed.

As previously reported, two other sites on the original list have fallen away: one in St. Martin close to the village green and on in St. Saviour at the former Longueville Nurseries.

Other controversial aspects of the plan have been supported by the inspectors, so stay in.

Quarrying

This includes a proposal to ‘safeguard’ a field next to La Gigoulande Quarry for mineral extraction has been supported by the inspectors so will remain in the plan.

The inspectors argue that the continuation of on-island quarrying is more important that the environmental impact of losing field ‘MY966’.

Le_Gigoulande.jpg

Pictured: Campaigners have failed to persuade independent inspectors to reject the safeguarding of a field in St. Peter for quarrying.

This argument also extends to their recommendation that the operator of a quarry in St. Ouen’s Bay is given a permit to extract more sand. The minister has said he will support this, subject to an environmental impact assessment and strict terms as to how it is restored.

Housing sites

A proposal to build on fields opposite the former JEP offices at Five Oaks and a field off Princes Tower Road has also been backed. 

Deputy Young, however, says he will commission a ‘masterplan’ for the area to alleviate congestion, which was a considerable concern of residents opposing more houses there.

Fields accepted for the 'Plan A' list include a field south of Haute Vallée School in St. Helier, one in Rue des Buttes in St. Martin, two joined fields off Clos de la Fosse au Bois in St. Ouen, another off Rue des Buttes in St. John, a field alongside Sente des Fonds in Grouville and P632, the field directly opposite the George Carteret pub in St. Peter.

A number of additional fields which islanders asked the inspectors to consider as affordable housing sites have been rejected by the inspectors, and subsequently by the minister.

These include two sites in St. John, two in St. Martin, two in St. Lawrence and two in St. Brelade.

States Members react

States Members now have until Monday 7 February – just over a week – to lodge further amendments, which have to be restricted to the recommendations of the inspectors’ report and the minister’s response.

The debate for the plan is due to begin on Monday 14 March and is now to last two weeks.

Some Members have already said that they are considering amendments.

St. John Constable Andy Jehan said he was “incredibly disappointed” that the inspectors, and the minister, had rejected parish proposals to build sheltered homes.

“These plans were developed by an elected committee of the parish to meet identified housing needs, but they have not been supported,” he said. “And yet a field which we don’t support – J1109 – has been recommended for development."

He added that he would be meeting with parish officials on Monday to discuss a response, which could include an amendment to the plan.

Senator Kristina Moore, who has lodged an amendment to get the Le Gigoulande mineral safeguarding removed, said she would be meeting with political colleagues and interested parties to discuss the inspector’s comments and consider the next step.

She added that she was considering further amendments to promote a greater focus on sustainable and quicker building methods, which would reduce the need of aggregates in the future.

However, the Scrutiny head said she was “delighted” that the inspectors had proposed increasing the number of affordable homes.

Referring to the extra sites in her home parish, she said: “It is excellent news that the sites in the centre of St. Peter are going to be supported by the minister as they will make fantastic homes for families within a wonderful community.”

St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said he would be fighting against development in H1248 and lodging an amendment to remove it from the plan.

"There has been resistance to development on that field for years, and for very good reason: it is an important open, green area in the parish," he said.

Pictured: Field H1248 off Highvern Lane. The old Channel TV studios are on the right. (Google Maps)

"There are lots of brownfield sites, such as the old Don Theatre in Don Road, which must be developed first. Also, we only heard yesterday that 1,000 more homes were planned for the Waterfront; St. Helier should not be losing anymore fields, and I'm sure the parish deputies agree with me on that."

The Minister's view

Environment Minister Deputy Young said: “I’d like to thank the inspectors and all those who contributed to the Examination in Public process. 

“The inspectors’ report is thorough and comprehensive, and because of the high level of engagement throughout the Island Plan review process I have real confidence in accepting the vast majority of the recommendations. 

“It is now for my fellow States Members to also carefully consider the inspectors’ report, and I hope that they will give it due weight in their own deliberations.”

READ MORE ...

FOCUS: Battle lines drawn over affordable homes sites

Campaigners fight building on remaining organic farms

Residents pledge to fight St. Peter's Valley quarry expansion

Discussions before £1.65m field sale to be made public

Artist draws on talents to fight quarry expansion

St. Ouen's Bay quarry "shocked" over plan to shut it by 2024

Bid to cut quarry expansion from Island Plan

INSIGHT: Island Plan...what the people REALLY care about

FOCUS: "We have a housing crisis and a balance has to be struck"

FOCUS: The 'Plan B' housing sites dropped into the Island Plan

"Enough is enough!" Parish pushes back on 'Plan B' sprawl

WATCH: Starting today - meetings that will shape Jersey's future

Housing plan “threatens very existence of dairy industry”

FOCUS: More new fields assessed for affordable housing

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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.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

Posted by Private Individual on
Instead of building on all our beautiful green field sites that have been protected for decades, stop the mass immigration policy that our government has been pursuing for the past 10 years.

The only way to stop this plundering of our countryside is to stop the need for thousands of more houses.

This is a scandalous decision being made by an outgoing planning minister, this should not be allowed.
Posted by Martin on
I note field P558 Rue Des Sapins & La Verte Rue border & neither road is much more than 10 feet wide THUS NOT allowing contraflow & both roads have questionable exits!

I DO hope that the extra housing does not make these already over used exits even more dangerous!

IF Kevin Lewis has anything to do with it I predict a disaster!
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Further development around La Pouquelaye on H1248 is wrong. This area is already over developed and has traffic difficulties in addition to making Queens Road even busier.
Posted by Jon Jon on
There are brown fields around st helier which could easily be utilised instead of sites that are prime fields around the island.
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