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To learn or to live? Debate begins over former Police HQ site

To learn or to live? Debate begins over former Police HQ site

Friday 02 October 2020

To learn or to live? Debate begins over former Police HQ site


Andium Homes has released a wishlist of sites it would like the Government to release to build more than 800 units of housing - including the former Police HQ being eyed up by a local primary school.

On Thursday, Express reported that the headteacher of Rouge Bouillon Primary School believed that the empty site would be an obvious place for his school to expand into, giving it much-needed new facilities and more open space.

In a letter to the Public Accounts Committee, which is reviewing the way Government organises its £500m property portfolio, Russell Price said: “I have been assured that we have not been forgotten and that we are in line for renovation or a rebuild at some point, however, the old police station site next door has stood vacant for several years, and although we have been told that we are being considered as potential beneficiaries of this opportunity, there does not seem to be a timescale or plan - though perhaps I am just unaware of it.” 

Meanwhile, Andium Homes has told another Scrutiny Panel that, if allowed, it would build 59 units on the site.

Writing to the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, which is reviewing the proposed Bridging Island Plan 2022-2024, Andium Chief Executive Ian Gallichan said that the old Police Headquarters is one of a number of Government-owned sites that would be suitable for the development of ‘affordable’ homes.

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Pictured: Andium Chief Executive Ian Gallichan.

“In our view, decisions about the release of these sites for development should be made before the rezoning of additional green zone land,” he said.

“Homes can be developed more cost effectively if sites can be acquired by the States rather than having to compete against other developers in the marketplace.”

Other sites that Andium would like to develop include Warwick Farm (a potential 200 units), the western part of St. Saviour’s Hospital (80 units), the former Les Quennevais School site (113 units), the old D’Hautrée School site (around 80 units), the Ambulance Station (80 units), Le Bas Centre (72 units), The Bridge (23 units) and Philip Le Feuvre House in La Motte Street (around 100 units).

Pictured: Andium said it would build 23 units at local family support centre The Bridge, if allowed.

A report released last year suggested that 7,000 homes need to be built to address Jersey's housing needs. Despite rising prices, demand remains strong, particularly from first-time buyers.

Just this week, 80% of the one- and two-bedroom apartments forming part of the as yet unbuilt Merchants Square development on Bath Street, which will accompany a new Premier Inn, were sold. Nine went to first-time buyers.

Some islanders reportedly queued from 04:30 to buy off-plan.

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Pictured: An artist's impression of the one of the balconies at the development.

The current Island Plan, which marks out which parts of Jersey are developable, was designed in 2009 and 2010 to cover the period 2011-2021. Early stages of the Island Plan Review to help shape the next Island Plan 2022-2032 began last year.

However, the pandemic has put this back, leading not only to the delay in the Island Plan development but also its re-evaluation.

Environment Minister John Young has therefore proposed that the next Island Plan should serve as a shorter-term ‘bridging’ plan covering 2022-2024, between the current plan and a future Island Plan, covering 2025-2034.

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Posted by Ann Esterson on
Astonished to see Andium Homes making a bid for Philip Le Feuvre House. This building is an asset of the Social Security Fund, as is the adjoining building, and should go to the highest bidder if it is to be sold. The money should then be invested in the Fund to help pay for our pensions in the future.
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