One of Jersey's largest developers has revealed it will continue "fighting" against a ministerial decision to reject its plans for a £120m town revamp and housing project – and has brought an appeal to the Royal Court.
Le Masurier managing director Brian McCarthy said that turning to the Royal Court had become “the only option available”, after Assistant Environment Minister Hilary Jeune threw out the company's ‘Les Sablons’ plans.
The scheme would have seen 238 flats and a 103-bed ‘aparthotel’ built on 2.5 acres of mostly cleared land between Broad Street and Commercial Street – but was initially refused by the Planning Committee last December.
Pictured: An artist's impression of Les Sablons' central courtyard. (Le Masurier)
Le Masurier then appealed against that decision, and the proposals were recommended for approval by an independent planning inspector.
However, Deputy Jeune rejected the appeal last month, concluding that the height of the scheme along Commercial Street would be significantly in excess of planning guidance, and its scale and mass would be “overbearing and oppressive”.
Mr McCarthy yesterday announced that the company had taken the decision to bring an appeal to the Royal Court following “overwhelming support from industry, professional bodies, local businesses and the public”.
Pictured: Le Masurier managing director Brian McCarthy said the proposed development would help combat the island’s "chronic housing shortfall".
He said: “The Government-appointed independent inspector overwhelmingly recommended the scheme for approval at appeal, consistently agreeing with the significant merits of the proposals, but the Assistant [Environment] Minister went against his decision.
“We believe that this scheme is worth fighting for, as it would deliver the opportunity for the substantial regeneration of over 2½ acres of the centre of town at our site on Broad Street and Commercial Street.”
He added that taking an appeal to the court was one it had “initially decided not to pursue”.
Mr McCarthy continued: “However, the level of support and encouragement we have received, and following consultation with our lawyers, we believe we have a strong case which, if successful, would result in this decision being re-considered."
Pictured: Le Masurier managing director Brian McCarthy said turning to the Royal Court had become "the only option available".
Mr McCarthy continued: “If approved in line with the independent inspector’s recommendation, Le Masurier’s £120 million investment would contribute to the island’s chronic housing shortfall, including assisted purchase housing, on a town centre brownfield site, thereby protecting our precious countryside.
“It would deliver 150 full-time jobs, boost tourism with a brand-new apart-hotel through Staycity, with whom we have agreed terms subject to planning consent, and create a publicly accessible courtyard garden linking King Street to the bus station via a safe pedestrian route.
“All of this would be at no cost to the taxpayer.”
At the time the plans were launched, Express spoke to Mr McCarthy about the vision for Les Sablons and the wider regeneration of St. Helier...
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