A local developer appears to be pushing forward with plans to build new homes on a St. Helier field – even though it is earmarked for the future hospital’s new mental health facility.
A sign featuring a picture of the proposed new homes, which are yet to receive planning permission, was erected on Westmount Road’s Field 1550 last week.
It said they were “coming soon” and provided a number to ring for enquiries.
But the field, which is also believed to be the site of a former dolmen, is needed in order to provide a one to two-storey mental health building on the planned £800m one-stop-shop Overdale health campus.
The Government has therefore been seeking to acquire the site for many months, but is yet to reach a deal.
Contacted by Express about the boards, a spokesperson for the ‘Our Hospital’ project confirmed that they still needed to acquire the land for the new hospital.
When Express called the number on the billboard to find out more, the person taking enquiries for the site said the developer was “not talking to any press” about their intentions for the field.
According to the Planning register, a planning application for the site was submitted last year and is currently listed as awaiting a ‘planning obligation agreement’.
The plans proposed to demolish a two-storey home and associated buildings, to make way for two three-bedroom homes with parking.
The application also involved changing the use of part of the field from agricultural land to residential use to create new access onto Westmount Road, whilst the current access from Old St. John’s Road would be extinguished and returned to the field.
The applicant also planned to plant 23 trees and “tidy up” the site, according to the Planning and design statement prepared by Socrates Architects.
Pictured: The advertisement has gone up recently on the site.
While the Planning Department initially recommended that the plans be rejected, a Planning Inspector made the opposite recommendation, on the guarantee that the applicant would create a new public footpath or pavement of a width of 1.5m along the Old St. John’s Road boundary of the site and cede it to the Parish.
The Government’s budget for property acquisitions for the new hospital had previously been estimated to be £16m.
By the end of May, property acquisitions accounted for more than half of the new hospital project's £22.1m spend.
Meanwhile, £7.6m had been spent on design, £1.6m on ‘professional and specialist services’ and more than half-a-million on the Project Team.
So far, more than a dozen properties have been acquired. Between April and June, seven homes were bought, with the sales contracts worth between £763,995 and £1.7m.
Two garages were also sold at £20,000 each, and a parcel of garden land for £16,800.
Field H1550A, over which a new car park is likely to sit, sold for £300,000.
In July, the Government confirmed its intentions to buy two more properties, one sitting opposite Overdale, with the seven properties surrounding it having already been snapped up and the other at the back-left of the current Overdale site.
Each of the contracts contained clauses relating to a final date of departure, ranging from summer at the earliest and New Years’ Eve at the latest.
Three homeowners had their fees and relocation costs covered, with one entitled to £32,000.
Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham, who has political responsibility for the project, has previously stated the Government's intention to negotiate sales with islanders, but is able to use compulsory purchase to acquire the desired properties if necessary.
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