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Plans for floating St Helier marina flats approved

Plans for floating St Helier marina flats approved

Monday 25 March 2024

Plans for floating St Helier marina flats approved

Monday 25 March 2024

A set of flats floating on the St Helier Marina have been given the green light – with the Economic Development Minister fast-tracking legislative changes that will allow them to open.

The application for six floating flats to be built within St Helier's harbour was placed by Ports of Jersey in October.

The planning application outlined potential project benefits, including making a "positive contribution to tourism by adding to the hospitality options available" and providing a "connection between locals and the harbour".

marina floating apartments 2

Pictured: A rendering of the flats with their individual colour schemes. (Ports of Jersey/Waddington Architects)

The pods will give visitors a unique experience and will allow them to live in close proximity to the water, the design statement explained.

"A unique sense of place awaits discovery in these cosy boltholes. Stepping onto dry land becomes another experience, as does enjoying the peaceful harbour basin, tucked below, and sheltered from the noisy road level."

Sustainable Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel gave the proposal his backing – even if it did not at the time fully comply with tourism legislation.

Minimum size requirements for holiday lets have since been scrapped.

He wrote: "I am conscious that the application is not fully compliant with the requirements of the Tourism (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 1990 ('the Order') and appreciate that this may be a barrier to its approval.

"As you will be aware, I have publicly committed to updating the Order during 2024 with a view to reducing barriers to development and ensuring a modern and fit for purpose regulatory environment.

"I have asked officers to expedite the amendments to the Order relevant to this application separately."

marina floating apartments 3

Pictured: Ports of Jersey said the flats would give islanders and visitors the unique opportunity to experience the harbour from sea level. (Ports of Jersey/Waddington Architects)

Deputy Morel added that the flats are in line with Government and Ports of Jersey strategies, which stress the importance of increasing tourist accommodation.

He explained that the Visitor Economy Strategy took into account "the changing needs of the consumer" and a move "away from a commoditised offering towards a more experiential one and where possible, a more personalised and customised guest experience".

Further details provided with the planning application sought to reassure planning officers that the pods are moored to the pontoon, which has enough support for the tides.

The Ports of Jersey team also said they would manage bookings so as to avoid extreme tides.

A letter from Waddington Architects clarified that the flats would not be the only tourist accommodation in the island not to comply with tourism legislation – citing Lewis Tower in St Ouen as an example as it has neither toilets nor running water.

The application also gained the support of Tricia Warwick, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Jersey.

Two public comments were made on the application: one supporting it as long as the pods were built with modern standards of thermal efficiency in mind, and the other arguing that the area should be used for mooring space.

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