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Minister rejects attempts to save fields from housing and quarrying

Minister rejects attempts to save fields from housing and quarrying

Wednesday 01 September 2021

Minister rejects attempts to save fields from housing and quarrying


The Environment Minister has rejected calls to save fields around Five Oaks from development and is continuing his support for a quarry expanding into a field in St. Peter.

Deputy John Young has published his initial responses to the public consultation around the three-year Island Plan, which will define what is built in the island and where, from next year until 2025.

However, the final draft of the plan, which was shortened from its usual 10 years due to the uncertainties thrown up by covid, is far from settled, with a team of independent planning inspectors now due to review all comments and amendments and hold public hearings.

Politicians will also have another opportunity to amend the plan before they finally vote on it next March. 

But after the first phase of consultation and amendments, the politician charged with steering the plan through the Assembly and into policy has budged very little, despite the highest volume of engagement every for an Island Plan.

La Gigoulande.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Young supports 'safeguarding' minerals by allowing La Gigoulande Quarry in St. Peter's Valley to expand into a nearby field.

This includes 60 amendments by Members and 2,000 comments by businesses, interest groups and members of the public. 

Deputy Young “is not minded to accept” most of the 60 amendments, including Senator Kristina Moore’s attempt to remove ‘Field MY966’ from the plan.

This agricultural field is next to La Gigoulande Quarry in St. Peter’s Valley, which has been bought by Granite Products and has been earmarked for the company to expand into, to give it at least another 30 years of rock supplies. 

More than half of the public comments submitted were against the expansion of the quarry.

The Minister is also “not minded to accept” attempts to stop three fields currently farmed organically of Grande Route de St Jean from becoming social housing; four fields around Five Oaks from also becoming housing; and another field near Haute Vallée being built on.

Deputy Young has also rejected earmarking another field in St. Peter (P558) for housing, but he said he could be persuaded if other sites are rejected.

He has also said he won’t support proposals to include a field in St. Martin (MN489) for homes for the over-55s and a field in St. Lawrence (L127) for affordable homes.

However, some amendments are supported, including:

  • making policies around children’s pay areas more specific;
  • making it an obligation for developers to plant trees in the ground, as opposed to planters;
  • and designating Waterworks Valley a “strategic countryside access site”.

The Environment Minister said he is minded to support small sections of a proposal to create a Marine National Park around Jersey but he has rejected the substantive part, which is to designate around 900km2 of the island's territorial waters as a protected park.

north coast coastal national_park.jpg

Pictured: While the Island Plan supports the expansion of Jersey's Coastal National Park, it rejects the creation of a Marine National Park.

Looking to the next phase of the plan, Deputy Young said: “My response to the draft Bridging Island Plan consultation, which signals the start of the examination phase of the programme. 

“At this point, I can confidently hand the plan, its evidence base and all the valuable contributions, to the appointed independent planning inspectors for their review and consideration ahead of the examination in public hearings scheduled for later this year.”

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Comments

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Posted by Donal Dolo on
Well. We do need it
Posted by Private Individual on
It is unthinkable that a states member that will not be standing for the states again at the next election should be able to make this decision.
Posted by Jon Jon on
I just don't understand why brownfield sites above st helier are not used for building before this land, just makes no sense!
Posted by Richard Lock on
Is the Minister minded to explain definitively and without obfuscation how a field worth £20,000 without planning permission was transacted at £1.65m ? Or are we the public expected to be treated as though we have straw behind our ears in the usual fashion ? I trust that our politicians will have the savvy and guts to drill down into this anomalous situation prior to the Island Plan debate.
Posted by John Sheen on
People are forever crying out for more housing, more housing, more housing. Finally a politician has the guts to open the door to creating that - and what do people do? Start crying that there’s over development. It’s not only pathetic, but embarrassing.
Posted by Martin on
£1.65 M for a £20 K field - It TOTALLY STINKS & 100% agreed re Minister making a decision affecting SO many and then wafts into obscurity & impunity??
Posted by John Henwood on
Perhaps the minister will think again about the Simon sand excavation in St Ouen. His decision on this has already had a very significant effect on the cost of new homes with an acute shortage of sand for cement and concrete. With all the sand we have it's barmy to think that we have to import it at enormous cost. I wonder, has he bothered to go look a the sensitive way the Simons extract sand and, importantly, landscape the area at the end of extraction? They are creating a wonderful leisure area for future generations to enjoy. They are even creating habitat for wildlife including nesting areas for sand martins. The minister's decision is simply wrong and born of a lack of understanding - he should be honourable enough to admit a mistake and rescind his decision.
Posted by Martin on
JUST thinking.

I have a half vergee field in St Peter - anyone want it for £500K or more £ if you wish - No planning permission granted!
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Deputy Young “is not minded to accept” almost anything the Public say, he does not care as he is not bothering to stand again.
TWO things need amending Minister :-
1) Simon sand excavation must be allowed to continue IF you honestly do not want a massive increase in building costs.
2) Find alternatives to housing on fields that are being used for organic farming.
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