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Five affordable housing sites under threat due to sewer issues

Five affordable housing sites under threat due to sewer issues

Friday 19 May 2023

Five affordable housing sites under threat due to sewer issues

Friday 19 May 2023

The ability to build hundreds of affordable homes is under threat because the island's sewer network can't currently cope, a new report from the Environment Minister has revealed.

Deputy Jonathan Renouf has released draft planning guidance, which considers sites specifically allocated for affordable housing by the States Assembly, and is inviting islanders to give feedback.

Deputy Renouf's new document shows that at least five sites spanning several parishes would need additional sewer capacity to accommodate the development of around 300 potential homes, while enhanced pumping stations and improvements to the surface water drainage network would also be needed for around 100 possible units.

The sites requiring additional sewer network capacity are:

  • Field J1109, Grande Route de St. Jean, St. John (which could provide between 28 and 36 new homes)

  • Field MN410, Rue des Buttes, St. Martin (which could provide between 26 and 33 new homes)

  • Fields O594 and O595, Clos de la Fosse au Bois, St. Ouen (which could provide between 35 and 45 new homes)

  • Fields P558, P559 and P632, Route de Manoir, St. Peter (which could provide between 105 and 133 new homes)

  • Fields P655 and P656, Route de Beaumont, St. Peter (which could provide between 33 and 42 new homes)

  • Field T1404, Grande Route de St. Jean, Trinity (which could provide between 18 and 22 new homes)

Express was recently invited to visit the Cavern, which acts as an overflow reservoir to stop sewage flowing into the sea when heavy rain means that the main sewerage system cannot handle the sheer volume of water.


Pictured: Head of liquid waste management Duncan Berry in the main chamber of the Cavern.

Speaking during a tour of the huge underground facility, Head of Liquid Waste Management Duncan Berry confirmed that investment was needed to upgrade the island's drainage infrastructure.

"With the Bridging Island Plan, development over the next four years is going to be all over the Island and the network cannot take that capacity," he explained.

"We are developing a Bridging Liquid Waste Strategy to go alongside the Bridging Island Plan, which is going to request tens of millions in additional funding to try and build mini caverns around the Island that will just take foul sewage to try and take some of those peak flows."

He added: "We would love everyone to be connected to the foul-sewer system but we do have pinch points and it is hard to upgrade the whole system in one go. Unfortunately it does need significant funding to allow the Island to keep growing in population."

A spotlight was shone on the scale of the challenge earlier this year when plans to build 179 affordable homes were put on hold after it emerged that the drains in the area could not handle the extra demand.

The government’s Bridging Liquid Waste Strategy report, published earlier this month, revealed that infrastructure projects to avoid the "potentially catastrophic" failure of the network if it was overloaded were expected to cost more than £34m over the next four years.

Housing Minister David Warr said: "We 100% recognise that millions of pounds will need to be invested in drainage to ensure that we can continue with our build programme. The commitment to resolve that problem is a high priority within government."


£34m over next four years to avoid "catastrophic failure" of sewerage network

Affordable homes plan under threat because drains can't cope

Plan for 'mini-caverns' around island to unblock drainage pinch points

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Posted by Chris Ricou on
We could build hundreds of miles of tunnels all move down there and turn the surface into a wealthy persons playground ????
Posted by Martin on
Cannot see the wood for the trees?

Underground houses in the cavern?

They live in caves elsewhere!
Posted by Jon Jon on
Couldn't make this up...surely before looking at these sites all this was looked into, hasn't anyone got a brain cell? going to have to look at further sites now!
Posted by Peter Huntingdon Bewers on
It is many years since any new Sewer pipes have been laid around the Island and of course the huge expansion in the Island population was never taken into account, it would be far better in the future if the Sewerage Board as it used to be called had a reasonable budget pain yearly which it could put aside for upgrade expenses like this ,instead of always having to ask the Treasury for money . Fort Regent is another example of pure neglect until the place is almost falling down and no longer safe to use. We do elect our States Members to manage our affairs ?
Posted by Peter Huntingdon Bewers on
I am sure that the Sewrage Engineers can come up with an interim solution ? In the past I believe holding tanks have been constructed so that the system available is not overloaded so that the collected sewage can be pumped into the.Small drainage pipes when capacity is available.
Posted by Christopher McCarthy on
Why not place a lid over the Underpass and return the road from a motorway to become a street at grade again with multiple crossings to reconnect Saint Helier in becoming a beach town again and use the Underpass basement and a second huge flood water attenuation tank located on the main sewer route instead of having to build another cavern
And recovering land used by the slip roads Richwood no longer be required for desperately needed housing to form a street frontage like kensington High Street in London which has more traffic than this liberation road does in a day

Ie replace the motorway Underpass with a high street providing as much traffic movement as presently provided before it gets blocked getting into the tunnel or from the tunnel
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