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Guarantee hospital homes costs? "Yes", says Minister

Guarantee hospital homes costs?

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Guarantee hospital homes costs? "Yes", says Minister

Tuesday 20 September 2022


Jersey's Infrastructure Minister has promised to cover any costs racked up by halting the contract to build 106 new homes on Kensington Place - even though he doesn't yet know how much that might be.

The Government is currently reviewing the £805m new hospital project, and, while that's happening, has stopped building work on those homes being done by developer Dandara, close to the current hospital site.

The cost of doing that is currently being negotiated between Andium and Dandara.

In the States Assembly this morning, the politician who was previously spearheading the project, Deputy Lyndon Farnham asked, "Following the announcement by the Government that the housing development in Kensington Place has been paused, will the Minister inform the Assembly what financial arrangements, if any, have been agreed with the developer?”

Infrastructure Minister, Deputy Tom Binet replied that discussions were going on between Andium Homes and the developer to agree any "financial arrangements." At this stage, he said that didn't directly involve the Government, and so he said he didn't know the likely costs.

kensingtonplace.jpg

Pictured: Andium had been hoping to build more than 100 homes on the site.

But then Deputy Sam Mézec asked if there was any cost to Andium homes caused by the delays, would the Minister give an assurance that Andium would be compensated?

Initially Deputy Binet said it was "highly likely" Andium would be compensated, but when pushed to go further by Senator Mézec, and give an actual guarantee that the Government would cover any costs, he replied: "Yes, Ma'am, why not? Yes, a firm yes."

Deputy Farnham ended the exchange by observing that when he was a Minister, he would have got into trouble for guarenteeing costs without knowing what they were. 

"Remembering back to my days as a Minister, I would have been severely chastised for making decisions without knowing the financial consequences."

kensingtonplace2.jpg

Pictured: the Government is now committed to covering the cost of any delays caused by halting the contract to build 106 homes on Kensington Place. 

Deputy Binet said he couldn't comment on the length of any delay until the publication of his review. 

At the beginning of this month, Deputy Binet revealed that negotiations were taking place to cancel the contract between site owner Andium Homes and developer Dandara to build 106 flats in Kensington Place where the now demolished Stafford and Revere hotels once stood.

This would allow the next-door current hospital to expand into the site, should the hospital review support an extension of the Gloucester Street hospital there. 

The Government said the review will:

  • "...assess the affordability of the current project,

  • consider the state of the existing hospital and associated heath and care facilities,

  • consider measures currently being undertaken to improve and transform Jersey’s health service during this period,

  • examine various options from “a scope, operational efficiency, cost, programme, and local economic impacts perspective, including, but not limited to all existing sites, which include Overdale site; Gloucester Street site, including adjacent sites, such as Kensington Place; opportunities for a longer-term phased development at Overdale or Gloucester Street; and the opportunity to use secondary sites to complement the delivery of health and care from a primary hospital location.”

Joining Deputy Binet on his review team is Health Minister Karen Wilson and Assistant Health Minister Rose Binet.

Follow Express for updates...

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Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Another inexperienced politician !
Posted by Private Individual on
In defence of Mr Binet, he is only trying to sort out the disgraceful mess the previous council of ministers left behind. That is why they were ceremoniously booted out of government.

He is doing what the majority of the public asked him to do in the election, which is to sort out the hospital debacle once and for all. He did not make this mess, Mr Farnham did, with the cohort of politicians such as John Le Fondre that were in government at the time.

Thankfully he is going to save the taxpaying public of Jersey, you know the ones who pay for the up keep of the island such as myself, hundreds of millions by correcting all the questionable deals that were done by the last government.

Or has everyone forgotten about them now?
Posted by Keith Marsh on
After spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, and turning down a town redevelopment site for the new hospital, we have a minister that wants to do it again
I had hoped that the New Government would have a little more between the ears, and we would not waste such massive sums of money.
Posted by Peter Garrett on
Not a brick laid,and still we keep paying
Posted by Michael Sands on
Do Andium really need compensating? They are after all owned by the taxpayer.
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